Joseph Iregbu

Purpose Guy

How I Discovered God’s Purpose For My Life

From Joseph: Today, I am delighted to have Dave Arnold share his amazing story of how he discovered God’s purpose for his life. Truly inspirational. More about Dave at the end of the post.

What Does Your Gospel Look Like Here?

I was new to the city, uncertain about how to reach people in my neighborhood. I remember walking through the neighborhood, praying and asking the Lord,

“What does Your gospel look like for this place, for these people?”

The answer came a few days later when I met Daniel. Daniel worked for World Relief, Chicago. He invited me to come along with him to deliver some furniture to a newly-arrived refugee family from Sudan. I wasn’t prepared for what happened on our arrival:

The family greeted us warmly, insisting we sat down and eat with them. Their visiting friend provided translation.

“The family wants you to know how happy they are to be in America,” the man said. “You have helped them so much. You are their guest and they want to show their appreciation.”

Suddenly, there was a feast of food, tea and sweets set before us.

Finding Answers in Unexpected Places

I was blown away. I felt embarrassed. I didn’t REALLY help them. Daniel invited me to help bring small items of furniture. But in their eyes, it meant so much.

They shared with us their experience of violence and threats in Sudan and how they walked and traveled secretly for months until they reached Cairo, Egypt. There, they were forced to live in a refugee camp where they barely had enough to survive.

But they held on to the hope that one day life would be better.

That day came years later when they were accepted by the United Nations to be resettled in the United States.

As they told their moving story, tears rolled down my face. I couldn’t contain myself. I was so surprised by their hospitality and love. In that moment, the Holy Spirit whispered to me:

“This is why you are here. This is why I called you to this city; for them, to show hospitality and love to the stranger and broken.”

God Did This!

It’s so amazing how God works. God used this family – a family who went through so much pain and who were “strangers” to minister to me and lead me to start a ministry of hospitality for refugees and the poor.

God gave me a gift that day. He gave me purpose. And my life’s never been the same.

Sometimes all you have to do is just ask:

“God what does Your good news look like for this place, for these people, for this city?”

And then let Him show you. The light will come on and you will discover God’s purpose.

How did you discover God’s purpose for your life? Share in the comment box and allow your story encourage other readers today.

About Dave

Dave Arnold is a writer and speaker with a passion for hospitality and helping immigrants in the Detroit-area. He is the founder of Reflections From The Alley. You can connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

About Joseph Iregbu

From a homeless, near-school-dropout to living a story worth telling. Purpose is my passion. What's your story?

16 Replies


    Hi Jep. Thank you for taking the time to share. Isn’t it amazing how God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things? It’s great to hear how you are growing more in your giftings. God bless you and may He use you greatly to impact our world!

    1. It is amazing. I am blessed by your prayer. Thank you and Amen.

    2. Very good prayer, Amen (for Jep :-))

  2. Thanks for sharing the story Dave and Joseph for the platform. Isn’t it great that God answers our calls? He says ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened. Your is a classic story how God uses unexpected people, and stories to capture our hearts for the purpose He created us.

    I found purpose and passion also because I looked to God. I pounded actually and kept searching for answers. It was right under my nose – every time I saw hopelessness in people’s faces and in their daily life I felt I needed to do something – to help them see that there is hope. I am growing more to know how to channel the gifts God has given me to accomplish that purpose.

    I echo the question: “God what does Your good news look like for this place, for these people, for this city?”

    1. Jep, you are right – Dave’s story is inspirational. I’m amazed at how God uses situations that look ordinary to transform us.


    Hi Ngina: Thanks for the encouragement. Yes, I think praying for God to show us what His purpose is for an area or city or people is the best place to start. God knows what people need. All we have to do is tap into that. Thanks again for your comment. God bless!

  4. wow, powerful post Dave, and a great blog you have too. Sometime back, i began prayer walking my neighborhood (my husband and I moved to the states one year ago).

    Your question “God what does Your good news look like for this place, for these people, for this city?” is a wonderful breakdown of my prayers and thoughts.

    thank you for sharing this post.

    1. This isn’t a coincidence. God is definitely at work. Thanks Nigna, I’m glad to see you leading on purpose already.


    Thanks, Joseph. I appreciate you posting my story. I hope many people will discover God’s purpose for them as they read this post and others posts you wrote.

  6. Amazing story, Dave. Thanks for sharing and allowing God use you as light where you are.

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