We decided to stay in Miami, AZ for the day, and evening, so we ended up going back to the restaurant a second time to spend a little more time with Joe, and his beautiful family that works along side of him. While there the second time, a customer came in; he goes by the name “Ponch”. As Ponch was waiting for his order, he moved to another area of the restaurant so that he could watch the sports channel on the TV; it was then, that I struck up a conversation with him. Our conversation started as we talked about the military; as we were were both veterans, but it quickly turned to me sharing some "Good News" with him. Ponch’s order came, but he continued to listen and talk. A seed had been planted, and had begun to fester in him.
When Ponch finished, and paid for his meal, he headed outside to his truck; there were windows on the front of the restaurant, so I could see him. He then came back in the restaurant to get me, and asked me to come outside with him; he wanted to show me a bumper sticker that he had on his truck; It said “Jesus Is Enough”. I commended him on the sticker, and asked him “Jesus is enough for what?”. That is when Ponch lit up a cigarette and shared with me about how he used to be an “Altar Boy” as a child, and was baptized. He also shared about how his mom would invite the Priest over for dinner. I then asked him about his personal relationship with Christ, and that is where his story ended. I shared with him the importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and the difference between “religion”, and “relationship”; Ponch threw down his cigarette; that is when I shared the plan of salvation with Ponch, and he prayed with me, and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of his life.
We were out on the sidewalk in front of “Joe’s Ribs”; we had to move out of the way as I hugged Ponch, and welcomed him to the family of God. There were more customers coming in, so we moved to the side. Ponch thanked me for our time together, and introducing him to Jesus. I gave him one of our ministry cards; he jumped in His truck, and off he went.
I thank God for preparing a way for my encounter with Ponch, and preparing his heart to receive His Word. Welcome to the family Ponch.
And There We Built An Altar … (Miami, Arizona)