Hey Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I hope you’ve been blessed this Christmas season with every good and perfect gift coming down from the Father of Lights. We love driving a round seeing all the lights this time of year. My last two days on campus were blessed. Ozzy committed to Christ on Wednesday and Ashley prayed with me to receive Christ Thursday. Their stories are below. If you have some time, please say a prayer for them to grow.
I gave Brad a Bible who I talk to periodically having gone through the Gospel with him earlier in the semester when his hair was shaggy. Clean shaven guy with short dishwater blonde hair. We talked a long time about culture and comics and superheroes last week. I talked about the moral grounding Spiderman has because of the death of his Uncle Ben. If you know the story Ben is like a Christ figure. In as much as Ben’s death becomes the thing that changes Peter Parker into a Superhero dedicated to fighting crime. He off handedly said, “I’d read the Bible if somebody gave me one.” “You don’t have a Bible?” I asked. He said he didn’t. “You want one?” “Sure,” he replied. I explained I had some really nice studies Bibles this year that my friend Pete bought the ministry. I showed him the cross references and the devotional pages and told them there were 99 doctrines listed and where to find them in the front. He said, “Tell your friend Pete I said thank you.” He was pretty disappointed with his Catholic upbringing and I explained he could have a relationship with God by faith and the Church did not have to be a part of that. “If you met the perfect girl and she had a crummy family you’d still marry her. You’d just figure out how to avoid her family as much as you could.” I’d been praying for Brad so I will keep that up in the hope he will decide to have a relationship with God in Christ. I’ll be writing a yearend letter tomorrow. Thanks for your help in prayer this semester.
Ozzy was sitting in the hallway I think waiting for some kind of review or evaluation with his professor. A guy sitting next to him went in while we were talking and another girl walked out as he walked in as we finished, we didn’t have much time. He was a small guy (freshman in high school size) and looked Filipino or Mexican in heritage. He went to a Spanish speaking Catholic Church. He had glasses and a square jaw, good-looking kid, hair swept back on his head short on the sides, wearing shredded jeans patched on the inside and a tan hoodie. He wore black frame glasses, a mini Clark Kent. I asked him what he would say to God to get into Heaven if he’d died. He thought for a while and finally said, “I guess I tried to do things best for myself and everyone else.” He thought he had a 50/50 chance of going to Heaven. He listened to the Gospel and he knew when I asked that Jesus had been sacrificed for our sins. I finished explaining the blood of Jesus to cleanse him and His righteousness to his credit that he could receive by faith. I also explained his good things couldn’t fix his bad things but God could turn all things into good for them that loved Him. I asked him if he’d like to be forgiven or thought something else like what other religions taught. “I don’t know, that’s a lot to take in,” he replied. I said it was but it was really similar to what he had been participating in his whole life at Church. If he thought of the mass as symbolic the wafer was symbolic of Jesus body and the wine of His blood. He agreed. I don’t often find a student who believes the body and blood of Christ is changed by Transubstantiation. He said he was not sure how to say it because it is always said in Spanish but that the priest says that in taking it they are one with Christ. I said that you can only be made one with Christ if you have faith in His works. I explained the prayer to him and he said he usually prayed on Sunday. So I asked, “Do you believe Jesus is God died for your sins and rose from the Dead?” “Yes,” he said. “Do you trust in that to be forgiven?” “Yeah,” he said nodding. So I said then that he was forgiven he could just tell God that Sunday. He did not have a Bible in English so I gave him a compact one showing him the “Where to Turn” section and another on Messianic passages. I told him now he could say “thank you” in talking the mass (thinking of it the way Jesus presents it in the Gospels) because he has faith. I gave him a Bible Study and then told him I’d be praying for him. He got up and headed into the classroom.
Ashley was sitting in the hallway just around the corner of the BIC building as you head toward the bookstore. She had long dark brown hair, parted just off to the right, pretty features and a small diamond on her nose. She wore ha hooded coat with faux lamb skin in the hood and a long sleeve white t-shirt with a multi colored logo on the front. She looked like a bit Latina in coloring and said she went to a “Christian” Church. It seemed like she was struggling with her relationship with her family. I asked her what she would say to God if she died and she said, “Hmm,” thoughtfully. “I don’t know, that’s a good question.” She thought some. “I honestly don’t know,” she replied. I asked her then if she went to Church. Saying she did I asked, “What do you think they would say at Church gets you into Heaven?” She thought and said again, “I don’t know.” She said she thought she had a 75% chance of going to Heaven. So I began to go through the Gospel with her. I explained that to know God was to have Him live inside her. She knew Jesus had died to take away her sins. The story seemed familiar to her as I explained Jesus blood and righteousness to her credit. I asked if she would want to be forgiven trusting in what Jesus had done and have God live inside her or thought something else. I compared what I’d said to an Islamic god who can’t be known, is not a Father, does not have a Son; forgiveness is arbitrary as there is no sacrifice for sin. A different god. Or the Buddha, the nearest writings to his life are 2400 years later so we don’t know for sure anything he said. But he was not looking for God but for enlightenment. “God live inside,” she replied. So I said there was a prayer she could pray to be forgiven and talked it through asking if it was the desire of her heart. “Yeah,” she replied. So I said she could pray right now, I wouldn’t hear her but God would hear and she’d know she was forgiven? She nodded and took the booklet and prayed to receive Jesus. When she finished I said, “You’re forgiven.” She had a Bible and so I gave her Bible Promises for You writing her name and the date and “forgiven!” on the inside. I gave her a Bible study explaining it. I gave her The Case for Christianity Answer Booklet, saying she might have time to read it over break. In reaching for it I took out a similar sixe book, Pocket Prayers by mistake and put it back. “Do you sell those prayer books?” she asked. I said she could have one and that God was probably trying to tell me to give it to her when I took it out by mistake. It is a Bible Verse and a prayer following using the verse. The author of it has identified with some false teachers lately but the book was written years ago with his wife and is orthodox. We talked for a while about families and the problems of living at home after becoming an adult. I told her I would keep her in my prayers until next spring and then one year after praying a Bible verse for her and she was grateful.
So thanks for your prayers for the ministry and for evangelism this semester. I’m truly grateful for them. God blessed and 80 students prayed with me to receive Christ. I got a bunch of seeds planted and in addition 5 students committed to Christ saying they would pray later.