We recently visited a beach community in Mexico. Some in our group were nervous about the high crime rate. Do we dare take a walk on the beach? It was 10 AM and seemed safe enough to me. We started walking and then stopped to rest and enjoy the view.
One friend noticed a man sitting near the rocks. “He’s watching us and he looks dangerous. We should leave.”
I said, “He’s alone watching the waves just as we are. Maybe I’ll go talk with him.”
“Hola!” I said as I approached. “Do you speak English?”
“Yes, a little.”
I held out a Christian tract in Spanish. “May I share a booklet about Jesus?” He took it. “May I ask you a question?” He nodded. “If you were to die today, do you know where you’d go?” He didn’t. I shared the gospel message with him and he was interested. But he had a problem:
Next to him in the sand was a small paper bag with the top of an open can protruding. I asked him what he was drinking. “It’s beer. I like it too much.”
I asked if he thought he was addicted. He admitted to being an alcoholic and quickly added, “But I’m not a bad person.”
“No. I don’t believe you are a bad person. But you have an addiction that is real. Jesus can help you overcome your addiction. Do you want Jesus to help you?”
He said he did. Then he told me about a group from a Bible church that comes to the beach. They give out hot chocolate and sandwiches. Then they talk about Jesus and pray for him. “I like it when they come.”
I said, “The next time they come, you tell them you want to go to their church. Find out where it is and begin going regularly. Let them know you’re an alcoholic and you need help. They will get you into an AA program. They will pray for you and perhaps even arrange for someone to support you until you are able to stay sober. Will you do that?”
He said he would because he knows he needs help and he believes in Jesus. I then prayed for him, that God would begin to remove his desire for alcohol, that Jesus would turn his life around and give him peace, self-control and a new purpose in life. He seemed grateful. I had an assortment of Christian tracts in Spanish. He was eager to read all of them.
Meanwhile, my waiting friends approached and I introduced them to my new friend, Carlos.
- not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:4
SONG: GOD IS READY – Words & music by Kathleen; Robin poem by E. Cheney, 1931
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[This life is temporary. This life is short. When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever. Where will the “real you” live? Will you live for all eternity separated from God? Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven? Learn more so you can make your most important decision: http://www.godlife.com/gospel/ and http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity