The judge handed me the photograph and said, “Mr. Durham, I need to warn you the contents of this picture are distressing, but we need you to identify the items on Stephen’s bed.”
The 4x6 shook in my hand; I knew I was looking at Stephen’s body on his blood-soaked bed. He had been brutally stabbed more than fifty times. With God’s protection and guidance, my eyes were able to recognize the only items in the frame: The Bible I had taken to him and the “Knowing God Personally” tract under his pillow.
Two months prior, I had mustered the courage to visit Stephen, a hulking binge drinker with an intimidating, angry stature. I planned to meet him around two in the afternoon, in hopes he would be sober. When he opened the door, his shirt was buttoned most of the way and only a faint slur could be detected as he mouthed off at one of his five brothers on the phone.
I reminded myself God wanted me there,
and proceeded through his doorway.
I came prepared that afternoon, having spent weeks running through this scenario in my head. “I just want to talk with you about Jesus,” I said. “I want to talk through this booklet about how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” No response. After a long pause, Stephen finally looked up at me and said, “Martin, that’s all very interesting, but it’s not for me.”
A few days passed with an occasional Stephen sighting—a stinging reminder of my failure to lead him to Christ. Two months after I had visited him at his home, his name flashed on my cell phone caller ID.
I picked up the phone, “Stephen, how are you?”
“Hello Martin. This is Stephen. I want you to know that I’ve prayed that prayer.”
Martin Durham attended the second ILI International Conference held in Atlanta, GA in 2002. At that time, God gave him a vision of “Europe ablaze with the Gospel.” He is now the founder of Kerygma180, an evangelistic organization committed to raising up young evangelists to win Europe for Christ.
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