(this is the group I mentioned before where we shot the propane tank with the AK 47 on our last retreat: see video here: http://youtu.be/QeTz8efOoEc).
Most of the guys are evangelical protestant. I'm probably the only Catholic in the group, but we've gotten along pretty well. Last night, my friend Jason was leading and he started talking about this concept called "Divine Appointments." It's a bit of Charismatic thing I guess, but mostly it required more boldness than anything else.
He started by asking us to pray for a while and listen for God to speak and to reveal one person to each of us that we needed to pray for or talk to that night.
Then he told us first to ask God to reveal to us a place / location and to write down the first thing that came to mind. At first I saw this cafe in my head, but I kept telling myself "no" because it's in the gay part of town and I KNEW God wouldn't want me going there.
Then Jason said:
"The 1st voice you hear is God's voice. The 2nd voice is you trying to talk yourself out of what you heard from God and the 3rd voice is Satan trying to convince you that you were right and that couldn't have been from God."
So, I went ahead and reluctantly wrote down "Cafe Brazil in Oaklawn."
Then we were supposed to write down anything that came to mind about a person. I thought of someone wearing a "white sweater, blue jeans and white tennis shoes" - so I wrote that down. Then I thought "No person in Oaklawn would be caught dead wearing THAT!...hello, fashion police?!" ;)
Anyway, I wanted to scratch it all out, but I left it alone
When everyone was finished and we ended up splitting into small groups and getting into cars to go find the persons we had described and pray with or evangelize them. I was really nervous and freaked out - leading two of my non-SSA friends (who didn't yet know about MY SSA) right into Dallas's GAYberhood. I hadn't been there myself in over a year and it's always a place where people are Lewd, Crude, and Socially Unacceptable (24 hours a day!)
We got there and I started saying "Let's go to a DIFFERENT Cafe Brazil" I'm sure it can't be this one!" but my friends said "NO! We're going here first. It's what YOU wrote down."
We walked up and there was a guy standing right in the doorway wearing a white sweatshirt, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes.I could tell he was SSA and I froze up.
Jason asked "Is that him? Is that your guy?"
I could basically hear a "Yes" voice, but I quickly said "No, probably not."
I've never walked up and evangelized anyone before. I prayed
"God, I have no right to preach at or judge this guy. Can't someone else do it?!"
Then I kind of felt like I heard a voice right back that said sharply
"I didn't tell you to 'Preach or Judge'!"
Anyway, I hesitated so my friend Jason started talking to him first and then I followed. At first he was really hesitant to talk to us, but then he started opening up more.
He said he had been waiting there for someone who hadn't shown up. We explained what we had been praying and what I had heard. He didn't believe me at first. He thought we were just roaming that street trying to preach or ask for money. I explained that we had actually just driven across town to get there specifically to talk to him. Then I showed him the paper the piece of paper where I had written down the description "Cafe Brazil in Oaklawn" - "Guy wearing a white sweatshirt, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes." (I almost wanted to say "You have to be the only person within four miles wearing THAT." - but I didn't say that because he broke down and started sobbing before I got that far.
His name is Danny. He's a few years younger than me and has been involved with some aspects of the lifestyle that unfortunately I'm really familiar with. He had been going to a "gay church" but wasn't getting much real help there. We didn't really talk about THAT issue very much, but talked more about God's love for him.
He's also HIV+ and is struggling in a LOT of ways. He said had been praying for help and for some kind of hope that night and that he was in shock that God would seemingly "send three guys across town just to talk to Him."
We each prayed over him and we talked with him for a while. We gave him our contact info and invited him to stay in touch and meet us on Saturday morning down there to talk and pray some more.
Please keep Danny in your prayers.