I was surprised to hear the knock at my door. Who could it be at this time of night? On my doorstep was a man that I had never met before, drunk and high. But I knew him by reputation: an alcoholic, in and out of prison, an absent father, an abusive husband. What was he doing here?
His name was Désiré. For a few minutes, we talked together in the darkness. As I listened to him, I asked God, “Why did you bring this man to my door?” By the end of our conversation, I knew I had a decision to make. I told him, “Come back in the morning.”
I was not sure how he would respond to my invitation, but the next day, he was back. I took him with me to the fields and asked him if he would like to learn to be a farmer. “Come tomorrow,” I said, “and I will show you how to tend to the crops.” He came back the next day, and the next, and the next. Each day, we spent time praying and studying the scriptures. Slowly, Désiré began to believe in God, and in himself. He became a good farmer, equipped with the physical skills to make a living and the spiritual skills to live out his identity in Christ. Eventually, he surrendered his life to Jesus.
Months later, word reached his estranged wife that her husband was a changed man. She was cynical. Last she heard; he was in prison; what had happened? When she traveled to the city to see for herself, she was astonished. Désiré was unrecognizable. He had a new confidence about him, carried his head high, and his words and thoughts were clear. As they spoke together, Désiré begged his wife to forgive him. At first, she did not know what to say, but in the end, she decided to trust him one more time, and they reconciled. Their family was restored.
Today, Désiré and his family are farming a small tract of land. They see the goodness of the Savior in the crops they harvest and in their restored relationship. Désiré and I continue to meet and journey together, praising God for what he has done in our lives.