Wish it were true
Reaching out on the OM Riverboat in the port cities along the Rhine, I am showing people, with the aid of four pictures on my wristband, how they can begin an amazing friendship with God. In sophisticated Europe, this might seem a childish and pointless thing to do.
But I read something in my cabin from the seventeenth century French Philosopher, Blaise Pascal, that startled me. He said that there is little point trying to persuade people with Christian belief. Instead, the way to impact people was that, having caught a glimpse of this rich and satisfying life that was being offered, to make people wish that it were true.
My mind darted back to something said in an email I received from a Swiss teenager at Easter, 2017. Noah thought I was a little strange when we met in Barcelona the summer before on an OM Transform outreach. With the four pictures on my wristband, I showed this young man how he could have a friendship with God. When Noah got home to Switzerland, he read about the four symbols in the One Wish leaflet I had given him and thought: “A friendship with God could be interesting.”
Noah got a glimpse of that satisfying desire for a friendship with God. Pascal went on to say that once that desire had been planted in the human heart, the mind would eventually catch up and make sense of this reality.
The following Easter, Noah’s mind caught up with his heart. A Christian friend invited him to a special gospel service. As he heard the message, the Holy Spirit connected the dots. Reflecting on how the pastor led him in prayer, Noah said, “When I repeated the prayer, I felt like Jesus came in my heart and I had a feeling of so much hope and love.”
He then remembered our conversation nine months before when we met in Barcelona and emailed me. That seed of desire was planted. Nine months later it was birthed.
During these past three months on the Riverboat, we have organised regular prayer and evangelistic walks. We gather for an hour in the morning to pray for the lost and the city before going out to share using the One Wish approach. We ask, “If you could wish one thing from God today for you, what would that be?” We pray for their one wish and then say, “May I show you with these four pictures (pointing to the wristband) God’s one wish for you?” With the aid of the four symbols, we explain that God’s One Wish is to have a friendship with them. We are sowing seeds of desire in the hearts of Europeans for the life they had wished, and that can only be found in a friendship with God.
“I came so that you can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” John 10:10 (The Message)
I am hoping to meet Noah in March when the Riverboat gets to Strasbourg.
Richard has served as a missionary in India and in leadership aboard three of OM's ships and preached the gospel in nearly 100 countries. This Englishman, while onboard, met Rachel, from Colorado who assists him and has a ministry of prayer, encouragement and hospitality. They have two grown sons who serve with OM USA. His passion is to go around the world with ‘One Wish’ – an approach he has developed, to equip God’s people to help others begin and grow in friendship with God.