Today I had the privilege of speaking to a group of pastors from the Cincy region. It was hosted by Deerborn Baptist Church where a good friend, Darrell Sparks, is the pastor. He and his wife opened their home to my family last night for dinner, fellowship, and overnight lodging.
Before dinner, Pastor Sparks and I were talking about some common ties we had in Amarillo, TX. He'd been an assistant pastor at Caprock Baptist Church and I grew up in the city. He asked if I knew the Arriaga family from my time at Arden Road Baptist Church (the church I became a Christian at and the church they attended). He then told the story of how he had met Ruben Arriaga. Pastor Sparks was driving, developed a flat, and stopped close to the service station Ruben worked at.
Ruben noticed that Pastor Sparks didn't have the proper tool to get the tire off and was struggling. He brought over a 4-way and in no time Pastor Sparks was on his way.
He said he knew the Holy Spirit was prompting him to begin witnessing to Ruben. So over a series of lunches, stopping by the station, etc., Ruben and his wife trusted Christ! As a result, many family members over the years left religion and trusted Christ. He even attended the youth group during my time at Arden Road Baptist Church with one of his daughters (who also had trusted Christ).
Tragically, Brother Ruben went to be with the Lord earlier than perhaps anyone expected. Yet, several generations of this family have placed their trust in Christ and will be with him again in eternity. With tears in his eyes, Pastor Sparks spoke about how thankful he was for that flat tire that day.
Friend, what unexpected, maybe even undesirable, moment have you had this week?
Now think, who did God place there for you to reach?
These moments might just become the turning point for many generations in one family.
- Pastor Paul