One day a person visiting one of our Network 211 evangelism websites sent us this prayer request: “My Lord, after I die, please take my soul to hell.” At first I didn’t know if he was serious or not.

I can’t share his name, but we’ll just refer to him as John. He told us that as a baby, he was born with a serious congenital heart defect. His parents lived in the countryside and lacked the financial means to give him adequate medical care. Unfortunately, his parents separated and his father felt that he couldn’t care for him. John was sent to live with an aunt when he was just a toddler.

The aunt spent a great deal of money (about half of her life savings), to provide a surgery for young John. This saved his life and has left John with a great sense of debt for his aunt’s kindness.

Circumstances changed though. He came back to live with his father and a new step mom for some period of time. But at age 13, family troubles prompted John to be sent to live with uncle who lived in a major metropolis.

John worked for his uncle at a fast food restaurant. While he did receive room and board, his living quarters were quite sparse—he stayed in a storage room that was full of miscellaneous stuff. John expected wages but received none for three years.

After having an argument with his uncle, he left off to start his own life at age 16 with $75 in his pocket. Working odd jobs here and there, he saved up enough cash to get ahead in life a little. He ended up opening a bar with some friends which became quite successful. It gave him so called “freedom, money and status.”

Tragic news came not long ago of his aunt’s untimely death in a traffic accident. She had been the one kind person in his life whom he wished to repay. Now it seemed like God had played some cruel joke on him, by taking her away before he could go see her again and express his gratitude.

A superstitious belief about being a “sweep star”, that is a person causing bad luck to oneself and others, gripped his heart. He felt as if all his life had been misery and that his painful experiences were brought on by this bad luck. Furthermore, in his mind he was also the one whose bad luck caused his aunt’s death. He felt that he should be the one to die and go to hell, as if his suffering could cause his aunt to go to heaven. This was the reason for his initial comment to us saying “please take my soul to hell.”

John became suicidal. That is, he thought taking his life a lot. He just couldn’t bring himself to do it. At that point, he reached out to us online for help.

Fortunately, our discipleship connector was able to minister to him and persuaded him to go to church. He went one day and sat down on a pew. An elderly pastor joined him and they had a long chat about all that he had been through. John received a spiritual breakthrough and has found peace in his heart. He later wrote to us: “Thank you all! For helping me draw near to God and to have comfort in my heart. In the future, I will certainly help some others in need of help, so that they won’t repeat the path I took… May the Lord bless you!”

We are pleased to report that since then, John has been back to church many times. He says he will not think about “those chaotic things anymore.” And “may the Lord Jesus accompany me on the left and the right.” And to our discipleship connector, he said, “thank you for caring for me so long.”

Hearing of this brought tears to my eyes. We are so overjoyed when we see a life changed! Thank you for praying for John and many others that are in need of help today.