“I don’t want to go to hell”

His name was Dalvis. It was difficult to tell his age. His face was weathered by the sun and ravaged by the effects of a life of drunkenness. Most men his age were retired and enjoying their grandchildren. But Dalvis was homeless and wandering on Bourbon Street. It was a noisy, crowded night as St. Patrick’s Day parades rolled through the street. But when Dalvis saw me from the other side of the street, he walked over and asked me if I was a Christian. When I told him that I was he said, “I don’t want to go to hell.” He had grown up with an alcoholic mother who had beaten him daily until one day she had an encounter with Jesus Christ. Everything changed from that point forward and Dalvis told me of hearing his mother pray for his soul and of the conversations they had about the Lord Jesus. He talked about his life on the streets….how many times he had been shot and stabbed and about the two people he had killed. His life had been devastated by sin. What hope is there for someone like Dalvis (or for any of us) other than Jesus Christ? I shared the gospel with him and encouraged him to trust Christ. And as he was preparing to walk away I asked if I could pray for him. We held hands on the side of the street and as I began to pray he went down onto his knees. I knelt beside him in the middle of the filth and noise and debauchery of Bourbon Street and this man wept as I prayed for him to know this Christ that loved him enough to die for him and was strong enough to rescue him.