Wednesday, February 15, 2012
This true story has been told many times by my seminary professor Dr. Roy Fish who knew some of the persons involved. It has always been a great encouragement to me to be faithful sowing Gospel seed, knowing that it is God who can and will ultimately bring fruit.
There was a Baptist preacher in England named Francis Dickson. He had a man in his church named Peter. Now they don't have church staff in English Baptist Churches, but Peter was the closest thing Francis had. One Sunday they asked Peter to give his testimony in church. Peter stood to share and said,
"Folks, let me tell you how I was saved. I was stationed with the Royal Navy in Sydney Australia." And he said, "I was walking down George Street in Sydney one day when out of nowhere came a little white-haired man. He stopped me on the street and said, 'Excuse me sir, but I want to ask you a question. I hope you won't be offended, but tell me, sir, if you were to die today, where would you be in eternity? The Bible says it will be either heaven or hell. Think about it wouldn't you sir? That's all, God bless you. Tudelu.' And he was gone." Peter said, "Those words cut like an arrow shot out of heaven to my heart. I was deeply disturbed. But I didn't know what to do. For six months I was under conviction. Finally we sailed back to England. I had one Christian friend. I sought him out, and he helped me to Christ."
They had what we would call a revival meeting in that church where Francis Dickson was pastor. And part of the revival team was a young man whose name was Noel. They asked Noel to share his testimony.
He said, "Folks, I'd like to tell you how I was saved. I lived for a while in the beautiful Australian city of Sydney. I was walking one day down George Street and out of nowhere came a little white-haired man who stopped me on the street and said, 'Excuse me sir, I want to ask you a question. I hope you won't be offended, but tell me, sir, if you were to die today, where would you be in eternity? The Bible says it will be either heaven or hell. Think about it wouldn't you sir? That's all, God bless you. Tudelu.' And he was gone. I knew enough gospel to get saved. So I went to the house where I was living and that afternoon I got down on my knees and trusted Jesus as my Savior.
When that service was over, Peter went up to Noel and said, "Noel, you've got my testimony. It happened to me just like that. The little old man on George Street." And the pastor overheard them.
Francis Dickson was preaching not too long afterwards in the city of Adelaide, Australia, some 500 to 1000 miles from Sydney, way down in the southern part of the country. And he felt impressed to tell the story about the two men in his church and the little man on George Street. When he started telling the story, a man toward the back of the church stood up and started waving his hand like this. Now we don't do that in Baptist churches, and so Dickson tried to ignore him. But he kept waving until he got his attention.
Dickson asked him, "Hey mister, you want to say something?" "Yes I do! I want to tell you how I got saved. You see, I was walking down George Street in Sydney, Australia. And out of nowhere came this little white-haired man..." And the story was the same!
When Francis Dickson got to Perth, Australia, the largest city on the western coast, he knew he had a story. So he told the story there in Perth. When the service was over, a Baptist deacon came up to him and said, "Sir, I'm another. I was walking down George Street in Sydney, when out of nowhere came this little white-haired man..." That's how I became a Christian.
When Francis Dickson got back to his church in England, he knew he had a story. He told his own congregation. When the service was over, a young woman came up to him and said, "Sir, I'm another. I was walking down George Street in Sydney, when out of nowhere came this little white-haired man..." That's what led me to Jesus
Francis Dickson preached at Keswick, England in the north part of the British Isles. He told this same story. Afterwards an aged man came up to him. "Sir, I'm another. I was walking down George Street in Sydney when out of nowhere came a little white-haired man." That got me started to Christ.
Francis Dickson preached all over the world. He told this story to a group of missionaries in India on one occasion. They said, "Would you talk to us about personal evangelism." After he told this story, a woman missionary came up to him and said, "Sir, I'm another. I was walking down George Street in Sydney, Australia..., It happened to me like that.
He told that story on the island of Jamaica, and an eighth person came up to him and said, "Sir, I'm another. That little white-haired man on George Street helped me to Christ."
A godly layman named Gene War in Oklahoma City is a friend of Dr. Fish. He was telling this story to a gathering of chaplains at Fort Benning, Ga. And as he told the story one of them raised his hand. "Mr. War, you're not gonna believe this. But let me tell you how I became a Christian. I was walking down George Street in Sydney, Australia when out of nowhere..."
Well, Francis Dickson made sure that Sydney was on his itinerary the next time he was in Australia. He wanted to meet this little old man. He got there, but didn't really know what to do. So he called a Christian friend of his and said,
"You'll probably think I'm crazy, but have you ever heard about a little old man who stands out on George Street and asks people when they die, if they know where their going to spend eternity?"
"Sure," he said, "That's Mr. Jenner!"
"Mr. Jenner? Do you know him?"
"All of us know him. He doesn't get out very much any more. He's a bit infirm, doesn't see very well. He's getting on in years."
"Do you know where he lives?"
"I can take you right to his house."
They went to his house. Knocked on the door. A frail little old man welcomed them in. And after introductions were made, Francis Dickson, that pastor from Great Britain, told that little old man about all those people who'd come to Christ through his winsome word of warning and witness. And that dear little old man broke down and copiously wept. He said,
"I've shared with literally thousands of people on George Street in Sydney, and this is the first time in my life that I've ever heard of any who came to Christ through my testimony!"
So, faithful friends, be faithful in sowing. You never know what God may do with the smallest seed planted and watered with tears. He is faithful.