Engage24 evangelism harvests souls for Christ in Fort Worth
On Thursday, Oct. 15, roughly 80 Southwestern students and professors joined in the seminary’s Going the Second Mile evangelism initiative as a way to participate in Engage24, a day set aside by the Southern Baptist Convention for intentional evangelism across the United States. Organized into teams that met at four specific times throughout the day (11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.), the Southwestern evangelists launched out into the streets of Fort Worth within a two-mile radius of the Southwestern campus for both door-to-door and campus evangelism. When the day was over, at least nine men and women of Fort Worth had professed Christ as their Savior as a direct result of these team efforts.
“It had always been a struggle for me to do door-to-door evangelism,” says Gulshat Amanmyradova, a Master of Arts in Christian Education student at Southwestern. She overcame her fears and joined the 4 p.m. Engage24 team. As she was heading out, Amanmyradova recalls, “The Holy Spirit convicted me to do it for the purpose of glorifying Him, by being obedient through sharing the Good News to the lost.”
After several rejections, Damian and his mother Beatriz, at one of the houses Amanmyradova’s team visited, listened to the Gospel and accepted Jesus into their lives. Seeing the work of the Holy Spirit, Amanmyradova says, “It made me realize that the ‘fields are ready for the harvest,’ and the sower and reaper must go out and gather fruit as fast and as much as possible.” Beatriz and Damian not only made professions of faith but also agreed to meet with Amanmyradova and another team member for future Bible study lessons.
Joseph Smith, a Master of Divinity student who went out with both the 11:30 and 2:30 evangelism teams, saw three professions of faith made on the campus of Texas Christian University. He recalls clearly the first of those conversations. Approaching a student named Mark, Smith asked him, “Who is Jesus Christ?” Mark replied that although he knew Jesus is the Savior, he himself was unsure of being saved. Smith proceeded to share with him the Romans Road. When Smith finished, Mark agreed to pray to accept Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of his life.
Besides Mark, two other TCU students, Alexandra and Alia, accepted Christ that day. Door-to-door evangelism also bore fruit, as Santana, Blanca, Bryan and Maria also made professions of faith.
Although not all responded to the Good News, many more people heard full presentations of the Gospel through the Engage24 effort. Meredith Fitzpatrick, a Master of Music student at Southwestern, recalls sharing the full Gospel with four people. Although they did not make professions of faith, she and her teammate still encouraged them to attend a local church and read the Bible. “It was a real blessing to me to participate [that day],” Fitzpatrick says.
Brandon Kiesling, a Ph.D. student in evangelism and church vitalization who led teams of evangelists on all four time slots, says, “Our students were excited, and we saw many students come on Thursday that had never gone out door-to-door witnessing before.” The day was a blessing for both Southwestern students and those who heard the Gospel, Kiesling says. “Each group that I led got to plant multiple seeds, and I believe God was faithful.”
Having planted the good seed in the hearts of the people of Fort Worth, Keith Eitel, dean of the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, urges Southwestern students to pray for those who heard the Gospel. He sends out “a reminder to bathe our efforts in prayer, for ‘the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.’”