I'm in London this week. It reminded me of an amazing train journey I experienced almost twenty years ago.
It was 1990. We were between church plants. I was in England learning what I could before we dived back in to ministry.
As the London train approached Leeds station I looked right at the backpacker about to board with me. God spoke to my heart, "I want you to share the gospel with him."
So I did a Jonah and took off for the other end of the train. I'm not sure why I responded that way. Perhaps I wanted to see if it really was God speaking. Perhaps I just chickened out.
What happened next was amazing. I made it to the other end of the train and sat down. A minute later the backpacker entered the carriage puffing and sat down in the seat in front of me.
At this point I figured God really did want me to share with this guy. So on the way to London I got to know him. I discovered Mark was a fellow Aussie in his late twenties. He was a political advisor to the state government of Queensland. After an election defeat he was out of work and traveling around Europe.
Pretty soon we were talking about faith, Jesus, and the meaning of life. Sitting next to me and listening intently was another passenger.
After about thirty minutes she dived into the discussion and told Mark to story of how she came to know Jesus. Now I'm sure he assumed she knew me, but I'd never never seen her before in my life.
Mark's got off at his destination before we reached London.
I turned to the young woman next to me and said, "Where did you come from!" I discovered that she too was a believer and involved in church planting in the south of England.
When I returned to Australia I spent the next two years in an inner city church plant; out sharing the gospel three days a week. I'm not a natural, but every day we went out we met someone just like Mark. I needed that reminder that God is always at work.