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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jesus and the Prostitute

An HIA reader by the name of Nathan recently shared a true story about meeting Jesus in the poverty of a prostitute (sound familiar?) from a real-life experience of pastor, Tony Campolo. The “Agnes Story” as Tony calls it goes something like this …
The Agnes Story
It was one of the most extraordinary birthday parties ever held. No it wasn't in a plush ballroom of a grand hotel. No there weren't famous celebrities, nor anyone rich or powerful. Actually, it was held at 3am in a small seedy cafe in Honolulu, and of all people, the guest of honor was a prostitute. The fellow guests were prostitutes, and the man who threw it was a Christian preacher!

The idea came to Christian pastor Tony Campolo very early one morning as he sat in the cafe and overheard a fellow diner lament the fact that not only was it her 39th birthday tomorrow but that she never had a birthday party. She was a prostitute called Agnes and her friends showed her little to no sympathy.

Tony however thought it would be a great idea to surprise Agnes with a birthday party. Learning from the cafe owner that the ladies came in every morning around 3:30am, he agreed with Tony to set the place up for a party. Word somehow got out on the street, so that by 3:15 the next morning the place was packed with prostitutes, the cafe owner and his wife, and Tony.

When Agnes walked in she saw streamers, balloons, the cafe owner holding a birthday cake, and everyone screaming out "Happy Birthday!" Agnes was surprised and overwhelmed. The tears poured down her face as the crowd sang the “Happy Birthday” song.

It was a birthday party rarely seen in Honolulu - thrown by a Christian minister for a 39 year old prostitute who never had anyone go out of their way to do something like this and who expected nothing in return. Indeed, so surprising was this turn of events that the cafe owner found it hard to believe there were Christians out there that would do this sort of thing, but if there were then he wanted to be a real Christian and return to his faith.

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