Juan was sitting by the baseball diamond in Rosemont Park when a team of Southwestern evangelists found him. In need of a job, on this particular Friday afternoon, Juan knew he needed prayer, but he did not realize that an even greater need would be met.

Five Southwestern students had gone there that day, July 29, in order to evangelize, and after breaking up into teams, two of the evangelists happened upon Juan. They broke the ice by asking him for prayer requests, and he answered by sharing his need for employment.

Before proceeding to pray for him, however, the students first inquired about a greater need. They asked the diagnostic question: “If you were to die today and stand at the gates of heaven, and God asked you why He should let you in, what would you say?”

Juan did not know how to answer. Believing the importance of his eternal status to far outweigh that of his temporary search for employment, the Southwesterners shared the Gospel with him using the Romans Road.

They explained to him that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but that God demonstrated His love for humanity by sending Jesus to die in their place, even while they were still sinners. Then, rising from the dead, Jesus offered the free gift of eternal life to all who would believe in Him and confess Him as Lord. This same gift, they continued, is still available today.

Confronted with this powerful message, Juan was asked an additional question: “Would you like to pray to accept Jesus as Lord?” Much to the evangelists’ delight, Juan said “yes” and proceeded to pray by himself, surrendering to the lordship of Jesus Christ and receiving God’s gracious gift of eternal life. Though his temporary problem of unemployment remained, his eternal trajectory had been forever changed.

As Juan and the evangelists celebrated his newfound peace, high school students Orlando, Nico and Jose also encountered the transformative power of the Gospel. Hanging out by the park’s playground, these students were engaged by the other three Southwestern evangelists.

In the midst of their discussion, the Southwesterners discerned that God was already at work in the students’ lives, particularly Orlando’s. He told them that he had prayed just the night before, asking God for forgiveness. Additionally, he revealed that this was his third time listening to a Gospel presentation by someone from Southwestern.

As it turned out, this third occasion was just what Orlando needed to finally accept the Gospel message. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, he, along with both of his friends, prayed to receive Christ, and the Southwesterners immediately put them in touch with a local church. They also showed them how to download the Bible app on their phones and encouraged them to start reading the book of John.

Master of Divinity student Daniel Moon, who was part of this latter team of evangelists, says of the four salvations that day, “It was another day of seeing God already at work and also being thankful for those who went before us to plant the seeds. We were just at the right place at the right time.”