Michael Glassey’s task, as a crisis-trained Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplain, was to provide spiritual and emotional support to Fort McMurray residents as they returned to the Alberta city after a catastrophic wildfire.
On May 3, Fort McMurray, Alberta was evacuated due to a massive wildfire that engulfed the city of 80,000.
Over 2,400 buildings were destroyed in the fire. Residents have begun returning since the evacuation order was lifted June 1. Our Rapid Response Team chaplains have been helping since the outset. Municipal authorities have invited us into the city to provide support, encouragement and prayer to all who need it.
He didn’t know God was going to use him for two life-changing appointments in one day.
While at one of the city’s welcome centers for returning residents, Michael engaged a Hindu security guard in a conversation.
“I stood with him next to the entrance and asked Javinder* about his family, his job and what he did for fun. That really intrigued him. So eventually I shared my life with him and inserted some Christianity here and there.
“He continued to be intrigued, but now it was at how much love he saw from Billy Graham and Samaritan’s Purse representatives at the welcome center.”
Michael asked Javinder about his faith and whether it brought him any peace. The answer was no.
“Then he told me he saw the movie The Passion of the Christ and thought what happened to Jesus on the cross was brutal. I explained that the blood and the cross were real. Those nails were real. And Jesus is real.”
“I told Javinder when Jesus was on the cross, He had him on his heart and if he [Javinder] was the only person on earth, Jesus still would have died for his sins. Javinder was amazed!”
Michael backed up his points with Scripture verses and shared how Christ had taken away his addiction to drugs.
“Javinder said ‘You? A chaplain??’” Michael replied “yes, because I needed a savior.”
To fill in any gaps about the true mission of Christ, Michael used the metaphor of an Etch A Sketch (a mechanical drawing toy) to explain that if Javinder made Christ his Lord and Savior, He would take the Etch A Sketch of Javinder’s life and shake it clean. Then God would re-write his story.
“Javinder was in awe!” Michael said. “So I asked if he wanted peace and his sins forgiven and Javinder said yes. I asked him if he died today, would he want to know that he’s going to Heaven? Javinder said yes.”
With the Holy Spirit’s direction, Michael then had Javinder repeat the prayer of salvation. As Javinder received Christ, “the change in him was immediate. He had relief and joy and a full-frontal smile.”
A SECOND LIFE CHANGED
But God wasn’t finished yet. Michael and Javinder’s entire half-hour conversation was overheard by another Hindu man. As he saw Javinder’s reaction to being saved, the man declared “I want Jesus!” and asked Michael to pray the salvation prayer with him, too.
“It was an unbelievable miracle,” Michael declared. “Two Hindus simultaneously!”
Michael gave both men Bibles and encouraged them to start attending a Bible-believing church.
“I’m blown away by this,” Michael said with humble astonishment. “Who the heck am I to be in the same space with hurting people and be part of Jesus wrapping His arms around them?”
Please prayerfully consider joining this glorious redemptive work through your prayers and donations to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada. For Christ tells us “Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35, NKJV).
*Name changed to protect privacy.
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