Just for the record as you read this post, I’m not referring to our foreign exchange student we hosted a few years ago. I’m a youth leader so I have a lot of interaction with jr high and high school kids and this post is in reference to one of the many.
I visited with a young girl who’d been in the United States temporarily. I asked her about her time here and if she’d enjoyed coming to church while she was here (something which was a new experience for her).
Her response: “I do like it, but I don’t believe.”
Me: “Really? Like you don’t believe in God?!”
Her: “No, I don’t.”
Me: (without any hesitation whatsoever, because I lack patience) “So what do you do??!! What do you do when you hurt, when you fear, when you worry, when the bottom drops out?! Where do you place your hope?”
She hesitated thoughtfully… but didn’t have an answer.
Our conversation was soon interrupted, but I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to look for another opportunity to visit with this out going girl before she returned to her homeland; so a few days later I was picking her up from school, grabbing soda pops from a little family-owned coffee shop, and then heading to a beautifully landscaped, wide-spread park—where we proceeded to walk and talk…
She knew ahead of time that the purpose of us meeting was to talk to Jesus, but I didn’t want to freak her out either, but even more so, I didn’t want to miss my chance.
(We’ll call her Vera from here on out for the sake of privacy and mainly because my husband and I wished we would’ve named our youngest daughter that;)
So at what I felt was the right moment I finally said, “You know Vera, I’ve been thinking about how you said you didn’t believe in God and honestly I don’t want to be forceful at all, it’s just that as a Christian I’m called to be obedient to God and ALL I want out of life is to see people saved. I just don’t want to see you unsaved, that’s all.”
I also explained how if this whole God-thing is made up then when we die that’s it, we’re done, when our life is over no big deal, no loss for anyone!!—BUT on the other hand if the believer is right and God does in fact exist, and He is who He says He is, (which is what I believe) then those who have chosen to believe end up in Heaven one day and the unbelievers are consigned to the fires of Hell. (the fiery Lake of burning sulfur, according to Revelation 21:8)
To which she replied, “I’m just having trouble understanding how people got here, how the earth populated, how there’s so many languages, and I just don’t think that it could be this way by itself.”
Yes!!!! She’s on the right track, I thought to myself…because people and the beauty of mountains, oceans, sunrises and sunsets are entirely too amazing to be here by random chance or accident. It’s all too incredible to deny that an awesome Creator is in control of it all. It takes a Perfect Creator to come up with the blessings of life and beauty…I could tell the wheels were turning and she’d been doing some thinking. She wanted to know more about creation…
With her being from a different country, I kept my answers very short and simple so I wouldn’t risk being misunderstood. I pointed her to the first book of the Bible (Genesis) where a lot of her confusion could be answered from a Biblical (creation) perspective. She remained attentive and respectful of our conversation.
We walked and talked…a lot.
I returned her to her host family later that day and wondered if our conversation left an impact on her heart.
A few weeks later on a Sunday morning at church that same spunky young lady excitedly approached me. This time she held in her hands something that has the power to forever and dramatically change one’s life….the Word of Life, the answer to worries, fear, forgiveness and salvation, the call to live boldly and free from bondage.
“I got my first Bible!!!!” she proclaimed enthusiastically.
The church had gifted Bibles to the graduating students and she now had her first and very own. I saw the joy in her eyes and heard the passion in her voice as we chatted about it…
A pretty incredible moment…too incredible to deny. The seed was planted, watering was done…now it’s up to her to remain obedient so God can do the growing..
(PART 2 TO FOLLOW)
Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:17
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15