Tommy's prayer



Evelyn sighed as she trudged up the stairs to her new "home" in Ireland. The building was cold, gray and damp-just like the weather.

"Why did I ever come here?" Evelyn wondered. "It's so depressing. The neighborhood is filled with crime and violence. No one cares."

But deep inside, Evelyn knew why she was there. God had called her to the area to make a difference and reach people for Christ. Sometimes, though, she thought she was wasting her time.

As she reached her doorway, she spied a young boy watching her. "Hello," he said. "My name is Tommy."

At first, Evelyn thought about ignoring him, but something made her stop. She opened her door. "Would you like something to drink, Tommy?" she asked.

Tommy nodded. He seemed shy at first, as if unsure how to respond to kindness. Soon, however, he was chatting openly about his life. He was only 5 years old. His father left the family, and his five brothers and sisters were sent to an orphanage. His mother, once happy and kind, was now depressed and angry.

Suddenly, Tommy stood to leave. "I'll go now," he said. And he was gone.

Sitting in her quiet apartment, Evelyn sensed God's presence. She now knew why she was called to that dreary apartment. It was for children-like Tommy.

Soon Evelyn made plans for a children's meeting in her home. When the day of the first meeting arrived, she was worried. "What if no one comes?" she wondered. "What if they don't like me?"

She needn't have worried. Soon several children arrived. They were dirty and wore tattered clothes. But they were eager to learn. As Evelyn talked about Jesus, a hush settled over the room.

During prayer time, Evelyn was surprised when Tommy suddenly blurted out, "Jesus, I want new shoes. Mine are all broken, and the rain gets in them."

A few minutes later, the meeting was over. The children headed home. But Evelyn couldn't forget Tommy's request.

A few days later, Evelyn looked outside her window. Although the weather was cold and damp, she spied Tommy playing in the mud and grass. His shoes were torn. "O Lord, please answer Tommy's request," she prayed.

When the day of the second children's meeting came, Evelyn was delighted. Many of the children had brought their friends. The crowd had grown-but Tommy wasn't there.

Evelyn looked for him during the singing. She watched for him during the Bible stories. But he never came. "Maybe he is upset about not having shoes," she fretted. "Maybe he doesn't think God can answer prayer."

Her thoughts were interrupted with a bang as Tommy burst into the room and slammed the door. A big smile spread across his face as he pointed to his feet.

"What did I tell you?" he cried. "Look what Jesus gave me." Excitedly he marched around the room so everyone could see his new brown shoes. Jesus had answered his prayer.

After that experience, Tommy never doubted that he was loved. He knew that whatever he faced in life, Jesus would be with him. After all, Jesus cared enough to give him shoes and send a missionary to tell him about His love.


(Note: This story was supplied by Gary Davidson, a missionary to Ireland since 1980. A version of it was printed in a 1981 issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.)