Gospel worker Leanne Bengtson has been doing beach evangelism in Florida, USA, for some time. One day she wanted to talk with people but felt discouraged. When she cried out to God for help, He answered — in a very unexpected way. “Mold our hearts to be like Your heart” is one of the prayer points of Pray2020. Here is Leanne’s story:

I sat there discouraged as I stared out at the ocean waves, not motivated to take the next step. Little did I know the Lord was about to make this one of my most fruitful beach evangelism days ever!

For a long time, I have had a burden to reach out to tourists who come to Orlando. When I realized many of them take a day off from theme parks and head to the beach, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to engage people in conversation and then offer them a “JESUS” film®️ DVD.

There are 18 languages on one DVD, so no matter where the tourists are from, there’s usually a language on it they speak. I live in the number one tourist destination of the world. I can touch the whole world from here!

Although I had been doing this kind of beach outreach for a long time, sometimes it was still challenging to take the initiative and engage strangers in conversation. This is what I was struggling with that day, telling the Lord I needed His encouragement and boldness to start talking to people. Then God showed up in an amazing way.

A Step of Faith

I got up from my chair to head down to the water to get wet and cool off first. As I stepped off my blanket, I looked down and saw a seashell.

I no longer collect shells since I have so many, but this one caught my eye because it was unbroken and perfectly shaped. As I picked it up and turned it over, this was what I found:

I looked around to see if someone I knew was nearby, setting this up on purpose. Then I realized it was the Lord Himself talking to me through this seashell, telling me to “TRUST JESUS”! I was so encouraged and motivated that I spoke to 13 families that day and ended up giving the DVD to 12! 

As If That Wasn’t Amazing Enough…

The second part of this amazing story happened after I texted my family and friends to share what an awesome thing God had done. One of my friends replied that she had written on that exact seashell four years earlier, at a different beach over 30 miles (48 km) away! 

She had been having a quiet time on the beach during Cru’s new staff training and decided to write Trust Jesus on the shell so the Lord would direct it to someone who needed to be encouraged. My friend could tell it was her writing because of the way she wrote “TRUST JeSUS”… all the letters upper-case except the “e.” Four years later and over 30 miles away…I found it!

How did that happen? Had others found it along the way at opportune times and thrown it back in the water for others to be blessed by? How did the currents bring it to that exact spot at the exact moment of need? Why wasn’t it buried in the sand by the turbulent waves?

There are many questions left unanswered, many details left unknown. But this I do know, the God I serve is infinitely caring and powerful to meet one of His discouraged children in such a special way. GOD IS AMAZING!