Do you have a Testimony?

The Sears Tower which dominates the ChicagoI was challenged with this question a few weeks ago. On the Sunday before Journey to the Heart, the Life FOCUS class was scheduled to go to the Pacific Garden Mission in downtown Chicago, a ministry founded in 1877 by Colonel George Clarke. The mission was hospitably providing a meal for homeless men who were willing to listen to a short message and the gospel presentation. I was told that it was a good idea to go prepared with a testimony because you never knew if you would be called on to share one. As I thought about what I could share, nothing came to mind right off. This disturbed me because I should surely be able to recognize at least a few of the ways God had worked in my life in the past week. However, before going to bed on Saturday night, I thought of a small testimony that I might be able to share but I would wait till morning to see if God would reveal something from His Word to expand my testimony into something worth sharing.

We decided to quote James 1 in the car on tIt is not normal for me to wake up at 5:45 on Sunday morning, but I did anyway in order to have a full hour of reading God’s Word before leaving at 7:00. But once I got started, two things almost ruined this important time. First was deciding where to read. I felt like skipping over to Psalms, the next portion of my daily Bible reading plan, but God directed me to re-read a section in II Chronicles. I am so glad I did! II Chronicles 6:10-11 fit perfectly with my little testimony. The second hindrance was breakfast. I was so hungry and everyone else was eating, but again, I did not want any more distractions. Thus I removed myself from the distraction and finished writing up a little testimony just in time to leave.

Robert calls to find out who will be speakingYes, I was prepared, but what was the chance that I, out of 19 FOCUS guys, would be called upon to share? Well, on the way there, Robert called to ask who would be speaking that morning: a fellow on staff named James was going to. However, we found that through some kind of miscommunication, he was unprepared and not able to come. For me, this was a conformation that James, a different one than was scheduled, would indeed be speaking!

Arrival at the Pacific Garden MissionRobert joyfully leading the singing.Waiting on stage for our presentation.

To make a long story short, everything worked out exactly as planned. Robert opened with leading a hymn, the Focus guys sang a number and quoted James chapter 1, I gave the short message, and Mr. Garvin concluded with an invitation. A different kind of audience.I have no idea if what I said impacted any of the homeless people I spoke to but I can sure say that the whole experience impacted me! Remember the testimonies of God working in your life every day; you never know when you will be called upon to testify of God’s power through them.


  1. Joshua July 23, 2007 at 11:06 am #

    That very topic about being ready always to share a testimony came up during our time of worship yesterday. How important to have an arsenal of testimonies ready to answer the world. Priase the Lord you took the time to listen and follow the prompting to prepare. A lack of breakfast that morning nourished the hearts of many, I’m sure (it sure did me this afternoon).

  2. Michael July 24, 2007 at 8:55 am #

    What a testimony, James! Thank you for your example to me of the importance of being prepared to share what God has been teaching you.

  3. Kevin JOhn July 25, 2007 at 4:58 pm #

    Wow.That’s great thank you for sharing for that Update.

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