August 21, 2014


Tony worked for the post office in New York City. As a newly baptized Christian, he found that his religious convictions conflicted with his work obligations, and requested a transfer. His new assignment was working the “graveyard shift” from 8:30 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. in a huge mail processing building located on Long Island.

When he arrived at his new assignment, Tony heard people talking about a young man named Louie, who had an alcohol problem. They said Louie missed work so often he was going to be fired unless he could stop drinking. So Tony began praying for Louie, hoping to have an opportunity to tell him about Jesus.

One night, as he was sitting on a mail skid reading his Bible, Tony noticed Louie walk by. He looked sad, so Tony called him over.

“Yeah, who are you and what do you want?” Louie demanded.

“My name is Tony. I’m new here,” Tony began to explain. “I just wanted to tell you that I found Christ by reading the Bible, and He has completely changed my life.”

“Oh, you’re the one,” Louie said. “You’re that religious fanatic from across town. I’ve heard about you.”

“Have you ever read the Bible?” Tony asked.

“No, man. I never have. I’ve got to get back to work,” Louie said as he walked away.


Tony continued praying for Louie, asking the Lord for another, better opportunity to share his faith. A few nights later Tony’s supervisor told him to go to a room in another area of the building, far from where he had been working. Walking past dozens of seemingly endless rooms, Tony finally found the right room and was surprised to see that Louie was working right next to him.

“What are you doing here?” Louie asked.

“Louie,” Tony answered, “the Lord must want me to talk to you some more.”

“Oh, no!” Louie replied with obvious frustration.

Tony began working next to Louie. Whenever the supervisor left the room, Tony would take out his color-coded Bible and read one of God’s promises. When breaktime came, Tony mustered up his courage and asked Louie if he wanted a ride to the all-night deli for a sandwich.

“Yeah, why not?” Louie said. “You can preach to me some more. But at least I’ll get a good meal.”

As Tony drove to the deli, he turned on the car’s dome light and told Louie to read the parts of his Bible that were highlighted in orange. Louie reluctantly took the Bible and started reading the promises as Tony drove and prayed that God’s Word would speak to Louie’s heart.

In a few minutes Louie turned and said, “Hey, man, listen to this one!” and read the verse to Tony. “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37). Louis did that several times on the way to the deli. On the way back to the post office he read a few more.

The Big Ask

When they got back to the post office parking lot, Tony knew that Louie needed to ask Christ into his heart. He had never led anyone to Christ before, and he was “scared to death.” Tony’s knees were literally knocking together when he turned to Louie and spoke.

“Louie, would you like to ask Jesus into your heart right now, and pray with me?”

“Pray?” Louie said. “I don’t know how to pray.”

“That’s OK,” Tony said. “Just repeat what I say.”

“OK, man.”

Just as they began praying, the alarm went off in the car next to them. The sound was almost deafening, so Tony yelled, “Dear Lord, please forgive me of my sins.” Louie shrieked out the same.

Then, after Tony shouted out the next part, Louie screamed, “I accept You, Jesus, as my personal Lord and Savior.”

As they finished praying, the car alarm shut off. Tony assured Louie that the Lord had heard his prayer and that, if he was sincere, the Lord really would change his life.

After that, Tony was sent back to his regular assignment. He was out sick for several days, but he continued to pray for Louie.


On his first day back at work, Tony walked into the huge lobby of the processing center, where hundreds of postal employees were waiting to check in with their time cards. Suddenly Tony heard someone yell, “Praise the Lord, brother!” He turned and saw someone running toward him.

Tony was slightly embarrassed as the clean-shaven, well-dressed young man carrying a Bible hugged him. It was Louie! The Lord had changed his life, and people were now calling him “Holy Joe.” Louie’s life was changed with a simple prayer.

Tony realized that the power of God had transformed his life when he accepted Christ into his heart, and that same power had changed Louie’s life, too. Louie was the first person Tony led to accept Christ. He later admitted, “There’s no greater reward in life than leading others to know Jesus.”

Later Tony heard God’s call and decided to study for the ministry. He spent more than 20 years in pastoral ministry, many with the Carolina Conference, and wrote several books, including a guide to soul winning. He passed away in 2007.