A Friend Forever

My name is Edwin and I’m from United Arab Emirates. This July I travelled to the International Convention of The Gideons International in Philadelphia to meet with other Gideons from around the world.

During one of the breaks in the convention, I took a few New Testaments and walked down the street. I asked the Lord to show me someone to whom I could give a Testament. I soon came across a man sitting in a wheelchair.

In response to the Holy Spirit’s nudging, I approached the man. As I drew near, he stared at me.

“How can I help you?” I asked.

“I’m homeless and hungry,” he replied.

He asked me if I could get him a bottle of water, ten dollars, and a t-shirt. He said his favorite color was yellow and asked if the t-shirt could be yellow.

“Okay. I’ll come back,” I told him. I quickly rushed back to my hotel. As I hurried up to my room, I prayed the Lord would show me how to help this man.

Inside my room, I retrieved ten dollars and I found a t-shirt which I had brought along on the trip to promote my upcoming music project. The words printed on the shirt read, “A Friend Forever.” The shirt was, in fact, yellow.

I hurried downstairs to the hotel lobby and bought a bottle of water. I went back out on the street, and returned to the man. I had the water bottle, cash and a yellow t-shirt. When I handed him the gifts, he began to cry. He was clearly moved.

Because of his physical handicap, he couldnt put the shirt on by himself. “Can you help me put it on?” he asked. I obliged. He saw the words, “A Friend Forever” printed on the shirt.

I then explained the meaning of those words on the shirt as I shared my personal testimony of how I came to a saving knowledge of Jesus:

“When I was broken and hopeless and was contemplating ending my life, I found a true friend who knew me from my childhood and even before,” I told him. “Only He gave me a new life as He shed His last drop of blood for me and redeemed me from my sinful life.”

Hearing my testimony, the man wept even more.

He told me his name was Philip. He had fallen into drug addiction in the past and was now confined to the wheel chair. He said his social pension was not enough for food and he had no nearby family members.

As he continued to weep, I pulled out my New Testament and read this passage to him:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – I John 1:9 (ESV)

I assured him there is still hope and Christ can be his true Friend forever. Only a true friend can give his life for another friend. We both prayed.

He hugged me and asked a passerby to take a photo of us, saying he wanted a photo with him smiling.

After having our photo taken, I told him, “Read the New Testament I gave you and learn more about the true friend.”

I assured him I would continue praying for him. I left that day, grateful the Lord had orchestrated this opportunity to share the Gospel.

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