That night was supposed to be the last time I did street evangelism.

I wasn’t prepared to lead the team. I was burning out. All I had was my guitar and a broken heart. But we started off with worship anyway.

As we worshipped, I realised that one of the teenagers who lived on the streets was listening to our singing. He made his way towards us and sat next to me. It was then that I felt such an overwhelming sense of love for him. I could feel God’s heart beating for him, as we continued singing of the love of Jesus.

After our worship session, we started chatting. I asked him if he knew the songs and we got to talking about God. As we were talking, I realised that he was shivering since it was a cold night. I felt prompted to pray for God’s warmth to overwhelm him.

I told him that God is a good God and that He cares for us. I then asked if he would like to feel warm and stop shivering. Before I could continue, he said that he began to feel warm when he started talking to me.

I then placed my hand on his shoulder and asked Jesus to keep him warm (something I had never done before). Immediately, he stopped shivering!

I shared the Gospel with him after that, and even managed to talk to a few of his mates. He didn’t receive Jesus at the end of the night, but it was a night that really encouraged my heart.

Before that night, I had been feeling burnt out. On top of leading a street evangelism team that was dwindling in numbers, I was also managing a challenging schedule because I had just started my master’s programme and I was taking a monthly counselling class in church.

It was only over a period of a few months that I came to the realisation that I had the wrong heart posture. When I first started doing street evangelism, the reasons were for God and His people.

However, along the way I started to lose focus of the things of God and became more self-centred. I became preoccupied with the amount of salvations. I became preoccupied with the amount of healing testimonies. I became preoccupied with leading the team. So much so that I lost the vision as to why this ministry even exists.

I realised I lacked love for people… I asked God to change me, to turn my heart of stone into a heart of flesh.

My turning point didn’t come from some heavenly encounter or divine moment where I met with Jesus and chatted with Him. It was a process of realigning my heart to His heart.

It was during this season that I realised I lacked love for people.

I read of how God used Ezekiel to tell His people in Ezekiel 36:26: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

So I started praying likewise and asked God to change me, to turn my heart of stone into a heart of flesh.

What helped me in this process were the people who journeyed with me.

My mentors, friends from the house of prayer and other churches – talking to them and receiving encouragement from them really helped me through the tough times.

But, ultimately, it was God who changed my heart to what it is right now – a heart of flesh.

For once I had the revelation of what it means to love God and to love people wholeheartedly – it was as if a switch in my heart was flipped. Suddenly my capacity to love people was grown!

“Lord, bend me.”

Now, I’m no longer bothered by who turns up or what not. All that matters to me is to shine for Jesus in the city and to be His hands and feet.

The prayer of Evan Roberts is one that I now pray over myself: “Lord, bend me.”

It’s essentially a prayer where I ask God to bend me to do His will. To do whatever that’s on His mind. To come with no agenda, and just be available for Him.

Broken as I am, God still uses me. That’s the beauty of it. God uses broken vessels, broken people, to reach different ones. He uses imperfect people to bring about transformation in the lives of others. 

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

If you can relate to my journey, take heart and know that God has placed people around you who can and will journey with you. Reach out and talk to them about it. I’m very certain that there are people whom God has placed in our lives that will journey with us.

Burn for Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to light you on fire so that people can see you shining your light brightly. Light shines the brightest in darkness.

In this dark world we live in, will you avail yourself to be lit up by the Holy Ghost?