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THE WINNING OF CHARLIE STOLTZFUS


Tony Campolo was a special speaker one week-end and he felt led by the Holy Spirit to tell a story of what happen when he was asked to speak at a Pentecostal college.


Before the service began eight men had him kneel so they could lay their hands on him and pray. Tony said he was always glad to have prayer but one of the men didn’t even pray for him. The man prayed for a neighbour. The man prayer went like this, "Dear Lord, you know Charlie Stoltzfus. He lives in that silver trailer down the road a mile. You know the trailer, Lord, just down the road on the right-hand side." Right about then Tony said that he wanted to interrupt and tell the man that God already knew where they guy lived and didn’t need directions. Tony said that as the man prayed he remained silent and just tried to keep his head upright. The man continue to pray "Lord, Charlie told me this morning he’s going to leave his wife and three kids. Lord we need you to step in and do something. God you can bring that family back together."


The prayer time ended and Tony preached. After the service as Tony was headed home he saw a hitchhiker and felt the Holy Spirit say that he should pick up the hitchhiker. He stopped, the man got in and they drove a few minutes in silence.


Then Tony said, "Hi, my name's Tony Campolo. What's yours?"


He said, "My name is Charlie Stoltzfus."


Tony said at the next exit he got off the turnpike and headed back. Charlie just looked at him and then he said "Hey mister, where are you taking me?"


Tony replied, "I'm taking you home."


Charles gave Tony a funny look and asked, "Why?"


Tony replied, "Because you just left your wife and three kids, right?"


Charles was shocked. He plastered himself against the passenger side car door and never took his eyes off him. Tony said that Charles almost passed out when he drove right to his silver trailer and pulled into his driveway. With eyes almost bulging out of his head he asked, "How did you know that I lived here?" Tony replied that God told him.


When he opened the trailer door, his wife said, "You're back. you're back." Charles went to his wife and began to whisper in her ear as he kept looking at Tony. The more he told his wife, the bigger her eyes got. Finally Tony told them to sit down, that he was going to talk and they were going to listen. That afternoon Tony led those two people to Jesus Christ.


Now I want you to think about what if Tony had said no when asked to preach at a Pentecostal College, what if Tony had said no when the men wanted to have a prayer time, what if someone had told the man who prayed for Charles was told to stop, the results would be completely different. The Lord had the whole thing set up earlier in the day so that Tony would be able to harvest those two souls. Can you imagine being in that church that evening and listening to this testimony. I know that if I was there I would be giving praise to my Lord Jesus for how he not only set this up but how a servant of the Lord was willing to be used for the Gospel.

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