Results of the Work – 9/15/23

Hey Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I hope you’re blessed today walking in the Spirit who gives us all the strengthen to live the Christian Life.  Ryssa and Tim each prayed with me to receive Jesus on Thursday. Their stories are below if you have time.  I got a couple seeds planted too with a pretty golden-haired girl named Sarah and Shane who seemed to be hearing the Gospel clearly for the first time in though he went to a Christian School, also later AJ, sitting across the table from Tim. Thanks for your help in prayer this past week.

I found my way over the PE building after a while on Thursday cutting across the patio and sidewalk from the BIC. No one upstairs wanted to talk though I ran into Trevont who had received Christ and he was happy to see me. I told him I was praying for him. Downstairs there were a couple guys at the table talking. In a brief lull in their conversation as I passed I asked the guy closest to me, AJ, if he wanted to do a survey. He was stick-thin, narrow face and taller than me and had 6-inch braids, mustache and chin beard, good looking, was wearing a tank top and shorts. He hesitated but Tim piped in that he would do it. Tim had braids coming out of a light blue watch cap the ones in front were thick and the full length of his face. He was darker than AJ, oval, fuller face. He wore a black hoodie and black pants and was clean shaven.  AJ agreed then, since Tim was in. AJ said we’d spoken before [where I had just handed him a booklet]. So walking just past AJ I sat to his left and Tim was directly across the table. Both seemed family oriented and wanted to earn enough to have families in “a good spot” financially. I asked them what they would say to God to get into Heaven and Tim said, “I know I didn’t sin. My heart, I have a kind heart. Deep down inside I have a good heart. God knows my heart.” AJ said, “I’m always down the middle making that choice. I don’t treat anyone with prejudice, treat everyone with kindness.” He said he didn’t want to make the wrong choice having grown up in the church. He knew there were many other religions and he did not want to choose the wrong one and have to back out. I explained that just because you were raised in something did not mean it was wrong either and he agreed. At this point Tim chimed in that he knew there was a God and AJ agreed. I began to go through the Gospel. At one point Tim piped in that he had been baptized and had gone to a Bible study. I said something about Adam and Eve in reference to sin, which he did not clearly seem to know to acknowledge. He said he knew some characters in the Bible he mentioned David and Goliath and then Cain and I said, “who killed Able.” He agreed. I said, “There is Noah and the flood.” He had never heard of Noah and I told him a bit of the story but nothing registered.  “Well, I know 4 people in the Bible,” he replied.

About then a girl AJ knew, Ryssa, had walked up a bit awkwardly I realized later she had an external boot cast on her foot.  She was a small distraction at first talking to AJ. Black, she had a cute oval face, one that could have been Latina by her features, a smaller nose and oval face, had a full figure. She wore a red hoodie and black leggings. Her hair long past her shoulders looked straightened. She began to listen. And was interested in the analogies. I was looking back and forth at all of them but I don’t know if any could clearly see the verses I quoted. But they heard them.  I went through the verses I always tell explaining how the blood of Christ cleanses and pays for our sins. I said that Jesus earned the righteousness of God with a story about a kid in class whose extra credit becomes yours. Ryssa really liked that idea. She said her family had gone to Church but then the pastor one day had said God did not love everyone and they left. It seems like the actual story, which happened when she was a child, was probably more complicated. But in any event the family had not returned to church. I said, “Say AJ has a girlfriend.” Then talking to him, “You thought she was pretty cool but then it turned out she was cheating on you and stealing your stuff. So you cut her loose. Then she comes around in about a week and says, ’I know I did you wrong, I was even stealing your stuff and selling it for drugs, but I just want you to know, I’m gonna be nice to my next 3 boyfriends.’” I laughed and so did AJ. “You’d be like, ‘That doesn’t help me at all,’ ‘cause you can’t to good things over there to make up for your bad things here.” Then Ryssa piped in saying, “I would never do you that way.”  So I asked if she was his girlfriend and they both said she was. I went on to explain that your good stuff dies not fix your bad stuff with God either but that he can turn something bad you do or happens to you into something good because He controls the future. Finally I offered the idea that they could be forgiven, trusting in what Jesus had done for them on the cross and asked if they would want to pray to receive Jesus. AJ said he was “On the fence.” But Tim said he wanted to be forgiven. I asked Ryssa (getting her name then) if she had wanted to be forgiven too. She nodded enthusiastically and said yes. So not knowing where she had jumped in and began to actually listen I asked, “Do you believe Jesus is God died for your sins and rose from the dead?” “Yes,” she replied. And would you want to place your trust in that to be forgiven?” “Yes,” she replied again. I gave her a booklet I had already put all my notes in and they each prayed to receive Jesus. When Ryssa finished she said, marveling a bit, “I just felt like a weight come off my chest.” I said that was the Holy Spirit. I gave them each a Bible study and Bible Promises for You. In Tim and Ryssa’s books I wrote their name and the date and “forgiven!” in the front. They all took The Case for Christianity Answer Booklet and I explained to AJ it might help him come to a conclusion and I explained the Bible study to them also. Tim’s cousin came up sat by us but wanted nothing to do with it so he took a pass though Tim informed him he should “pray this prayer”. “Thanks so much,” Tim said as I get up to go. “Thank you,” Ryssa said. And I said I would see them in Heaven and would be praying for them each day until a year from Spring. And I headed out.

So, thanks for your prayers for the ministry this week if you had a chance, God truly blessed. 33 people trusted Christ this semester and I was sick one day.

In Him,