Last night Dad got a phone call. It was from a man who Dad hadn't heard of in 30 years - not since they were both at University and living next door to each other in the University Halls.
The man on the phone (I 'll call him Alfred for privacy reasons) identified himself, then proceeded to apologise to Dad for his behaviour 30 years ago. It turns out that he had been rather too fond of booze. Dad was concerned for him, and talked with Alfred and prayed for him many times. Then Alfred failed his first year at Uni and went to live in the North Island. That was the last Dad heard of him... until last night.
This next part is awesome. Alfred told Dad how he had been impressed with how Dad lived his life. He told him that although he never showed it, he had been feeling kind of 'empty' and like something was missing! Then Alfred would see Christian students like my father who had that something that he wanted. He said that he could see Jesus's love shining through people like my father.
Anyway, Alfred moved to the North Island thinking these sort of thoughts. Eventually, and I'm not sure exactly of all the details, he gave his life to the Lord and became a Christian.
Alfred is now an architect and has moved down here to help with the Christchurch rebuild. He goes to a church near us (with his family :) ) where he was talking to a mutual friend who mentioned Dad's name. He recognised it as the name of his Christian next door neighbour from his University days! So he found our phone number and gave Dad a ring.
It just goes to show, doesn't it, that you often won't know the results of living for Jesus. Unless Alfred had heard Dad's name mentioned in a chance conversation, Dad wouldn't have known how he had encouraged a non-christian fellow student 30 years back. He wouldn't have known how people can tell if you are really living for Jesus or living for yourself. He wouldn't have known that all that time spent praying for Alfred had not been wasted time.
Live for Jesus!