Levi and his girlfriend, Kacey, were typical college freshmen. They liked to drink, party, and do all of the other things freshmen do. Levi was raised in an atheistic home and Kacey was running from her Christian upbringing as fast as her legs could carry her. Until the day the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear.
An Atheist and a Rebel
Levi grew up in a home that never discussed the idea of God. Levi’s mother was a single mom and raised him to be strong and self-sufficient. Levi never met his father and the questions about who his father was and why he had never met him loomed in the back of his mind, but he dared not ask questions for reasons he couldn’t quite put his finger on.
Levi had been to church two or three times in his life. As a boy scout, he visited a Catholic shrine and he had attended church with a friend a couple of times, but he knew nothing about God. He had a vague understanding that Jesus had been crucified and that was somehow important, but that was about the full extent of his biblical knowledge.
Levi’s girlfriend, Kacey, grew up in a Methodist church and had given her heart to Jesus as a young girl. While her parents had split up when she was very young, her stepfather was a godly man and her mother loved the Lord. She lived a double life, however, and while she went to church on Sundays she partied and slept around like everyone else in her high school.
When Kacey first came to Lake Superior State University (the university at which I serve as a campus minister) she attended an event our ministry put on. She insincerely signed up to attend our events, but fully intended to never show her face at Chi Alpha again. She couldn’t run for long though, because the Holy Spirit was on her trail.
Obeying God’s Whisper
I went to prayer walk the campus one morning and as I was about to finish and drive back home, I felt a subtle nudge from the Holy Spirit that I ought to go in the Arts Center before I left. It would have been incredibly easy to ignore this prompting from God and go home. It was just a passing thought but it felt like it could have been God so I went for it.
I had been praying for Kacey and trying to meet her since I met her the first day of the semester. I knew her family had just gone through a tragedy with the loss of her cousin in a drunk driving accident, and I wanted to see how she was doing. The morning of my prayer walk, I had texted her to see if she was available, but she ignored the text for the thousandth time. As I walked into the Arts Center, following the nudge of the Holy Spirit, Kacey and Levi were standing there. I knew then exactly why the Lord had led me there.
I approached Kacey and Levi in the hallway of the Arts Center and Kacey smiled at me the way I imagine people smile at door-to-door salesmen. She knew there was no way to avoid talking to me. I said hello and engaged in the usual pleasantries. I then asked if she wanted to meet me for a cup of coffee. Levi’s eyebrows went up at this, and I made sure to flash my wedding ring and tactfully mention my wife. This put him a bit at ease. They both agreed to meet me the next morning, and the Holy Spirit ambush was set.
How Did You Know That?
I sat down the next morning with Kacey, Levi, and a cup of coffee. We talked about the tragedy Kacey’s family had just endured, and how they were dealing with the grief. We talked about God’s love for them, and what the Gospel means. Levi listened casually as he stared at his computer, ostensibly doing his homework. Then I asked if I could pray for them.
“Do you have any chronic pain in your body?” I asked Kacey.
“Yeah,” she said. “In my knees.”
Kacey had a condition where her knees would swell and hurt terribly whenever she was under any strenuous activity. I prayed for her and instantly, her pain left. She stood up and said; “It’s gone!”
Levi’s eyes lifted from his computer, and I asked if I could pray for him. He refused at first but consented when I shared the words of knowledge I sensed God giving me. I had an impression that his lower back was always in pain. After sharing that, I felt like his mom had terrible fibromyalgia and sometimes couldn’t get out of bed. I had a few other words of knowledge that I can’t quite remember at this time, but they were sufficient to penetrate his barrier of skepticism. He allowed me to pray for him and his back was completely healed.
Kacey and Levi were completely stunned at what God had done but not fully convinced. I asked if we could meet again next week and we began a discipleship relationship and friendship that endures to this day. We met every week and discussed the Gospel, God’s grace, His love, and eventually started going through the book of Romans. It wasn’t long before Kacey recommitted her heart to Jesus and Levi got saved.
Within a few months, I baptized Levi and the month after that Kacey and Levi were filled with the Holy Spirit. The next school year they were small group leaders in our ministry and they were leading people to Jesus in the same way I had led them. They have healed the sick and shared prophetic words with people just like me. I even got to perform their wedding.
It wasn’t long after their conversion that they began to ask me questions like “JonMark, how does one become a missionary?” With Levi being an eagle scout and Kacey’s penchant for adventure, it seems they were both built for missions. Presently they are still students in our ministry but know that God will eventually take them onto the mission field.
What if I Hadn’t Listened?
Kacey, Levi, and I often think about what would have happened if I had ignored that little voice telling me to go into the Art’s Center. If I had ignored that subtle nudge from the Holy Spirit, I wouldn’t have met some of my best friends, they wouldn’t be married today, they probably wouldn’t have come to Christ, and they certainly wouldn’t be going into missions.
I want to urge you; listen to the Holy Spirit! When He whispers, don’t ignore it! Pay attention to the brief thoughts that come into your mind in prayer. Send that text to that friend when they randomly come to mind. Stop and pray for that stranger who just sticks out to you in the grocery store. You never know what adventures wait just around the corner if you would just say “yes.”
May God bless you to do the impossible.
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Photo by Nicholas Kampouris on Unsplash
3 thoughts on “An Atheist and a Rebel Become Missionaries”
I always receive impartation of faith and encouragement from your blogs, JonMark! I’m gonna keep listening to the Holy Spirit nudges!! 🤗
THIS!!!!! I feel like I have NOT been living my best life.. I feel like I have been sliding back into Jonah mode. I know what I’m supposed to be doing, but life has tried to suck me backwards. Thank you for sharing this!
Our God is more faithful to us, than we are to Him. His mercies are new every morning, and His grace is greater than our sin.
May God bless you, Tanisha, with faith and courage to do the impossible.
Blessings on you, sister.