The Eteam wants to encourage the church by passing on reports of different ways SGC members are sharing the gospel and inviting others to church. It’s always exciting to hear of the ways God works through his people. It also encourages us that we can do the same. Here are testimonies from two ladies in our church:
When I was in my home town over Christmas I decided to get in touch with an old friend that I grew up with, but hadn't seen in many years. We got together for a visit and also went out to have dinner together. We had conversations about various topics and she commented that many of the people we grew up with had left the Catholic Church and were now attending other churches. She then asked, "What's wrong with the Catholic Church?" I was able to speak with her about some of the reasons I no longer attended the Catholic Church and to share the gospel with her. I told her that I believed the Bible was the Word of God and that many of the doctrines taught in the Catholic Church were based on the traditions of men and not found in scripture. I also especially emphasized that salvation was a free gift given by God through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus and that it could not be earned by trying to follow a set of rules or by trying to have your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds. I mentioned that many people go to church all their lives and never really come to understand that God wants us to be in a personal relationship with Him. I bought the book, "What is the Gospel" for her and plan to write her a short follow up note and mail it in the next few days. I pray the Lord will draw her to Himself.
I love to hike and have been a part of a hiking group for four years now. I don't have family in this country, and most of my friends aren't the outdoors type. If I hiked alone I would certainly get lost. So I decided to join a hiking group and follow the leaders who know the way. The first thing I noticed being a part of this group was this - while we started out as strangers, connections often happen quickly on the trails. The other thing I noticed was this - most of the people in the group had been divorced, or otherwise have no family or friends to hike with. People from all nations, tribes, and tongues, with one agenda for the day - to hike. Bonding happens when we hike as a group, heading to one destination, watching out for each other, sharing snacks, meals, and personal stories.
Most of the hikers in the group are non-believers. I've been asked questions that prompts interesting conversations. To give you a taste, here are some of the questions that became opportunities to share the gospel,"Maria, why aren't you signed up for this Sunday's hike? Come join us!" or "Maria, I thought your divorce was final. Why aren't you dating anyone yet, don't you feel like you are missing out?" or "Maria, my step-daughter is doing well in her freshman year in college, but all of a sudden she is interested in Christianity. I need you to give me a 101 so I can at least engage with her." It is a lot of fun to hike while enjoying the beauty of God's Creation, connecting with people, and making friends on the trail. My prayer is that some of my hiking friends will one day become my brothers and sisters in Christ.
I am thankful I found SGC - I can feel good about inviting people because I know the gospel is always shared, either thru the lyrics of songs projected on the screen, scripture reading, sermon, or the people they get to talk to, or a combination of the above!