Jesus and a man on the corner in nowhere

by Rick Schuessler

There he stood on the corner in the middle of nowhere. It was a very hot day in Aroucca, Trinidad. Nineteen of us were eagerly telling Muslims and Hindus about the one true God.

I was diligently looking for some of the team members. When we began our adventure of evangelism, the four groups dispersed in many different directions. As I caught up with three of the four groups, still there was one group missing. Safety is always our number-one concern while the students are on a Champs Missions Journey.

Many of the homes in the area where most of the team members walked were guarded by very large dogs — Rottweilers looking like well-built marines pacing back and forth, guarding their master’s home. But as I ventured down the road that the fourth group walked down, there were no large dogs; let alone any homes. So why did they walk in that direction? It was important for me to find them!

The sun was beating down with 96-degree weather and there was no shade. With the tenacity of a Rottweiler dog guarding his home, I was very eager to find this group. I finally reached a crossroad.

Looking both ways for the team, I noticed a man on the corner of the crossroads. He was busy talking to a young man as I passed by. Graciously and quietly telling him hello, I turned and walked on the new road. I was in the middle of nowhere — just large pastures where the air was filled with cattle odor. “So where is the team? I thought they went down this road, but why?” I asked myself.

It seemed as though God said, “You need to speak to the man on the corner about Me.” My first thought was maybe he is not there any longer. Why was he standing there on this corner in the middle of nowhere anyway? But, once I turned around and began to retrace my steps, there he was still standing on the corner…alone!

“Good afternoon,” he kindly spoke to me as I returned his greeting.

We began talking about why I was walking up and down the street and why he was on this particular corner. He was waiting for a ride to get bread and you already know why I was there.

Then our conversation moved to why 19 students came all the way from the United States to Trinidad for the week. Of course I told him we were telling his fellow countrymen about a really good friend of mine. When I told him my friend’s name was Jesus, he seemed eager to listen.

It was not very long into our time together that this man on the corner in nowhere prayed and asked Jesus into his heart.

This man thanked me many times for telling him about Jesus. Realizing I never asked him his name, I asked him and he very humbly told me. He was a very distinguished man.

“My name is Mr. Phillips,” proudly he called out his name.

We said our goodbyes as I assured him through the scriptures we would see each other again in heaven. After just taking a few steps I turned back to Mr. Phillips and asked him his age.

“I am 84, soon to be 85 years old,” proudly he told me.

“Thanks again for your time,” I shouted back to him as I walked away.

At his age it will probably not be too long and Mr. Phillips will be with his new friend Jesus.

As I left Mr. Phillips, I could not stop thinking about this “God moment” on the corner in the middle of nowhere in Aroucca, Trinidad. I have heard stories from other countries that were similar to this one, but I was now experiencing this myself. How awesome it was for me to experience God in a way that I’ve only read about.