This coming Sunday, February 18th I have the privilege of baptizing a twenty-four year old young man. Last year in August while making a visit to a motel connected with a homeless shelter, I engaged Andy (not his real name) in a conversation. Andy had long hair except on the right side which he had shaved. He had a scar at the bottom of his throat indicating he had had a tracheotomy, the result of having been in a car wreck.

When I first stopped Andy walking across the motel parking lot I could tell he was suspicious of me. People have said on more than one occasion I look like a cop. I invited Andy to worship with us. We had a staff member picking up another tenant so I got Andy’s cell phone number. He didn’t come the next Sunday but eventually began to show up.

And for a year Andy attended worship. We had several long talks. He responded to the decision time to follow God, to surrender his life to Jesus as Lord and Savior. It was obvious that he was struggling with issues. During one of our many conversations Andy said that while living in California he was a New Age Satanist and he even had a pentagram tattooed on his back.

Andy was on and off on his journey with God over the last few months. He lived with his dad and brother who were into alcohol and drugs, so he would give in and participate with them in their vice. I asked him recently how old he was when he first tried drugs, “I was seven years old” he said. For the last seventeen years he has been high on drugs.

A friend who is a licensed Biblical counselor said that when a person begins using drugs if they continue for over a period of five to fifteen years they do not develop psychologically. Once the person is born again then begins the journey to growing into the person God created him or her to be.

I had not seen Andy for about three months in the fall of 2012. It turns out he was homeless and getting high again. He had moved out of his mother’s house. Andy showed up to church in January. He was ready to make a change. I decided to use tough love and told him that he needed to stop sleeping around with his girl and make a hard decision to get his life right with God.

Andy professed he had been saved and baptized at an earlier age. But his life did not give any indication of a “God changed life.” He wanted to asked Jesus to forgive his sins and surrender his life to Him.

I was able to get Andy into the Cobb Street Ministries in Marietta, Georgia. Carol Paschal is the Director of the ministry. Miss Carol has helped so many women, couples and young men to get their lives right. It takes a called person to run such a ministry. It is obvious God has called Miss Carol into this place and time. She was able to get Andy into a treatment program to get off the drugs. He is attending regular Bible study and support meetings.

Andy text me on Valentine’s night asking if I would baptize him this Sunday. I thought of John 3:16 “For God so loved Andy that He gave His one and only Son Jesus to save his soul.” All this began because our church makes follow up visits with visitors and we believe that God can save and change lives. Evangelism still works and God will use those who believe in telling others about Jesus.

To learn more about be a witness for Jesus get a copy of “The Prepared Witness” or “Breaking the Evangelism Code.”  both available on To learn more about the ministry of Dr. Benavides, go to



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