|Desmond in 2004 or 2005|
Coming back from church two weeks ago, I heard a strange noise coming from my vehicle. I was pretty sure something important just fell off my car! I turned around and drove slowly down the road looking for some sort of vehicle part on the road. Then, I saw it, a large (22 metric) bolt, and I knew it must have fallen off my car. I picked it up and drove carefully back home anticipating some type of trouble in my car. There was nothing though, the vehicle ran just fine. I wondered why the large bolt had fallen off. Our road has been recently sealed so it was not from a rough road. I hit nothing on the road that might cause damage. I had no idea why. I located where on the car the bolt fell off from and I decided to take to a mechanic to have him look it. I could have easily put it back on myself, but I wanted a trained eye to look for what might have caused it to fall off in the first place. I took the vehicle to the mechanic first thing Thursday morning. He too was baffled as to why the bolt just fell off. He saw no reason for the bolt to have fallen off when inspecting the car. The reason, though, was about to be crystal clear.
At church the evening prior, we had our normal prayer meeting/preaching service. One of the prayer requests was for a man named Desmond. Desmond is 26 years old and during his teenage years he attended the Baptist work in Sohun. However and sadly, as many young people do, he left church when he was no longer required to go by his parents. Desmond simply came to church because he had to, not because he was converted to Christ. (The answer to our issues with young people not wanting to serve the Lord is not the youth pastor with a "cool" youth department and great teen activities and "teen" music, but true conversion to Christ. I think I will do a post later on this subject.) I would see him plenty of times and always say hello and try to encourage him. He always maintained a very kind disposition with me. The prayer request was to pray for Desmond because he was sick. I was told it was a swollen spleen, which is very common here due to recurring Malaria. To me this did not sound like a major sickness since we see this all the time, but certainly something to pray about.
So again Thursday day morning I took my vehicle to the mechanic. As I was leaving the workshop on Thursday morning, I had the urge to go and pray with Desmond. Thursdays are usually days for studying for Sunday’s sermons, not visiting. I knew I was not very far from where Desmond lives, and felt strongly I should go pray with him. I arrived at his house and his mom, twin brother, one of his two sisters, and one other brother was present. We all went into the house and sat down. It was clear Desmond was sick, and he told me it was not his spleen. He said he just had pain in his stomach area and could not eat. It started after a night of heavy drinking. I was immediately concerned about alcohol poising or bad home brew, which is common here. I know Desmond had heard the Gospel many times from his days at church, but I decided to tell him again of Christ before praying with him. After I finished presenting the Gospel he said he wanted to trust Christ and follow the Lord. He then, without my help, with tears streaming down his face, prayed and put his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! We rejoiced and it was nice to see the tears of joy also flowing from his mother’s face. I now knew why the bolt had fallen off! The Lord used that to put me in a place to go and talk with Desmond. The story is not finished yet, though.
Desmond told me if he was well enough, he would be at church on Sunday. I was hoping to see him there, but I did not. After I left him on Thursday, his Mom took him to see a doctor in Kavieng. I was not aware they would be going to Kavieng. Little did we know then, only his body would return. I received a call at 6:00am the following Thursday. Desmond had just passed and went to be with the Lord. I preached his funeral that Saturday and hundreds more heard the gospel from the village. Oh, how thankful I was he trusted in the Lord! I have no doubt Desmond is doing great right now! I am also thankful for a bolt that “just happened” to fall off my car and directly led me to go pray with Desmond on that Thursday instead of that Saturday. I had no idea at the time, but that Thursday morning would be the last opportunity I had to speak with Desmond.