Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)
By Pamela Kliewer
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Being behind the stage, I couldn’t see anything. My teammates and I came out to help comfort the kids, thanking God that they were all in one area when this happened, so panic didn’t ensue.
Many eyes were fastened on the red-orange flames rising into the night sky. It was soon extinguished, leaving in its wake fear and uncertainty amongst the campers.
God used this night as a great evangelism opportunity. We were at Lake Tahoe doing a Christian camp for non-Christian kids from San Jose’s East Side. What a challenge those kids were… fights breaking out every day… language spoken that we’d rather now hear… The staff spent time in prayer each morning asking God to help us reach these kids whose lives were shattered by the things they endured, living where they did. Little did we know He would use a fire one night.
After witnessing the fire, the kids’ faces reflected solemn and thoughtful hearts that we hadn’t seen before. Because of the fire the kids were open to hearing the gospel. Seven kids gave their lives to Jesus that night. I had the privilege of talking to one of them. Tanisha was scared, but ready to open her heart to the One who could give her peace and transform her life. As I shared Jesus with her, I looked into her eyes and saw a spark of hope. After we prayed, her face mirrored a heart with the peace of Jesus.
I’ll never know what happened to young Tanisha until I reach heaven. I pray that her decision that night was one that stuck and that she had follow-up, with someone able to disciple her and help her become grounded in her faith early on. That night was more than twenty-six years ago…
I know without a doubt, that God’s hand was in the fire, because the next morning at our meeting, all the details were shared. The fire was close to some trees, but there was no wind that night so it did not spread to those trees, which could have been disastrous. The little trailer where the fire started belonged to a couple who was saving money for their grand daughter to go on a mission trip herself (I was on a ten-week mission trip that summer…). When the envelope was found that housed four hundred dollars, only the envelope was charred. God wanted this young woman to be able to go on her mission trip too, evangelizing for our Lord; telling others about His finished work on the cross, so they could have eternal life and an abundant life down here.
In reflecting again on this story and thinking about those ten weeks in my life as a twenty year old, I realize that I did have a heart for evangelism then and how over the years that has drifted away. I have lost my desire to see lost souls come to Jesus. My prayer is that in writing this, I will remember the thrill of leading Tanisha to Jesus. I pray that I will once again yearn to share Him with others, open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, obedient to His call to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
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