On a Thursday morning during a time of worship, God spoke to me.
Our team had been in Byron Bay, Australia for about a week, and we were blown away by how open the culture was to learning more about God. Conversations flowed freely and spiritual seekers found the fulfilment they were looking for. However, I felt like there was something more that God wanted me to do than just talking to people on the streets. So in the middle of a worship song, surrounded by my team, two words clearly came to mind:
I spoke to one of my friends about the words I had gotten, and we discovered that we’d had the same vision. So we found a whiteboard, grabbed a blanket, and set up in the park. We wrote “Free Encouragement” in huge letters and waited for people to approach us.
We had a lot of different responses to our sign. For the most part, people just smiled and kept walking. We had a few people stop and ask us what we were doing. We even had some ask if they could take a picture of us. But what we found was that
people are generally hesitant to walk up to strangers and ask for encouragement, even if it is offered for free.
But we continued putting our sign up whenever we had time, because we knew that God had given us this vision for a reason and we were not about to give up on it.
One night, we had our sign up and we were trying to wave people over. Three college-aged looking kids responded to our calls and came and sat with us on the blanket. We started conversation with them and before we knew it, we had talked to them for three hours. During that time we got to share about YWAM and tell them about where our inspiration for free encouragement came from.
A night that they had planned to spend drinking and partying had turned into a night of receiving God’s pursuit for their hearts.
And at the end of it all, we got to pray for the girl in the group and tell her that God desires to know her.
We followed up with our friends a few more times during the week and got to build a really cool relationship with them. We hung out often and showed them that being a Christian doesn’t mean you don’t know how to have fun. They weren’t from Byron Bay, so eventually we had to say goodbye to our friends and wish them well on their travels back home. But I believe it’s safe to say that by the time they left Byron, they felt quite encouraged.
By Caitlin Montgomery