Two weeks ago I found myself in Balakliya, Ukraine with a team. It was so good to be out and intentionally sharing Christ and telling people about the Good News.
I met one man names Nikolai. I spent more than 1 hour speaking to him. He was 53 years old, but, unfortunately, looked much, much older. One could tell that he had had a difficult life.
I could smell alcohol on his breath, even though it was only 10 or so in the morning. I spent a little time getting to know him and asking him questions about his family and life. There were numerous cuts on his left arm and several teeth were missing. Yet, even through all that he had seen and been a part of, he was smiling. He reminded me a little of my father.
I shared my life story with him and why I felt God led me to Ukraine and, ultimately, to be in Balakliya on that particular Friday morning, just so I could tell him about Jesus. Several roads I took him down to lead him to the cross and each time he took a detour. He saw the cross, understood what Jesus did for him, yet he was not ready to make that step to follow Christ.
We spoke several more times through his time at the clinic and I took our picture so that it would remind me to pray for him. I have prayed for him often since that Friday morning, asking the Father to speak to his heart.
I gave him a New Testament and marked some verses for him to read later. He called me today in search of a doctor for his wife. After we said hello and talked for a few minutes, he was quick to say that he had read the verses I had marked for him. My heart was certainly glad to hear that! My prayer is that Nikolai will be compelled to read those verses often and the Spirit of God would be upon him and eventually he will decide to follow Christ.
There are thousands more just like Nikolai, waiting to hear the Good News. Will you pray for them? Maybe God has a plan for you to come tell others just like Nikolai that Jesus Saves!