God has answered the fervent prayers of the saints!
A beloved brother in the church stole a large sum of money last year, and we have not seen him since he ran. Our prayers for his repentance and return have continued for almost a year, and tonight he has returned!
The church was gathered for fellowship and prayer this evening, when a call came in from the night watchman at the bookstore. He informed us that Hassan had showed up, so all the brothers jumped up and headed to the bookstore. Everyone was wondering what would bring him back, especially late at night. Was he intoxicated, was he scheming, or did he want to repent?
When the brothers arrived Hassan was already in tears, weeping and repenting. He fell on Charlton’s neck begging for forgiveness. He did this with each one of the brothers, and as they embraced they could all feel the Holy Spirit embracing with them. Long conversations were had, as he continued to weep and beg forgiveness. He said his life had been in ruins and he had just been released from prison today. We offered forgiveness and told him that we have not ceased to pray for him. Hassan said at one point that he has had no peace since he left. This had been a very specific prayer request many of us have made this past year. Matthew shared with him the story of the prodigal son from the Bible, and we confessed our love for him.
We learned two very important things from our time with Hassan tonight. The first was that the theft was not premeditated, it was a chance temptation that he failed. Secondly, he had no idea that the money was for the adoption and was even more distraught when informed. We counseled him on repentance to salvation, and shared many things from the scriptures. We asked him what his desire was in meeting with us, and he shared that he knows that we are his spiritual family and wants to return back to us. Then he asked to be punished for what he had done– we shared forgiveness.
There are many things to work out and learn, and of course fruits of repentance to discern. But we are amazed at all that transpired tonight, we serve an awesome God. Please continue to pray for his soul and repentance.