SIMPLE FAITH IN ACTION

Does our faith show up 24/7? This story from Joy in Frederick, Maryland reminds us that the littlest things we say can open big gospel doors.

Joy was shopping at a new mattress store in her community where she met the owner. Joy couldn’t take advantage of the stellar deal he offered her until she spoke with her husband. The owner told Joy he would honor the offer but could not guarantee that the mattress would still be available. Her faith-filled response really impacted this gentleman: “If the Lord wants us to have it, it will still be here.” The day before Easter Joy returned to the store to purchase the mattress, and she invited the owner to church. The entire family of six was in church the following Sunday. This gentleman raised his hand at the invitation, indicating that he was unsure of his eternal destiny. Pastor Kent invited him to do The Exchange Bible study to which he agreed. After lesson 3 Mike decided he didn’t want to wait another week. He was ready to place his trust in Christ! Week 4 was a time of confirmation and rejoicing. Since that time this lovely family has faithfully been in church.

Everywhere God is drawing people to Himself. May we be like Joy & Kent, speaking of Him in everyday life and reaching out to people with the hope of the gospel.

An investment pays off!

Berean Baptist Exchange Seminar

“We have a short time to invest and a long time to enjoy the return!”

These words describe this short story from Pastor Gephart at Berean Baptist in San Tan Valley, AZ. Larry and Wilma Kotcamp made a Kingdom invest and will reap an eternal return. They did an Exchange Bible study with a Mormon woman who came to Christ after the 3rd lesson and was baptized just before Christmas. Berean participated in Exchange training for the second time this past September, and it’s always a blessing to see fruit.

VOICE THERAPY TURNS INTO EVANGELISM!

We were excited to get this story from Jim at Crossroad Baptist Church in Buckeye, AZ where this wonderful family, the Horkavy’s, minster. What a reminder that God uses even our difficult challenges in life to bring souls to know Him. May we be like Jim – on the lookout for people who need the Lord.

Jim writes, “Last week I visited one of my find-five, an 82-year-old man in an assisted living center that comes to the Tremble Clefs choir I belong to (voice therapy as those of us with Parkinson’s Disease lose our voices over time). He is a retired highway and border patrolman.  He had never been a church attender, not even as a child, and said he didn’t have a relationship with God.  He was interested in the Bible Study so I left him the booklet and he was to call me when he had read through the first lesson.  He called the next evening saying he had read the whole booklet. Having Parkinson’s Disease, his handwriting is so bad he doesn’t write anymore (another advancing PD symptom) and so didn’t fill in the booklet.  I went by the next day and we went through the whole Bible study page by page, culminating in his praying of the sinner’s prayer.  About 48 hours from start to finish!  Today I’ll deliver him a large-print Bible, and expect to study Living the Exchange with him in coming weeks.

2 Peter 3:9, The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

The Exchange in Ireland

Steve and Brandie McKinley are ministering in Ireland, and The Exchange is grateful to partner with them in evangelism! Pictured you’ll see a pile of Exchange Relationship Gospel tracts ready to be distributed. Following is a story of a soul saved as a result of their outreach!

“It is our profound joy to report that Brandon & Hannah have trusted the Lord as their Savior.  We initially met them on a main street in Navan while distributing tracts.  They needed to make some changes in their lives and wanted to learn more.  They agreed to do a four lesson Exchange Bible study. Slowly, we worked through the lessons and answered their many questions. Finally, we held our fourth study on Thursday before Christmas in my new office in Navan.  What really made the difference for them, besides coming to a full understanding of salvation, was learning that true faith involves dependence beyond mere understanding and agreement.  Through the clear leading of the Holy Spirit, they both acknowledged their need to repent and depend on Christ alone, and then they bowed their heads and prayed.  Hallelujah!   On New Year’s Eve, they came with us to a college-age fellowship at the Good News Baptist Church in Mullingar where they shared their salvation testimonies along with several other young people who have recently trusted Christ.  We should not be surprised at God’s providential working, but we are nevertheless, totally amazed.  We know there is now much work and prayer needed to “teach them all things.” – Steve McKinley

A SOUL-WINNER WAS BORN IN THIS ROOM!

Zeus was a brand new believer when he joined our Exchange training at Bethel in Tucson, AZ. Adorned in fresh remnants from his old lifestyle, he may not have been the person we’d have guessed would take the training to heart. Even the pastor wondered how much he would glean, but he has become quite a soul winner!

Pastor Sterzbach writes, “Zeus used The Exchange to lead a friend of his who was dying to Christ. But the story doesn’t end there. He led this man’s family to Christ in the aftermath of that event and is now teaching the family bilingually Living the Exchange.  He also led a co-worker to Christ named Humberto.  And as you might expect, he is growing in the Lord amazingly!  PTL for all of these good things.  That is just one Exchanger, but I thought you’d like to know.

Thank you for your considerable investment in teaching here at Bethel.  We praise God for you & pray for you.  Keep on until the trumpet sounds.”

What a reminder! Evangelism isn’t hard. Sure, we should invest in understanding and articulating the gospel – but the real question is, Will we take steps of faith and actually give the gospel? Zeus did…and so can you!

 

THE BEST 95th BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!

Debby, from Colonial Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis, asked her 95 year-old father’s caregiver a life-changing question: “How would you describe your relationship with God?” The response was not what one would want, “I don’t want to talk about it.” But Debby didn’t give up. Instead she asked this dear woman if she would be interested in doing a Bible study together to which she agreed.

Each week she would finish just a portion of the lesson and complete the remainder with Debby. She just really enjoyed doing the lessons together. At times the King James translation was a bit difficult so Debby would look up the verses in a modern translation. This 29-year-old woman admitted early on that she was bound for hell, but it wasn’t until lesson 4 that she responded to the gospel. The Exchange teaches a wonderful truth through a simple illustration using two chairs. One chair represents what we’ve been trusting in – good works, religious activities, etc. The other represents Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. Debby wisely visually demonstrated this by having her friend move from one chair to the other. When her friend was ready to move back to sit closer to Debby, she made sure Debby knew that she wasn’t moving away from putting her trust in Jesus, she was just moving back to her chair! Though she hadn’t expressed it yet, she was indicating that she wanted to transfer her trust to Jesus alone. That day was very special because not only was it the day she placed her trust in Christ as her Lord and Savior, it was Debby’s father’s 95th birthday! They may be 66 years apart, but they share the same birthday!

COMPASSION THAT LED TO EVANGELISM

Ben & Lydia,
Folsom, CA

Enjoy reading the difference Ben & Lydia’s compassion and love made!

“I did not grow up in church but always knew something was missing. I always wondered, “Why am I who I am.” I had a pretty happy childhood though. I was married at 21. I thought I had a perfect marriage. We had a beautiful son together. We didn’t have much but we made the best out of it. I was happy. I was content. However, In March of 2016 my life started changing. My husband was distant and depressed. I did what I could to lift him up. In June of 2016 my life was turned upside down, I was blindsided. My husband of almost 13 years was cheating on me and was lying to me about drugs and alcohol. I was devastated. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I thought my life was over. I still went to work every day knowing that it could possibly take my mind of it, so I thought. One day my boss, Ben, came to my desk seeing that I was crying, He asked if I needed to talk. I said “yes please” while sobbing. I told him what happened and he said to me, “I’m going to talk to you not as your boss but as your friend. Do you have God in your life?” I said “Yes, I believe – but I haven’t had him in my life for a while now.” Ben asked if he could pray for me. As he prayed, I sobbed. I felt God’s presence. I wanted more. Ben brought a book to me the very next day, When trouble comes. After I read it, I felt like I needed to forgive my husband and his girlfriend with my whole heart and let go. I also stressed this to my son and he forgave his father and his girlfriend. Ben and his wife invited my son and me over for dinner discussing the book I had received. I wanted more. Lydia, Ben’s wife, asked if I wanted to do a Bible study with her. I agreed, with no hesitation, which is so unlike me. I’m usually not the type of person to meet with a stranger. We continued our studies in The Exchange. On October 10, 2016 I accepted God into my life as my Savior. I felt alive, I felt free. Each day I grow as a new believer searching wanting more of him, to love him with my whole heart.”

I’M ALL IN!

Last Tuesday when I finished explaining the grace portion of the outline, though I was supposed to stop before heading into the invitation, I plunged ahead. As I walked off the platform this thought went through my mind, “That was like going through the gospel with an unbeliever!” There was a reason for that thought!

Wednesday night Ludys & her husband, Ray came to me after the seminar. Ludys had not yet had a chance to share this awesome news with her husband, so I got to watch the beauty of Ray’s face as he heard that Tuesday night Ludys had trusted Christ for salvation. As she was watching the two-chair illustration she came under such conviction that she described it as torture. She went home that evening realizing that she was sitting in between the two chairs – trusting Jesus and her good works. I loved her words to me, “Now I’m all in!” Indeed, Ludys made that life-changing decision to trust Jesus alone for salvation!

Two years prior to this, Ludys brought Ray to revival meetings at First Baptist of Westwood Lake in Miami. Ray, a lawyer, was confident that he was ok just as he was. However, the message convicted him. He “took a knee”, humbled himself and put his faith in Christ. What a reminder of the power of the gospel both in Ray’s life and Ludys’. What a blessing to train at such a wonderful church – First Baptist of Westwood Lake in Miami, FL!

A SPIRITUAL BATTLE WON!

Lana Booth from our recent Exchange seminar at Faith Baptist in Taylors, SC was very concerned for the soul of a woman for whom she works caring for her medically challenged child. It’s been hard for this woman to understand why they were given a medically fragile child. But Lana wisely shared with her that she should not sacrifice eternity because of her lack of understanding.

Lana and her friend began The Exchange Bible study on September 1, and that day we received an email with these words: “BRANDI MADE THE EXCHANGE!”  Lana felt very strongly that the enemy does not want her in this home, but her story was a reminder that the One who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. Yes, a battle is won – but now comes the ongoing battle of discipleship; so if you think of Lana, please pray for her and for this dear woman who has just trusted Christ.

A BROKEN ANKLE…TOTALLY WORTH A SOUL BEING SAVED!

Faithway Seminar in Ypsilanti, MI

In May 2017, the Musgraves presented the Exchange Seminar at our church. One of the steps included, “Find 5,” and asked those of us in the seminar to list five individuals who need the Gospel. Sharyn, a woman I met 3 years ago at a large Midwest university, was at the number one position on my list. She had visited church several times, I had given her my personal testimony but she kept putting off the decision, and now she had moved an hour away from me. Even before the seminar ended I phoned her to ask if she would like to have a Bible study, and she immediately said yes. Upon completion of the final lesson, I again asked her to consider what would happen to her when she died. She said, “I know I need to accept Christ, and I want to do so, but I’m just not sure at this point.” My heart was very burdened, but I continued to visit and befriend her and often brought the conversation back to salvation in Christ.

A few weeks after finishing the Exchange study I asked, “So Sharyn, you know you need to get saved, and I’m confused as to why you still do not want to do so.” She said she would answer me after using the restroom. While she was away I needed to get something from my car parked in her driveway. On the way to my car, I fell and broke my ankle. She felt horrible that I had gotten injured in her home, but I assured her everything would be fine. I wasn’t angry but within myself I really wanted to know, “OK God. What am I supposed to learn through this?” The following week Sharyn made the hour-long trek to my home and brought a small wheelchair that was extremely helpful. When we discussed the Lord, she made a startling statement, “I just don’t feel worthy of being saved.” We went through more Bible verses, yet still Sharyn did not want to accept Christ as her personal Savior, but her statement really bothered me. Two weeks later Sharyn again made the trek to my home to pick up the wheelchair since I was allowed to wear a walking boot and did not need the wheelchair any longer. When I brought up her statement of not being worthy I asked, “Please tell me who you think is worthy for the Son of God to die for them?” She was stunned and said, “I never looked at it that way before.” She finally prayed on her own, we both rejoiced over God’s gracious gift, and I got my answer from God of what I was to learn through a broken ankle. As she was leaving that day she said, “You were right – there is a great peace once you accept God.”