The Ballestero Blog

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“I Used To Go To Sunday School There!”

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“I Used To Go To Sunday School There!”

It was cold! The outside temperature in South Bend, Indiana showed three degrees above zero. The snow was falling in big gentle flakes. There was already about eight inches of new and unplowed snow on the street.

It was after two o’clock in the morning as I walked to my van from Bro. Victor Simon’s house. His wife, Sis. Helen Simon had called after midnight and said that her husband was in severe pain with a kidney stone. He wanted me to come and pray for him, and so I did.

The Simons were not just members of the church; they were pillars in the church as well. In their senior years, they were still very active. It pained us all to watch Bro. Simon suffer with this horrible condition.

I unlocked my custom-sized van as I came out of their house and stepped up onto the running board kicking the snow off of my shoes before getting in. The wiper blades removed the snow enough for me to see, as the engine started. I was only ten blocks or so from home, so the heater wouldn’t be of much help tonight.

There were no tire tracks in the new snow, so no one had been down this road in a long while. I pulled up to the first intersection, which was only about a half block away, to make a left turn. That’s when I saw a hood-covered man walking under the street light with his head down.

It was miserably cold out. Not windy, just cold. I felt bad though, for anyone having to walk in deep snow. Besides, it was two in the morning and did I mention that it was cold outside?

I swung my van close to the curb, rolled my window down and asked him if he’d like a ride. He nodded and got in.

As I put the van in motion, I asked him where he needed to go, and he said, “just keep driving.”

His response and word choices just sounded wrong. I could tell that things were going to go bad very quickly. I smiled and said nothing. One block later he announced in gruff tones, “I got a knife!”

The knife he brandished threateningly at me had a blade about eight inches long. It looked like a hunting knife at first.

After my initial glance at the knife, I looked back through the front windshield. And, as if nothing had just happened, I started talking.

“I’ve just come from the house of an old man who is member of the church that I pastor. He’s in a lot of pain with kidney stones right now. He wanted me to pray for him because he believes God will heal him. That’s why I’m out here this time of night.” (By now, the hooded man had been in the van for about two blocks.)

“What church do you pastor?” The hood-covered figures asked.

“I pastor Christ Temple Apostolic Church on the corner of Elwood Avenue and Elmer Street.”

He paused a brief moment in thought and then said, “Pull over right here!”

I pulled the van to the curb. His hand was on the door handle as he half turned his hooded face toward me.

He began to speak in an apologetic tone as he put the knife away. “When I was a little boy, I used to attend Sunday School there. That’s a good church, and those are some good people. Keep up the good work.”

With that, the mystery man got out of the van and closed the door. He was unwilling to talk anymore. No doubt condemned by his own attempt to do wrong, and realizing how far from Sunday School truths he had fallen, he slipped into the night.

I drove on through the unplowed snow, thanking God for his mercy, and for every Sunday School Teacher in our Church!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 24, 2012 at 12:29 am

Posted in Mercy

Tagged with ,

10 Responses

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  1. Always so good Elder. I never fail to read your post. Such a blessing. Since I found I can share these now I have been I hope it is ok? Thank you again.

    Mark S McKinney

    October 24, 2012 at 2:44 am

  2. Honey I know God knows how to protect us and melt a hard sad heart. Thank you Jesus.

    marciajune

    October 24, 2012 at 10:39 am

  3. I’m trying to believe that God will take care of us but sometimes it is so hard! I covet your prayers!

    Crystal Smith (Morris)

    October 24, 2012 at 10:38 pm

  4. I remember this hearing about this … great article and thankful for the Lords protection.

  5. I really enjoyed that story. It made me want read it to the church I attend, and makes me want to be a better Sunday school teacher. Thanks for sharing. God bless you and yours.

    Marty Malone

    October 25, 2012 at 8:51 pm

  6. God is so good, even at times we don’t realize, his “mercies are new everyday!” Thank-God for every Sunday School teacher who faithfully every week takes the time (mostly unappreciated) to invest in young lives of children all across the world. Love an appreciate you and your ministry, thanks for sharing! God bless!

    Brian Enochs

    October 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm


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