Stuart* levelled his eyes steadily at his father Frank. He took a breath before asking one of the most difficult questions a son could ask: “Dad, are you ready to die?”
Frank had been in and out of the hospital over the past few months with a series of problems. First there was a fractured hip, then the cancer and now there was fluid in his lungs. The doctors had run tests and determined the problem—his kidneys had failed.
We received the following story from a couple in the UK who helped a pastor with tools to lead a Bible study.
A visiting pastor spoke at our church this past Sunday. We told him about the Bible studies we’d run using The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. He lit up like a christmas tree! In fact, before he left town, he took every copy of the book and the companion workbook that we could spare. He said he had been praying for material like this. He explained that all the outreach efforts at his church were now taking place in homes or outside the church and he had been looking for tools that would help people who said they were believers but their understanding of the Bible was limited. One couple had said to the pastor that the preaching at the church was way over their heads. They didn’t understand much! They told the pastor that they needed to review the basics. So as the pastor had been praying about what to do, he met us. He thought the meeting was arranged by God!
After passing him all the copies of the book and workbook, we also gave him our last set of the Ambassador Series and a copy of “By this Name.” He was elated.
I just got an email from him yesterday. He said he had already started a Bible study using “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus.” It never ceases to amaze us how opportunities to guide others through the Bible seem to spring out of nowhere!
It never ceases to amaze us how God uses those who are prepared to share the Good News.
Teams in churches and Christian organizations all around the world are in the midst of mapping out their schedules for upcoming short-term mission trips. The first part of the training schedule usually focuses on preparing the “mission trippers” so that everyone is clear on the biblical mandate for missions. One aspect that is often overlooked is ensuring that the entire team is “on the same page” with regards to the Gospel. It’s risky to assume that every member of the team understands the Bible’s central message or in the same way. It makes sense for leaders to get all the team members to go through a “Gospel refresher” course so that everyone is clear on what they will be proclaiming on the field.
“Teacher, you swore!” Mrs. Barclay had just begun to read the Christmas Nativity to her third-grade class when Lisa, a bright little girl in the front row interrupted. It took a moment before she realized Lisa had never heard ‘Jesus Christ’ as anything but profanity.
(Fast-forward ten years…)
Now a college sophomore driving home for Christmas, Lisa squints through the windshield at a billboard protruding from a field. Silently the sign’s letters form on her lips as it whips by… “Jesus.”