What news stories do you hear? How do you react? Do you hear and agree how dreadful the world is or do you pray and release a power far more significant and magnificent than any of us can know? Do you seek God’s will for the situation, open your mouth and agree with Him?
Here is a testimony I received on Friday 27th May 2011. It is written by a friend who decided to put action behind her words. She had prayed from the comfort of her home, but then felt to go and do … to be … and as she went she discovered that God knows where we all are, where the missing can be found, where the lost are, and that if we open our mouths, they will be called home, in accordance with His will … for …
God is Good!
On Thursday night I heard about the teenager Jesse who had been missing from his home in Williamstown since Tuesday morning. I said a prayer for his safe return.
On Friday morning I prayed for him again and searched on the internet to find out his surname. I saw a plea from his parents for the public not to stop searching for him. Those words impacted me and I thought that I needed to do more than just pray from the comfort of my home.
I prayed some more and knew that he was alive and well and was still in the local area of Spotswood, Newport or Williamstown. When I called a prayer partner she confirmed she felt he was well and in the local area so I decided to go and cruise the streets until I found him, trusting God to show me where he was.
I was reminded of a story that appeared on Oprah a number of years ago when a young Christian girl had been praying for the safe return of a woman who had disappeared along a stretch of road. After several days the girl had a vision of where the woman was. The woman was found where the girl had “seen” her, at the bottom of a steep drop where her car had careered off the road and she had been lying waiting for help. That woman was saved because someone persevered and believed God would direct someone to rescue her. Encouraged, I headed out.
I filled the car up with petrol and headed out to Williamstown, interceding in the spirit as I went. I told God I didn’t care who found him as long as he was found today and brought safely to his parents. I struggled with the choice of free will that God has given each of us, including Jesse and wondered if me finding him and taking him home against his will was right. Two things came to me: firstly he was underage and needed to be returned home and secondly that he wanted to go home but the longer he was away the more embarrassed he would be. I prayed him free of any embarrassment and asked God to prepare his heart to return home.
When I got to Williamstown, I stopped to buy some lunch for Jesse in case God gave me the privilege of finding him. I thought food for a hungry teenager could be a good opening point of contact to get him talking.
As I pulled out of the Safeway car park to start looking, the clock in my car said 11:11. I knew God was getting my attention so I asked him to reveal what He was showing me.
As I got onto the main road I reached a roundabout and asked God which way I was to go and I turned left, not knowing the name of the street. As I travelled down the road at 20 kms an hour I had a greater sense that he was definitely in the area. I drove through the cemetery in case he was hanging out there as somewhere to hide during the day. I didn’t see him so I left and continued down the road. At the end of the road I saw a street sign saying it was Champion Rd I had just been on.
After driving around the streets for a while, I pulled over and read through every New Testament verse that had chapter 11, verse 11, to match the time God had shown me on my clock. As I was finishing Hebrews I thought I must have misunderstood what God was saying because surely there was nothing in Revelation that would suit this occasion; but that was the only book left with 11 chapters or more in it. I checked, just in case. Rev 11:11 starts with “Now after three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them…” Wow it was now just more than 3 days ago that Jesse went missing, so I believed he would be found today. I drove past his family home a couple of times, praying for peace as I did and asking God if I should stop but didn’t feel led to knock on the door.
I only wish I had been bold enough to be able to call his parents and tell them categorically that Jesse would be home today, but on the off chance that I got it wrong, I didn’t want to give them false hope.
I continued driving around the local area. I do not know the area well and by “chance” drove past the Williamstown police station at about 12:15-12:20pm. As I drove I saw Jesse’s parents outside the front of the station, recognising them from a photo on the internet from that morning. They were talking to two police officers so I pulled over with the intent of asking them what I could do to help and to offer to pray with them. As I walked towards them it appeared something was happening so I hung back so as not to intrude. A few moments later someone from the media arrived. I continued to watch and when I saw a police officer hug Jesse’s mother, I knew they must have found him. I waited until his parents went inside and then I asked one of the officer’s if they had found Jesse and he said “yes”.
I returned to my car where I thanked God and cried. If the amount of relief and joy I felt was so great I can’t begin to imagine how Jesse’s parents were feeling. There was no need to talk to them; they didn’t need to know I had been driving the streets looking and praying for their son, they just needed to hold him in their arms and start the road to reconciliation. A couple of minutes later, a police car arrived at the station with Jesse safely in the back seat. There was no need to hang around. After calling a couple of prayer partners with the glorious news I headed home. Once home I looked up the report that said Jesse was found and was surprised to see he was found on Champion Rd where I had first been led to look for him just over an hour earlier. Had he been there when I drove past and had I missed him?
This kind of activity is not usual for me but I have been challenged that it should be. I did not find Jesse and wonder if I had missed God speaking when I was driving down Champion Rd. I will be more diligent next time.
Whenever anyone goes missing, we as Christians should be walking with God in such a way that we can boldly say this is where the person is and lead authorities to their aide. I have a long way to go, but today was a first step and I would encourage others to do the same. I know my prayers were not the only thing that brought Jesse home and that countless other Christians were praying for him since he first went missing. Every prayer played an important part.
Someone commented to me today that it was great that I went out looking, especially as I am not a mother. I don’t believe we need to be parents to be able to have empathy and compassion for parents who are scared and missing their child. In Luke 7, we read about Jesus raising the widow of Nain’s son from the dead and it says he had compassion on her. Compassion was the hallmark of Jesus’ ministry and I want it to be the hallmark of mine. I have a long way to go.
I remember running away from home when I was barely 14 years of age and spending a night out in the freezing cold. Jesse needs our compassion as much as his parents do and I pray that though this has been a difficult time for their whole family; that they will all know that God protected Jesse during this time and brought him home to his family.
Praise be to God.
—– News report. Friday, May 27, 2011 » 01:54pm from Bigpondnews “Missing Melbourne teen found” said:
“Missing teenager Jesse Densley has been reunited with his family after police found him in Melbourne’s west. Police say a member of the public spotted the teen in Newport and phoned police, who found him on Champion Road on Friday morning. He was reunited with family at Williamstown police station shortly after. Police say he is in good health. Jesse has been missing since Tuesday, when he was last seen at North Williamstown train station.”
God is Good!