The Setting: Bryan is a tall 28 year old man from San Leandro who has battled depression for most of his life. Robert is part of the Disciple Making team of Fairhaven Bible Chapel in San Leandro that David and Betsy Reeve lead. David and Betsy attended The Neighboring Project training at The River. After a particularly moving worship service Robert decided right there and then that he would share spiritual snacks with the next 3 people he encountered.
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Divine Introduction #1: As Robert left the meeting he noticed Bryan walking on the sidewalk and as he walked over to him, a familiar voice told him that “this is not the right person”, “this is not the right time”, “he probably doesn’t want to be bothered”, “you’ll make a fool of yourself…”
“Hi, I’m Robert”, “Hi, I’m Bryan” and with that the familiar voice was gone! Robert went on and told Bryan of his conviction and the commitment he made to God that he would share something about Jesus with the next three people he encountered. Bryan did not say much so Robert asked him if he believes that Jesus is a divine being. Bryan said that he never thought much about that, but for the first time he thought that Jesus just might be. Robert then asked him if he would like to explore that and if he could help him discover for himself who Jesus is. Bryan said yes, and they exchanged contact information and setup a time to meet later that week.
Robert started a weekly Discovery Bible Study with Bryan and a friendship started to form as a result. Bryan started to open up to Robert about his battle with depression and his previous failed suicide attempt when he jumped off a bridge. Robert shared this with some of his friends and David started praying daily for Bryan whom he never met before.
Divine Introduction #2: When David returned from the airport, his ride could no longer pick him up from the BART station, so he decided to walk the six blocks home. As he was walking, he was praying for his city and that God would connect him and his team with those He is drawing. Bryan was battling depression again and he went on a walk since that usually brings some relief. He felt drawn to the bridge where he tried to end it all before, not to jump, but to re-live that experience again. This was a significant location for Bryan and as he got to the middle, he noticed David walking towards him pulling two suitcases. David’s hands were hurting and needed a break. They started talking and a few minutes in, David realized that this is the Bryan he’d been praying for the last few weeks. He asked, “Do you happen to know Robert?” and they then had an amazing conversation. It felt like they already knew each other and on a spiritual level, they did.
David got to pray for Bryan and God touched him through that. It totally blew Bryan’s mind that God orchestrated all of these appointments, and he felt so loved and cherished by God as a result! Bryan is now more committed than ever to follow Jesus and he started sharing with his mom and some fellow students at his college about his spiritual journey and what he is discovering. The depression is not gone, but he has hope in Christ and his new friends to help him through.
A Few Things to Reflect On:
- What if Robert listened to that familiar voice and passed up on the opportunity to have a spiritual conversation with Bryan?
- What might happen if you offered spiritual snacks to the next three people you met?
- How did being part of a disciple making team contribute to Robert's successful witness?
- With regard to sharing your faith, what is a commitment that you could make to God and others this week?
Hermie Smit grew up in South Africa, moved to the US in Nov. 1999 and started working for Cityteam International in 2001. He got exposed to the Disciple Making Movements (DMM) principles in 2006 and since then has dedicated his life to seeing disciple making movements take root in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. As a DMM Coach, Hermie spends most of his time training or coaching and mentoring catalytic leaders who want to see the Great Commission fulfilled in their cities or areas. Last year, he has trained River members in DMM principles through the Neighboring Project training.