From $100 to a Relationship with God

Thank you Felix Rodriguez from Unusual Tomorrow Films for helping us record this video. 

Back in September 2011, we shared about the spiritual transformation student Charlie Plumley (above left) underwent because of Jesus’ massive and very real resurrection power.

In summary, he strayed from Jesus entering college and instead lounged around and drank until the Holy Spirit introduced him to students involved with Cru. He immediately enjoyed the holy, grace-drenched fellowship, repented of sin and returned to a flourishing relationship with Jesus.

Fast forward to today, he is still walking intimately with his heavenly Father and has not regretted it. Recently, God used Charlie to bring his friend Rafael or “Ralph” (above right) to Christ, or rather, as Charlie put it, “Christ used me to bring Ralph to Himself.” And this is how the story goes:

Charlie was walking to class one night when a $100 bill “happened” to crossed his path.

“Ralph was standing there,” Charlie explained, “and said the bill slipped when he was actually looking for cigs.”

After plopping himself down in class, Charlie asked God to reveal what the whole ordeal was about. God showed him the parable of the lost coin in Luke 15:8-10. (As an aside, God also told Charlie, “You can’t serve me and money.”)

“I ran into Ralph at a bus stop a week later,” Charlie said. “Ralph gave me food to eat that he had on him: home-made mozzarella cheese.” In realizing they had the same civilizations class, they started hanging out more in the Spring and Fall of 2011. Charlie was eventually able to convey his own story and by sharing his testimony, he introduced Jesus little by little.

“Ralph was interested in God,” Charlie said, “because his friends became Christians, but he says they were ‘crazy’ Christians, always casting judgement.” But in God’s providence, Ralph was comfortable with Charlie, whom God was continuing to grow.

“I just wanted him to know God! But God wanted me to be slow to speak and quick to listen with Ralph,” he said.

Charlie waited for the right moment and during one get together in late 2011, he asked THE question: “Do you know Jesus personally? Has anyone ever shared with you how to know Him?” But Ralph was not ready. After winter break in Spring 2012, Charlie and Ralph were conversing on a fire escape. Ralph brought up Jesus on his own!

Quickly asking the Holy Spirit for the best course of action, Charlie whipped out a handy tract we call “Satisfied?” He explained to Ralph that Jesus is available ALL the time but that there is no reason to wait in making Him Lord.

To Charlie’s great disapointment, Ralph said he’s not interested but instead of giving up, Charlie texted 30 plus people to pray, and ten minutes later, Ralph said he was ready to get serious!

“I told him that the decision is his but that the best time is now,” Charlie explained. “Ralph was scared, and Satan was attacking him. Girls were texting him, asking to get together. Girls were sending him naked pics while we were talking. It took an hour an a half to get Ralph to calm down. He kept making excuses until the Holy Spirit broke him down. I led him to confess his sins and recognize Jesus is the Savior who will forgive, heal and give him NEW life!”

Ralph has been exploding since then! He’s cut off all ties from ungodly past relationships like drug dealers who wanted to hire him. He still faces challenges. But he knows he can pray now. As a certified pilot obsessed with planes, Ralph found the Satisfied? plane metaphor particularly helpful: if you’re a Christian, God is your pilot, and despite your fears of flying, God will get you through. Jesus is the best pilot.

We asked Charlie what Jesus taught him through this process, and we thought his response was compelling.

“Be persistent but lay down MY control. It took so much time (ONE YEAR). And seeing Ralph struggle with sin, I had to know NOT to correct him because he wasn’t yet Christian. I had to internally pray and trust God in faith. I used to wonder ‘Why can’t I get Ralph to you?!’ But God showed me I’m an open vessel who God uses to draw people to Jesus. Another thing is that I was trying to make myself feel like a ‘good person’ because of what I was doing, but that’s not how it works.”

We are all tools and vessels. God does the work and uses us to accomplish his mighty purposes, like he’s done with Charlie. We are SO thankful that you all faithfully continue to give and/or pray.

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