Rain makes way for evangelism opportunity
Each Friday, Associate Professor of Missions Mike Morris leads a team of students in evangelism efforts in the area surrounding Rosemont Park. The team recently gathered at 3:00 on a Friday afternoon. The day was like any other, except for the rain that had persisted for several hours. But just before the team had to consider alternative plans, the rain stopped and the skies cleared, allowing them to eventually meet two high school students in need of the Gospel message.
As the team set out, they made their way to the park and toward a nearby neighborhood where they met several families and individuals who happened to be home at the time. But they eventually returned to the park where a school bus had just let out several students returning home from school.
When the Southwestern team arrived, they noticed three high school students: two girls and one boy. The team approached the students and struck up a conversation, explaining what they were doing out that afternoon. Morris eventually asked the students a common diagnostic question: “If you died in an accident and were standing at the gate of heaven, and if God asked you why He should let you into heaven, what would you say?”
Morris asked each student for an answer to the question. The students’ answers varied, but all essentially described a salvation determined by a number of good works.
In response, Morris began to share the Gospel message and how “good works” are not enough. “I talked about how sin separates us from God,” Morris explains. “I said that God’s standard is perfection as I used Romans 3:23. I talked about how Jesus lived a perfect life and that only He could pay for our sins.”
Morris continued with additional illustrations of the Gospel, defining repentance and faith. “I explained how people must trust Jesus with every part of their lives and surrender their lives in repentance and faith to become Christians,” he says. “They must make a commitment to turn from sin and turn to Jesus, giving Him complete control of their lives.”
The message seemed to resonate with Alyssa, one of the two girls. When Morris asked if they were willing to commit their lives to Christ “right now,” Alyssa responded that she was. The other two students, however, were not willing to make that commitment.
Morris planned to lead Alyssa in a prayer of salvation while the other two watched. But just as Morris began the prayer, the male student jumped in and repeated the prayer as well.
“He apparently was under the conviction of the Holy Sprit and made a last-second decision to become a Christian,” Morris says. “In the prayer, [he and Alyssa] repeated that they had broken God’s law, that they believed that Jesus had died to pay for their sins and had risen from the dead, that they were surrendering every part of their lives to Him in repentance and faith, and that they were thankful for being saved.”
Morris followed the prayer with information regarding baptism and steps for connecting with a local church. Although the afternoon started with the uncertainty of a favorable weather forecast, God blessed the team with a stoppage in the rain, and they now rejoice in the salvation of two new believers. They are also prayerful that the third student, though unwilling on that particular day, will soon follow his friends’ example and respond in faith to the message of the Gospel.