Evangelism Experience Assignment

March 4, 2002

My life has been forever changed through this experience. I will never be able to look at the lost the same. Praise God.

Unfortunately, evangelism is not one of my strongest gifts as a Christian. So, this assignment gave me the most worry out of any that we’ve been give thus far. I can’t say that I was really fearful, but at the same time I didn’t know where I would get an opportunity to witness to someone “cold turkey” so to speak. I’ve only had a few opportunities to share about Jesus to people I don’t know. So, I am still a novice in every since of the word. With God’s help I will be able to grow a lot more in this area. Truly, in my weakness, His strength will shine. I still have much to learn about being an effective evangelist.

Having a burden for the lost – I can truthfully say that this has been seriously lacking in much of my Christian walk. Within the last three years it has become more prevalent, though. God is continually changing my heart and how I pray for those who don’t know Jesus. I’m thankful for that. But this “assignment” has brought a definite breakthrough.

I had the opportunity to go a juvenile detention center this past weekend with my father-in-law to minister in music and preaching. When I think back, my first thought is “Wow.” Some of the boys there looked like they should still be in elementary school playing kickball or something. To say the least, it was an eye opener.

The place was run much like a military institution, but with less freedom. The boys all had shaved heads and wore plain t-shirts with shorts or sweatpants. They were required to walk with their hands behind their backs at all times. You didn’t see any joking around or goofing off that you are accustomed to seeing with boys that age.

My father-in-law and I had come with a local Korean church that visits the detention center a few times a year. The Korean ladies had brought a feast with them for the boys to eat after the ministry time. I believe that was part of the reason 65 boys showed up for this voluntary activity.

As we began to set up our equipment, I found out that the battery in my guitar was dead. This was not the greatest thing that could happen, but I was determined to praise God wholeheartedly with or without the sound of my guitar. At the same time, I had never played with the lady who was going to be playing the keyboard. Also, she did not know three of the four songs I was going to do. We went over the songs, and it was pretty rough. We were ready to praise the Lord, though.

Once we started singing and playing, God’s anointing really came down. It didn’t seem like we had never played together before. The boys really got into singing the songs, to my surprise, and it was a great encouragement to me. The whole praise and worship time was awesome. And I got a new battery half way through.

After praise and worship my father-in-law preached to the boys about coming out of their tomb like Lazarus. He emphasized the need to remove the “stones of sin” from their life so that they could come out of their “tomb” when Jesus calls their name. I could see that this powerful word from the Lord was reaching many of these guys. As he finished the message, he gave an altar call for anyone who wanted to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior. Around twenty boys came forward to receive Jesus! Awesome!

I was given the opportunity to share following that. I shared with them some of my testimony, and some of the struggles I faced as a teenager. I challenged them to live for Christ now and not waste their opportunity to live for Him in the present. I told them not to think they cannot do something for God just because they are young.

At the end, a couple of guys came up to talk to me. One of the guys told me he could relate with my testimony, and told me that he didn’t really know what the truth was. I encouraged him to read the Bible on a daily basis and by reading God’s Word he would be able to know the truth. I asked him if he would like me to pray with him, and he said yes. That was really great to be able to pray with him. Another boy asked me about the songs I played, and said he wanted his mom to get him CDs with those songs. Through all this, God was really showing me His heart for these boys. I didn’t see them as delinquents, but as real people that God truly loved. I really began to feel God’s heart for the lost as never before.

The guys at the center were truly blessed by us coming and taking the time to share God’s love with them. Right before we left, one of the boys thanked us all for coming. It was evident that he was really grateful that we had come.

I’m looking forward to going back. God has a special place in his heart for people just like these boys in the juvenile detention center. And he has made a special place in my heart, as well. Only through God’s love are we able to reach out and love those who seem so unlovable. I see that working in my life now, more than any other time.

I know God has a plan to use me in a greater way to evangelize the lost. That is what we are called to do as Christians. These last few days I feel closer to God than ever before. Because now my heart is closer to God’s heart more than ever before. Truly, God does not wish that anyone should perish, but all come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) As God’s love through me for others grows, I see how inadequate my love is. Our love can be so tainted. Any emotion or deterrence can change the way we think of someone from moment to moment. Only through God’s love, can we reach the world, and change it for His glory.

Thank You, God, for continuing to change my heart. And thank You for first loving me.

MSR

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MSR

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