Who: Michael Puckett
Where: Durban, South Africa
When: Summer 2011
What was the biggest thing you learned during your travels?
I learned that God is powerful. I saw Him work and I saw Him move. It changed my life.
A lot of people say they felt their life changed after traveling to Africa. Was this true for you? If so, how?
Yes God moved in my life. My perspective on God’s Kingdom was changed. I got to see God’s heart for the world and He gave me a heart for the poor and needy.
Was there a specific person/people you met that had an impact on you?
A pair of socks, a white bandana, a large t-shirt, some pocket change and 20 minutes later a new brother in Christ. I had given him all I had, but the most important thing I shared with him was my faith.
Dylan was blind in his right eye and in many ways he was blind from half of the Gospel. His body was broken and in many ways he was broken spiritually. Dylan told me that he was like Jonah. He said, “God has called me to do something and I have ran away and I am swallowed by the whale.” He told me that Jesus did not love him and that he had made too many mistakes. He understood his sin and need for a savior, but he could not understand grace.
When I first shared the Gospel with Dylan he did not receive it. I was disappointed and frustrated and I began to walk away from him when he said, “Michael… Michael I am so sorry… Michael I am sorry!” Tears were running down his face and the agony in his eyes made my heart break. I asked him why he was sorry and he said, “Tonight I plan on taking my own life.” Thrown back by the statement I tried to gather my composure. I had no idea what to say or where to start. I was speechless and completely blown away by the pain I saw in this man’s heart. Thankfully, God intervened in His great power and mercy and placed words into my mouth. I shared with him how much God loved him. I shared with Dylan the Gospel again. After sharing the Gospel a second time Dylan reached out his arm and placed it on my shoulder and said, “The devil is out to get me; he has sent his demons upon me and they are attacking me, but tonight he has FAILED!” With that proclamation Dylan embraced me. He was sobbing and with every single breath I could feel all of his worries, pains and fear leave his body. God was victorious over Dylan’s demons. God was victorious and on that night of victory the angels were rejoicing. Praise God for the work He did in Dylan’s life and in mine. From that night on my life has been forever change
It is crazy to think that 19 years ago both Dylan and I were born. I was born into a family and he was not. I was born into provision and he was not, but from that first breath we both took on this earth God had already ordained our meeting. God knew that our paths would cross in the Summer of 2011 and He knew that both of us would forever be changed by this encounter. What I want all of you to know is that you played a specific role in this story. When I was talking to Dylan I explained to him that over 50 people had given me financial support and prayer to go on this trip. I explained to him that there are people in America who he has never met that love him. He was moved by this statement and he realized through you and me that God loved him. He realized that God had been at work for over 19 years to raise up people that would invest in bringing him the Gospel. Dylan finally had perspective on God’s extraordinary power. He realized that God had ordained this moment in his life and he seized it with open arms and a full heart. Also I realized too God’s extraordinary power and I realized that Dylan and I are not that different. We both underestimated God’s power, we both doubted His plan, we both have heard his calling and we both struggle with the concept of Grace, but by a miracle of God we met and by God’s awesome power we have been changed.