By Julian Newman
I few months ago on a Saturday, my three little princesses and I (Mom was having a Mommy weekend to relax and enjoy herself) drove to Vacaville and went to a wedding. Now a friends wedding is always a special occasion. But this was an extra special wedding. You see, this was a chance to celebrate the goodness of God.
Years ago, I met Elisha while working at a dental laboratory in Dublin, Ca. We were in the customer service department. That may sound cool, but it was far from that. Customer Service consisted of dipping dentures and impressions from peoples mouths in a cleaning solution and putting them into plastic containers. It was grisly work to say the least. I was a youth pastor at a church in the Bay Area at the time, and was working there to make ends meet.
My plan was to work there for a few months and then I would be at the church full time. My plan was a short term one. What I didnt know was Gods had a different idea. I worked there for 3 years. When I stepped int o the lab during one of my first days there, Elisha greeted me with a smile and offered me the stool next to her. I said okay, put on my rubber gloves and started dipping.
As we mindlessly dipped dental materials in the disinfectant, we talked about life. I learned that she was living with her boyfriend and his mother. I found out that she was experimenting with New Age stuff and reading a lot. But what I noticed, even though there were some different challenges going on in her life, she was sincerely seeking God. She had a hunger for Jesus, but was looking in the wrong places. So after a while, Tiffany and I would pray for Elisha and ask God to come into her world.
At work I would do my best to be a good example and representation of Jesus. I would read my Bible during lunch time and breaks. I would pray for people when the opportunity presented itself. I told jokes and laughed at myself (and others).
And over time, I saw God working in Elishas heart. She was more open to hear some of the things that I had to say and God was making Himself real to her. Time went by and finally during a Friday night service at our little church in Martinez, CA, Elisha surrendered her life to Jesus. It was awesome.
This past Saturday I got to celebrate with Elisha and the man of God that the Lord brought into her life.
There were probably 150-200 people there, many from her church. I got a chance to see some old friends/co-workers that used to laugh and tease me (without my knowledge) for my faith. These are people that Elisha was able to bring to Jesus after God moved me on to another place.
I am amazed how God used a frustrated, out of sorts youth pastor working in a dental lab, to extend His kingdom. I am so happy to see Him do so much with so very little. We can never underestimate our influence on the world around us. When we get to heaven, I think we are going to be surprised about how much of an impact we have.
Julian is the Lead Pastor of FC2, a growing community of believers where he and his wife Tiffany have been pastoring the church they were once youth pastors at for a year this March. He is a the proud father of three daughters and and an avid blogger. He loves sports, movies, books, his wife and family, and Jesus (not in that order!). You can reach him at www.diaryofadreamer.com.