This post is a little late as we are actually finished with Day 6, but there has been so much going on that reporting had to hit the back burner. Yesterday was such a wonderful day in visiting Oxford. Tony does a great job in giving the details so I’ll leave it to him to explain the day’s events below. One thing I would like to share was an encounter I had with a homeless woman named Sharron.
As Greg, Tony, and myself walked through the historic streets of Oxford while waiting for our incredibly hospitable host, Dr. Richard Turnbull, to greet us, the highlight of my day happened. To our right we noticed a huge white English mastiff, which reminded me of my Italian mastiff we use to own. I approached the dog and owner, Sharron, but waited to speak to her as she was finishing up a conversation with a lady who knew her. It was apparent that Sharron had gone through a recent traumatic circumstance, something that was rather public as there was mention of it being reported by the BBC.
As the opportunity presented itself, I asked Sharron if I could pet her dog and she allowed me to do so. Kneeling down to pet Jack, I told Sharron that whatever circumstance she was going through, there is Hope for her. I offered a free Bible with a Gospel tract inside, of which she gladly received, and began to gently weave God’s Law and man’s plight through the Gospel. In telling Sharron that Jesus freely offers her mercy and forgiveness, tears streamed down her face. Then Sharron said something to the effect of,
Everything you just said to me is an answer to prayer.
I asked, “what do you mean?”
The sentence you said about forgiveness, I prayed for the very same thing yesterday, and here you are telling me these things.
I was pretty taken a back and amazed by the Lord’s work, and then asked to pray for her. As God alone knows the condition of Sharron’s heart, I prayed the Gospel and for her salvation if she was not born again, as well as comfort and peace for Sharron as she goes through whatever trial she was going through.
After praying, Sharron practiced the sign of the cross, which led me to believe she was Catholic. I now understand she could be Anglican, but in any case, I let her know that works cannot save her nor can religious acts, the church, or any priest, but that trusting in Jesus alone is the only way for her to receive eternal life.
Sharron then showed me something very special someone had blessed her with. She said just two minutes before I showed up, someone had given it to her, then God answered her prayer spiritually by sending me to let her know God had not forsaken her.
Sharron told me of a video that is on Youtube that tells of her story. She wrote it down for me and I let her know I would watch it last night. I did, and I want to share it with you. I told her I would post it here and that many people would be praying for her. I cannot know whether Sharron is born again, but I do know that God is faithful and it appeared He used yesterday’s encounter to bless Sharron. I pray that God would save her if He has not done so already, and that she would find peace through this trial and be restored off the streets and get her family back in order.
Sharron was so thankful for the Bible I gave her, and said she would definitely be reading the Gospel of John.
What a humbling opportunity to be able to serve Sharron. I didn’t even know she was homeless when I met her, and not for certain until I watched the video. It just goes to show that we never know the work of the Lord and the ordering of our steps. He calls us to step out on faith to be a witness of Him, and to be salt and light to a hopeless world. I praise my King for His grace in allowing me to be an encouragement to Sharron, and I pray she would come to know ultimate Peace through the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, our Hope, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the Lord Jesus Christ!