28 June 2008

New Sisters

I would just like to say that the Lord is amazing! Saturdays are set apart for beach evangelism, and I went out with Staci from my team. The very first girl I showed the bridge illustration to -- she got it. Her name is Emily Harry. As Staci and I were walking, she had jogged past us. I was thinking, "too bad we can't run along side her to share the bridge." Then, she stopped. Apparently she had reached her destination -- a couple of chairs in the sand (irrelevant details), but there she was, looking about our age and I was like "Hey, how about her?"

The funny thing about evangelizing on the beach is that we tend to be very specific about our audience. As two women, we seek out women. High school to college-aged, maybe even older though they sometimes seem to be less responsive or say they are already following Christ. Also, people away from the water, preferably alone or in a small, same-gender group just relaxing, not sleeping or talking on cell phones. Maybe it'd be best if we weren't so specific in our target group, but it's our first time out. We're learning.

So she's reaching down to get her water bottle and I walk over, "Excuse me? Hey, we've got a quick question for you. I'm Alyssa and this is Staci, and we're staying at UNF this summer. We have an illustration that sums up the main theme of the Bible, and we were wondering if we could show it to you and get your opinion."

"Okay, sure."

And the words come so easily. What joy in being the Lord's vessels through whom the Holy Spirit can speak. She's answering the prompts correctly and when she makes the connection that because of our sin, we deserve death, she says something about how that is really sad! "I know, right? It's so depressing." I circle the next word. "'But'! My favorite word of this verse..." And she gets it. I tell her it's not enough to know about the gift but she has to accept it. For example, I want to give her my pen, but even though she knows I want to give it to her, it's not hers until she receives it, takes it from me.

I wrap it up and ask her which "X" she is at. She's real. "You know, I'd really like to say I'm at that last "X," but I'm probably closer to the edge of the bridge. "You mean on the bridge? Maybe just on the left of it?" "Yeah."

"The thing about a bridge...it's not a great place to camp out. And remember, eternal life is God's gift to us through Christ. Like the pen! You want this pen. You want to receive this pen. It's not happening like slow motion. There's not this point in time where I'm slowly handing you the pen and you've kind of received it, but not completely. It's either in your hand or mine. Bam! It's a split-second decision you make -- would you like to accept Christ right now?"

"Yeah! I would." (Staci -- is this really happening?) Sweet. We show her the prayer on the back and she prays it and then we pray over her. She says she usually goes to a Catholic church on Sundays and we tell her about our Monday night theme rallies and leave our names and phone numbers with her on the illustration, telling her to call us or look us up on Facebook if she wants to talk or has any questions. We encourage her to tell someone, her friends or her family, about the decision she has made.

Amazing, Lord! We continued down the beach, just ecstatic, knowing that the angels in heaven were throwing a big party over Emily's decision to live for Jesus (Luke 15:7). I'm praying she'll continue to seek to know her Creator and maybe contact Staci and me so we can follow up with her. Praise God for working on Jacksonville Beach.


Anonymous said...

Great job, girls!

Rog said...

Cool pic too!

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