by Samuel Chiang
Recently, my Uber driver and I were buckled in for a 50-minute road trip. Even though I had a lot to complete during that time, I thought I had better pray to see if the Lord had something in mind for this chanced encounter. After prayer, I felt led to commence a conversation.
The driver turned out to be a late 30-something individual who is of Polish descent, grew up and educated in Kazakhstan, and immigrated to the USA 15 years ago. He is an actor & producer, and like many of his peers from overseas, he has a degree in acting.
I was curious if acting was paying the bills or was Ubering paying the bills. He indicated that the acting and producing work has been excellent in the last couple of years, especially since technology has now transformed how auditions are conducted. He can now source talent from across the USA, and even globally if he wishes.
Praying and finding the right opportunity to ask him if he ever saw the Jesus Film was not difficult. When the opening came, I asked. He had never seen the Jesus Film, not in Kazakhstan or in the USA! I started to push my movie knowledge, and asked him if he has seen the Passion of Christ produced by Mel Gibson. He immediately nodded yes. He said he saw it several times and did not like the bloodied disfigured image of Christ towards the end of that movie.
We chatted some more about that movie, and I told him that the beating was vicious and cruel. The New Testament of the Bible talked about it, and the Old Testament predicted this. He was listening carefully. I asked him if he would be interested in me reading from the Old Testament to him. He consented.
So I read the entire chapter of Isaiah 53. And he listened.
Then, surprisingly, he told me that he just started to attend the Russian Orthodox Church. Even though he was confirmed/baptized when he was 13 in Kazakhstan, he is only now going to the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA. He was on a fast during the (orthodox) Easter.
He asked how I know about Jesus.
I told him. And even told him that after accepting Jesus as my Savior, I did not always walk like a Christ follower, and needed to repent and ask forgiveness often. Then, I asked if he would like to have eternal peace with God through Jesus Christ our Savior. He listened with attention while driving on the highway, and upon my invitation question, he held up a small image of Jesus sitting by the clean ashtray in front of the car.
Evidently, he has been searching, and evidently, he was not yet ready. Our ride came to an end, but he was jovial with the encounter and told me so.
Oftentimes, we are wanting to close the deal. But the truth is, we are a part of another soul’s journey. How did I get so far into the conversation with the Uber driver? I applied the following principles:
- Pray and stay open to God
- Listen and wait to be invited
- Be present and ready to present the gospel when asked
- Leave the results to God
Someone told me awhile back that it takes 7.2 different gospel presentations before an individual will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I am not certain where that statistic came from, but I do know sowing and being faithful is critical in the journey of others.
How are you sowing today?
Samuel Chiang is president and CEO of The Seed Company. Born in Taiwan, he grew up and worked in Canada and formerly served as COO of TWR. He has authored book chapters in diverse genres including innovation, orality, and persecution.