This past week had the opportunity to meet Paul Chan, director at World Impact’s urban mission in San Francisco. Through him we had the opportunity to meet a man who later would have the most impactful testimony I’ve personally heard on the trip so far.
Terry was a man who had it all. He was a successful consultant who put together business mergers that would leave him with hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend. He would soon find himself becoming addicted to alcohol. This led to a downward spiral of suicidal tendencies and eventually, homelessness. When he wound up on the streets, Terry had lost the support of his family and friends. A man who had it all, money, affluence, success, and belongings, soon found himself a beggar in need of the help of others.
He decided to search the Internet for cities with good recovery programs. City Team in San Francisco was the first to pop up.
Terry entered the program a suicidal agnostic who didn’t know what to believe. Soon the program had an influence on him as he began to see the first signs of change in his life.
Little did he know that Jesus had a “deal” for him to be a part of. Terry began to see Christ in others, in the music he heard, and even in his dreams. All of this came at his request for God to “reveal” himself to him. Soon, Terry had praise in his mouth instead of a loaded gun. Change crept in slowly, interestingly just as alcohol did at one point. Terry described it as a “weave” of things in his life that opened his eyes to start seeing.
Pride was something that Terry immediately saw that was hindering his understanding of God. He said that pride was the proponent that allowed him to be his own God, but in the end led him to destruction. It wasn’t until he let go of his own will and surrendered it to God that he started to see God “move” in his life. Letting go of all he had learned, was taught, and experienced on his own found him at the foot of Jesus asking him to “do his will.”
To see the genuine call that Jesus has had on Terry’s life is amazing. To see Terry respond is even more amazing. Seeing how pride tore his life apart, and how humility brought it back is an amazing testimony.
Terry defines Christ in his life as “beautiful.” It makes me want to look back at my life and ask the question, “Have I humbled myself to hear Christ calling my name?”