Evangelist finds divine appointment at end of a rainbow
Southwestern Ph.D. student Tim Wheeless had already seen three people respond in faith to his Gospel presentations, and so he decided to fall back and take pictures of his fellow church members as they evangelized the people in the village. Wheeless, senior pastor of Fairway Baptist Church in Wichita Falls, had led the team of eight on a mission trip to this region of Belize, and so, in the midst of their evangelism, he looked for teaching moments and prayed for them as they shared the Gospel.
But even in Wheeless’ role as photographer, God still had one more divine appointment for him. Standing in the muddy road, Wheeless noticed a rainbow over one of the homes that seemed to come to rest in the backyard. So, even as his team moved on to the next house, Wheeless stopped to take some photographs.
He ceased his efforts when a young girl ran up to him and asked, “Are you taking pictures of the house?”
“No,” he replied. “I’m taking pictures of the rainbow. Do you know what a rainbow is and what it means?”
The girl said “no.” Then pointing to a young woman sitting on the porch of the house, she continued, “But she sent me to ask you what you were doing.”
As the girl ran off, Wheeless and the woman on the porch looked at one another and laughed at the way the young girl had just outed her. Wheeless asked the woman if she knew the Bible story about the rainbow, and she also said “no.”
“So, I walked over and sat on the porch with her and started sharing the story of Noah and the ark,” Wheeless recalls. “That was the first time I have ever used that story to present the Gospel.”
The woman, whose name was Maria, revealed that she had a strong Catholic background, and Wheeless observed that the Gospel seemed to “unsettle” her. “She had never heard the truth,” Wheeless says. “She asked me about baptism, and when I explained that it does not bring us salvation, she was shocked.”
The two conversed for the next hour, with Maria asking questions and Wheeless answering them from the Scriptures. When her questions had been exhausted, Wheeless asked her if she believed that she needed to trust Jesus for the forgiveness of her sins. She said “yes,” but she feared displeasing her family, whom she knew would be unhappy about her break from the family’s religious beliefs.
Wheeless assured her that it was her decision. Maria looked at him and said, “I have to do this.” Then, without even any coaching from Wheeless, Maria prayed to receive Christ.
“How’s that for a divine appointment?” Wheeless reflects. “Under a rainbow. I walked away shaking I was so blown away.”
Wheeless later connected Maria to his team’s translator, who encouraged her to attend the church that is being planted in that village. Wheeless now invites others to pray for the continued spiritual development of this new sister in Christ, whom he met, literally, at the end of a rainbow.