Filling the Empty

By: Maria Trace

  • Filling the Empty

What happens when an addict's salvation turns him inside out?

“Last night I was preaching on the street in front of a big crowd outside a homeless shelter. There were a lot of hecklers in the crowd telling me to be quiet. It was discouraging but I kept going.”

“Afterward, a man who lives in his truck and suffers from drug and alcohol addictions came up to me and told me he’d accepted Jesus as his Lord that night.”

“He was so peaceful. I gave him a Gideon pocket-sized New Testament and said, ‘You need to read this and be in the Word everyday so God can develop you spiritually and bless you.’”

That’s a fairly typical story from today’s Andrew Fewell, a young man who works as a finance administrator for the City of Calgary—and a Gideon member whose life revolves around evangelism to people living on the streets of Calgary. But he wasn’t always like that.

“I met Jesus in 2007. But before I met Christ I had drug and alcohol addictions, and trouble with the law too.”

“Before I went to prison, I accepted the Lord. He melted my heart. He changed me and took away my addictions. I got a university degree in business and he even brought my family back.”

The turning point nine years ago? Andrew went to an outdoor rave in British Columbia, and partied for four or five days straight. But what should’ve been a distraction for Andrew turned into deep reflection. When he returned home, he felt completely empty. If non-stop partying couldn’t cut it, what would?

Someone popped into Andrew’s mind—“a gentleman whose lift was authentically changed through Christ. I saw him turn into a loving man. He said Jesus changed him,” explains Andrew.

Intrigued by his Jesus-transformed friend, Andrew agreed to join him at church, then to be discipled by him in a Bible study that turned into five years of growing in God’s Word.

Together with this same church family, Andrew began a ministry called “Fishers of Men.” As a team, they hit the streets of Calgary twice a month to share the Good News of Jesus with people.

“We share our testimonies, hand out Scriptures and pray with people,” says Andrew. 

These same Gideon Scriptures hold a special place in his heart. He was first introduced to The Gideons when the mother-in-law of the friend who began discipling him gave Andrew a pocket-sized Gideon New Testament right after he was saved. “I read it over and over again,” he recalls. “I took it everywhere I went.”

Andrew’s Gideon story came full circle two years ago when he joined The Gideons International In Canada as a member. It was only natural, considering his newfound heart for evangelism. “As soon as I got saved, I wanted to tell people about Jesus,” he explains. “He became so real to me and I wanted everyone to know about him!”

Andrew’s New Lifestyle

But sharing the gospel with people isn’t something Andrew does only in his spare time. With compelling boldness, he shares at work too—and a government job, no less!

“I like spreading the gospel at work,” he says. “We started a Bible study at work, at City Hall, to invite people who want to learn more about the gospel.”

“I do my best to share my faith in truth and love. If we’re faithful with little, we’ll be given much.” Andrew doesn’t take any of these opportunities for granted. “Every opportunity is an opportunity to share the gospel, in a big way or a little way.”

For Andrew, sharing his faith is not a once-in-a-while activity or an obligation—it’s a joy! And what makes his heart beat.

“God has given me a huge heart for evangelism. It’s more a lifestyle, so I try to incorporate it wherever I go. God is just providing these opportunities.

Nine years ago, Andrew could have never imagined what his life would look like today. “What was used for bad is now used for good as I’m able to help people, especially those with drug and alcohol addictions.”

The distractions in life—partying, drugs and alcohol—that used to entertain Andrew can’t compare to the new life and purpose he’s found in Christ. “Our life here is so short,” he concludes. “God has put us where we are in our lives for a reason; we all have a sphere of influence. We need to be bold with our faith.”

“There is nothing better you can do in your entire life than introduce someone to Jesus. Absolutely nothing.”

 

 

 


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