On our first full day of outreach in Windale, Australia, we decided as a team to break up into groups to make ourselves known to the local community. Our leader Anna, along with Connor and Alix, began walking around one of the government housing developments to seek out opportunities. At first, the intertwining cul-de-sac streets were quiet and lifeless, so we stopped and talked with the first passerby – an elderly woman named Janice. Janice was randomly holding a crushed soda can as we chatted with her, and
she admitted she doesn’t normally walk through this “ghetto” area.
That was the first sign when we felt God appointed us to meet with Janice that day. Janice told us she always collects the aluminum pull tabs on cans because a man in the neighborhood recycles them and donates the money to make wheelchairs. She told us that she thought his first name was (“Mitch?”) and the name of the street he lived on.
We immediately felt that God wanted us to at least try to find him.
We found the street that “Mitch” supposedly lived on, but now we were stumped. How do you find one person in a large suburb with only a first name to go off of? We began walking up the street and felt drawn to a nondescript facility. It had no signs indicating what the building was, and even had “No Trespassing” signs everywhere. Feeling a little discouraged, we then saw a man in a wheelchair coming down the sidewalk toward us. After introducing ourselves to this man, whose name was Matt, we asked him if he knew a Mitch that lived on the street. He was very polite and said he didn’t, but he would take us into the assisted living complex (the one that we had felt drawn to) where he lived to ask the staff if they knew a Mitch. The staff didn’t know anyone by that name, but
when we mentioned that the man we were looking for collects the pull tabs on cans, to our complete surprise, Matt said, “That’s me! I collect pull tabs!”
God had led us straight into the house of the man we were looking for without us even knowing it.
Matt was quick to open up to us, showing us family photos and telling stories of his past and his love for gardening. Before he had to leave for a doctor appointment, we asked how we could pray for him. To our complete surprise again, Matt asked us to pray for the Syrian refugees! We laughed as
we told him that our team is going to aide the Syrian refugees in Greece and Germany
after our time in Windale! God not only led us to Matt to bless him, but also to confirm within us our purpose for our upcoming time in Europe.
God weaves and intertwines our personal stories to create better ones together. If we step out in faith and talk to the passerby, if we seek out opportunities and potentially awkward situations, and if we do this while letting God lead us, then we are rewarded with relationships, divine encounters, and maybe even a new brother or sister in Christ.
Two weeks later with a bag full of pull tabs, we returned to talk with Matt and led him to Jesus.
God is so good and is surprising us daily on outreach here!
*The names in this article have been changed to protect the privacy of those mentioned
By: Connor & Alix Bruson