The Start

Today was our first full day. Our complete team of almost 130 is still working on the generic “Where do you go to school? What’s your major? What year in school are you?” questions. We do know a little more about each other after sleeping in some of the closest living quarters I’ve been in in a while and witnessing the buckets of sweat dripping off our neighbors once we step foot outside the apartments. I realized I will have to give up the dream of smelling halfway decent around 8:00am this morning after walking only 5 short blocks to a meeting. It happens I suppose.

We also learned a little about our team when it came to our first afternoon of outreach on the beach. Yes, coming in hot, evangelizing on the first full day. It was good to be reminded of why we are here and that we all have to start somewhere. We were put into pairs and sent out onto the beach with Knowing God Personally booklets (aka KGPs). i have gone through these with Christians only as a training tool and never really used it in a real-life situation, so I was a bit of a rookie. I went with my summer discipler and mentor, so I was able to see a great example of how to answer questions and such. As we approached our first couple I panicked. As ashamed I am to say that, my entire body felt completely unprepared for this upcoming conversation. My discipler turned to me and reminded me of Romans 1:15 –

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”

It is not my perfect or imperfect presentation that will change a person’s heart.

It is not what I’m wearing or how I answer a specific question that will make someone more receptive to the gospel.

Instead, it isonlyby the power of the Lord that hardened hearts can soften, that the wounded can be healed, that someone may be opened to salvation and be saved. This is wholly heartwarming. I can know that I’m not going to say something terrible and ruin that person’s chance of coming to know God. Praise the Lord, for it is that power that raised Jesus from the dead that lives in me (Romans 8:11). I can experience that same power, and I can use that to spread the good news!

And with that I entered almost an hour and a half conversation about the gospel to a couple that was clearly searching for something more in their life. That seed was planted and I know it was not in vain. So tonight, as I collapsed into the full bed that I share with another person, I am praying for Josh and Jessica. May our conversation continue to surface and may their interest of God grow.

[originally posted 5.24.2012]

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