Barney Fife

by Nan McGee on August 15, 2018


Barney Fife

By Nan McGee |  August 15, 2018



As you read in my last two installments, we (Bobby, Caroline and I) were on a 2-week prison mission trip in Ohio. This was back when we first started traveling and we were all still working full-time jobs and did ministry part-time. We were camping in tents and had our 2 youngest kids with us. Caroline brought Amy, her 12-year-old daughter and we had Robby our 13-year-old son. We were a lot younger and were able to do more in one day than we can now! We broke camp in Chillicothe, drove to Warren and did a service, then were going on to another campground and set up camp! Wow! How did we ever do that??? 
So, we couldn't take the kids into the prison with us and they couldn't wait in the parking lot, so we took them to a movie! We dropped them off and went to the prison. I was a very old prison, a beautiful old chapel, but no AC. IT WAS HHHHHOTTTT! The Holy Spirit fell and it was an amazing service. It was actually my first opportunity to pray with someone who was repenting and getting saved. I'll never forget that! We came out of there soaking wet and flying high! 



We went back to the theater, but the movie wasn't over yet. The theater was in a strip mall. We sat on a bench outside. I'm sure we looked awful! Wet, sweaty and still on a Holy Spirit High! We were excited as we recapped the service. This was the summer after 9/11. There was an Armed Forces Recruiting Center in this shopping center. Everyone was still on high alert. The Recruiting Center has a Security Guard watching the whole center. Well, this man came and stood in front of us, about 5 feet away. He had his hand on his billy club and rocked back and forth, heel to toe. He looked very much like Barney Fife from the Andy Griffith Show. He was obviously trying to hear us and was checking out this tattoed, sweaty man and the two soaked, disheveled women. Of course, we noticed him. Bobby started to talk to him. He told him that we had just come from the prison. He started to tell him about Jesus and how He changed his life. He and Caroline tagged teamed him. I sat on the bench and prayed. 
Distractions kept coming...teenage boys cruising the parking lot in their pick up trucks. They mocked him and called him names. The Enemy threw all kinds of distractions at him. Bobby and Caroline would bring him back to the conversation. He told us that he had lost his wife, but that she had prayed for him for many years. He was alone and seemed so sad and angry. 
After a good 45 minutes, he said, "Mr. McGee, would you pray with me?" Bobby led him in a prayer of repentance and surrender. He looked up, tears streaming down his face. His countenance was COMPLETELY  changed! The sadness, anger, and hardness were gone. Even some of his wrinkles were gone! He was completely changed! He was praising God, we were praising God! 

Robby and Amy came out of the movie then and we piled into the van to hit the road after tears and hugs from our new friend. 

I don't remember that man's name...we always called him Barney. But, he will remain forever in our hearts and I know that someday we will see him again, and meet his praying wife!