A summer of one on ones

Tags: Europe, Spain, Story

By Giles Davis in Spain

There were several summer camps and campaigns that we planned to participate in, but when we laid it all before the Lord, He spoke with great clarity to us that none of this was what He had for us. Instead, He called us to use our summer to get together one on one with many of the youth involved in our ministry in Spain.

What followed was the wonderful chance to finally have time to repeatedly get together with specific youth and talk with them about whatever they wanted to talk about!

During the busy ministry year, usually the only times we could get together with youth individually was when there was some sort of crisis or problem. This sad reality was driven home when I saw the looks of concern cross their faces when I suggested getting together.  They seemed to think, "Did I do something wrong?"  This summer was a chance to finally fix that and set it right.

This was most clearly seen in the life of Steve*, a young fellow in his early 20s whom I had been praying for a lot. I had a strong sense that God was looking to do something in his life and I urged the leader team to pray for him this summer.

Steve had attended the group for several years now, and had always made it clear that he believed in God but he wasn´t ready to offer his life fully to Him. He knew that I knew this, and I think that made him always feel guilty in my presence, even though I had never rebuked him for it. When I suggested to him that we go hang out, he gave me that look like, “Is this so you can give me a sermon about giving my life to God?” Then he asked me out loud, “What are we going to talk about?” I simply replied, “Whatever you want.”

We went out several times, including going to downtown Madrid to stand amongst thousands of screaming soccer fans. It was fantastic to be there and it was a powerful moment in my relationship with Steve. God had finally granted me the opportunity to make it clear to him that I would be his friend whether he surrendered his life to Christ or not.

We talked about some spiritual things during our times together, but mostly we talked about life and whatever else came out of his head. He never said how much it meant to him, but I know that it was very meaningful.  A couple of weeks ago I made a comment and then asked a question about something he had shared with me during the summer, and he looked at me in surprise and said, “Wow, Giles! You remembered that?” followed by a huge smile as he answered my question.

This past Sunday we had our first youth group of the new school year and Steve stood up and announced to the group that God had been working in his heart greatly this past summer. He shared how a friend of his had passed away and how instead of that pushing him away from God, it had drawn him in. He had realized that this life wasn´t forever and that he had better make the most of what was given to him. He then announced that he had decided to be baptized.

Afterward, I went up to him and he said, “I´ll bet you were surprised, huh Giles?”

I told him, “No, Steve, I wasn´t in the least bit surprised. I have been praying for you all summer and was so certain that God was going to do a work in you that I even announced to the leader team that they should pray for you, too. I didn´t know for sure, of course, but this is no surprise to me.”

He looked at me with a big smile and said, “Ha, Giles. If I were a girl I´d be crying right now.” That one made me smile. 

(*Not his real name.)