This past year at UCLA has been incredible. God has richly blessed me with community, fellowship, classes, an amazing church, fun activities, and a fantastic job. I’ve worked at Starbucks the past 8 months or so and just finished my last day on Friday. Throughout the entire time that I worked at Starbucks, I strongly felt that it was my place of ministry. It was my outlet to the world in which I could be a light in a dark place. There are a few other co-workers who are followers of Jesus, but for the most part, the setting is predominantly secular. What an amazing opportunity to act out the love of Jesus on my co-workers and on the customers. My prayer was that God would use me in this workplace to spread His love and message of salvation through my actions and words. I prayed that God would use me in any way necessary to plant seeds. I believe that God not only honored that prayer, but also allowed me to see the fruit of His work through me.
My last day of work was Friday. However, I had forgotten to get my last markout (free pound of coffee), and I didn’t want to get it at any other Starbucks. Sooo in an attempt to both study and get my markout, I found myself back at my Starbucks. My goal had been to write my ten page paper that night. Well, when you give God control over the day, it never looks like you expect it to . My co-worker Baily was hanging out but not working. I started chatting with her and asked how life was going. Through a two hour conversation, I learned a lot about her life, her passions, and her brokenness. Her circumstances broke my heart. I knew she desperately needed Jesus, but felt my role was to listen. However, in the process of listening and talking to her about life, I shared little bits and pieces of my faith and of my own brokenness that I had experienced. Nothing overwhelming and nothing preachy, but just honest and pure reflection of my life and how God’s hand had moved. I finally asked what her church background was, and she said she had been raised Jewish but never believed it. She continued so say that she had an interest in Christianity but really didn’t know how to go about it. Ummm wow. So God definately just opened that door. I invited her to church with me the next day, and she was excited to go.
This morning I picked her up at 10:30 and she was super excited to come to church. She loved the service and asked how she could “sign up.” She was fascinated by the people who spoke and the message presented. I was stoked beyond belief. During the service someone mentioned how Jesus met the broken ones, and Bailey really responded to that. I explained to her that Jesus meets us exactly where we’re at in life… and brokenness is sometimes the best place to meet God. I walked her through the message of the Gospel, explained Jesus’ ministry on earth, encouraged her to read the New Testament, and continued to reiterate the truth of the Gospel. Bailey was eating it up. She asked some questions about Bible Study, how to pray and when, etc. and I answered as God allowed me to. When we were almost back to the parking lot, I told her that I felt like Jesus was pursuing her. She agreed and told me about some other times in her life that she had encountered a desire to know Jesus personally. She said that she believed the message of salvation and was excited about all she learned. I asked her if she felt ready to make a commitment to follow Jesus, and she said yes. We prayed together and she became a sister in Christ. It was absolutely amazing to see the joy of Christ wash over her. She couldn’t wipe the smile off her face. It was real and genuine. Christ had prepared her heart and she was more than ready. No doubt that her conversion was a real experience and that Christ has made Himself known to her as her Lord and Savior. Praise God…. seriously He is amazing. It’s so cool to see Him transform someone who had yesterday not wanted to go home from work because of the situation at home. Now she can’t wait to tell people about Jesus.
Today camp starts. Camp is a beautiful place. God’s work is done and is fruitful and is abundant. He encounters the broken, the eager, the poor, and the wealthy. I’ve seen God transforms hearts and lives through camp and the staff and counselors. But my experiences with God’s transformation in people outside of ministry have been few. It’s so easy for me to share the gospel and offer the message of salvation when I am in a ministry setting. Not so easy when I am in the world. Yet God has shown me how He works in the world too. His divine hand has arranged encounters for His kingdom, and it is His power that saves. I am in a state of praise and joy for the kingdom of God is growing and God is working. Really I just want to dance and sing and jump for joy because His power and love and hope transformed a life today. Bailey’s life has now been touched with the truth and grace of the Almighty God.
Blessed Be His Name