From rebel to evangelist
Paul Davies used to be the boy who acted up in front of his friends. Now he takes to the streets to share the Gospel with strangers.
Published 21 June 2012 | Deborah Steiner
In May, Paul Davies began his appointment as a trainee staff evangelist with OAC Ministries (Open Air Campaigners).
His passion for evangelism is evident as he preaches in the open air and uses visuals ranging from puppetry to card-folding story boards in schools.
Yet growing up in Swansea, Paul Davies was known as a ‘good, shy boy’. Coming from a Christian home, he now says, "I knew all the Bible stories, but there was no reality in my heart or life. I was two different people.
"The Gospel didn’t impact my life at all. On Sunday, I was the good, church going boy. But Monday was different.
"I would swear, just to be smart in front of my friends. I didn’t want to talk about my weekend or anything I had heard in church."
Then, when he was 14, Paul had an online encounter that changed his life forever. He and a friend were online via MSN. She clearly presented him with the Gospel, insisting, ‘You need to make a decision, to stay as you are or to follow Jesus as your Saviour."
Paul now says, "Her words pierced me when I read, “You know what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to turn around.'"
That night he wrestled in prayer and chose to follow Jesus. One of the changes was that the painfully shy, introverted boy was now eager to talk about his new found faith. That was a decade ago and Paul remembers, "It was a great shock to me. I felt pushed to chat about what I was learning about God."
Over the years, Paul has completed Bible and theological courses as well as serving in ministry opportunities. Also, he trained under former OAC Wales Director Pete Hodge and the recently appointed Wales Director Steve Harris.
As a new member of OAC, Paul will be participating in Reach Out 2012, from 30 June to 30 July. This week of training and evangelism in South Wales will see a wide range of Christians engaging with the community in creative outreach.
After serving a two year appointment in London as an evangelist and youth worker, Paul and his wife Laura are now settling back into their home community.
Paul explains how he relates to a variety of churches.
"Partnering with churches is a very important basis for OAC outreach. Even our open air work involves working alongside churches.
"Today, there is still a part of me that remains shy. Yet, progressively, I see God moving me on, wanting to 'have a go at it' to get the Gospel out there."
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