“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58
I've always liked the story told by Jack Griffin, a businessman called out of the marketplace to launch the Navigators ministry in Australia. This is a synopsis of his story called "A Link in the Chain."
In many of our lives there were many links in the chain leading to our conversion. This incredible true story showcases the power of God and how He can use one person’s faithfulness in a mighty way for His kingdom. It’s about a pastor from Bournemouth, England named Francis Dixon and a layman in Sydney, Australia called Mr. Jenner.
One night in 1950, Rev. Dixon asked a youth leader in his church named Peter to give his testimony. Peter began, “During the Second World War in 1945 I was stationed in Sydney, Australia, and one day as I was walking down George Street a middle-aged man walked up to me and asked, ‘Excuse me sir, could I just ask you one question. Please don’t be offended, but if you were to die tonight where would you spend eternity? Would it be in heaven or would it be in hell? For the Bible says it is going to be one place or the other. Good-bye and God bless you.’”
Peter went on to explain how that question from the man in Australia had stirred him up such that when he returned to England he started to attend church. Not long after that he came to know Christ. In 1953 Rev. Dixon asked six young men to share their testimony. One of them named Norwell said, “During the Second World War, I was in the Royal Navy and was one day walking down George Street in Sydney when a middle-aged man walked up to me and asked, ‘Excuse me sir, please don’t be offended, but if you were to die tonight where would you spend eternity? Would it be in heaven or would it be in hell? For the Bible says it is going to be one place or the other. Good-bye.’ This really moved me and not long after that I received Christ.” After the meeting Peter caught hold of Norwell and said, “Norwell, you have my testimony!” Norwell said, “What do you mean?” So they compared notes and discovered they had encountered the same man in the same place asking the same question, and they had the same response.
Over the years, Rev. Dixon personally met 8 different people who had the same testimony as Peter and Norwell. There was Mervyn George from Adelaide, Australia, a Baptist Deacon from Perth, Australia, a young English lady who served in the Wrens during WWII, another person he met at a Methodist church in Keshwick, England, a lady in India, and an eighth person in Jamaica. All of them had the same testimony.
On His next trip to Sydney, Rev. Dixon happened to ask his friend, Alex McGilchrist, if he knew about a man who approached people on George Street during WWII and challenged them to think about eternity. McGilchrist said he knew him well and his name was Jenner. They went to meet Mr. Jenner, now an old man. He was a humble man filled with the love of Christ. He told them, “For about 25 years I have been speaking to at least ten people a day. I have only one line of approach. I have spoken to hundreds a year. I have spoken to thousands over the years.” With tears in his eyes he said, “But would you know, I have never led anyone to Christ.”
God had used Mr. Jenner to be the first link in a chain leading to the conversion of eight known men and women and perhaps scores of others.
You might be the first link. You might be the second link. You might have the privilege of being the last link, but dear friend, make sure you are not the missing link.
Father, give me a heart to see those who need You, and give me the confidence to share with them the truth of how to know You. Find me faithful to do the work You have given me to do. Amen.
Adrian Savedra spent his early career as a college baseball coach and Co-Founder of the Oklahoma City Ambassadors, a youth baseball club that shares the gospel of Jesus Christ on and off the field. He is now an Area Director for CBMC Oklahoma, coaching leaders and helping men across Oklahoma catch God's vision for their lives.