A Gospel Opportunity in a Nursing Home

We received an exciting, short email from Pastor Jim Bickel in Brooklyn, NY.

 “Just led a 78-year old MD to the Lord by using The Exchange.”

A member of Pastor Jim’s church had been seeing this family doctor for 30 years. He retired and now lives in a local nursing facility where Pastor Bickel began to visit him. Eventually they set up an Exchange Bible study. He trusted Christ and is now in discipleship.

Praise God for a compassionate pastor, willing to take time for someone who desperately needed the Lord. He wasn’t a member of Jim’s church, but he was important to Jim. May God open our eyes to the gospel opportunities around us!

 

“We want to know God!”

It was Easter Sunday of 2016 and Pastor Ramler was doing what all believers should do – he engaged church guests in conversation! He asked a simple question which led to an amazing relationship, “How did you find our church?”

“We googled baptist churches nearby.” was Nicole’s response.

In the course of this conversation Taylor explained that they wanted to know God. Pastor Ramler seized this opportune moment to invite Taylor and Nicole to do a Bible study which would help them know God.

Their schedules were busy, and the only time they could get together was Sunday afternoon – sometimes a difficult time for pastors – but Pastor Kent and Joy were more than glad to make it work. Dinner and Bible study Sunday afternoon at the parsonage became a regular occurrence over the next few months. Taylor shared that The Exchange Bible study presented a wonderful platform to ask questions like, “How can you know for sure there really is a God?”

After lesson 3 Taylor was really close to trusting Christ, but Nicole still had some reservations. Between lessons 3 and 4, unbeknownst to each other, they both prayed privately and put their trust in Christ. During lesson 4 with Pastor Kent and Joy they shared that each of them had recently trusted Christ on their own. It was a time of great rejoicing. Since that time they’ve been baptized and faithfully attend People’s Baptist Church. Today they surprised us by treating us all to lunch as their way of saying thank you to the Ramler’s for mentoring them and to Jeff for writing The Exchange. Truly, this story made our day.

What reminder of the many guests who visit our churches looking for answers to the major questions of life. May we be like Pastor Ramler and seize these amazing opportunities.

A Spiritual Birthday!

Birthdays! What cause for celebration! But a spiritual birthday is even greater cause for celebration – the beginning of life that never ends. On May 31 at 11:00 a.m. Len was born again and Ron Perry, all of us at The Exchange along with a myriad of angels in heaven express our joy!

Is there any joy greater than leading a soul to find eternal peace with God? If you’ve never had this privilege, considering using The Exchange Bible study. This simple 4-lesson Bible study is an introduction to Who God is and how to have a relationship with Him. Len is one of many who have placed their faith in Jesus as a result of believers like Ron Perry in Folsom, CA who take the time to study God’s Word together with an unbeliever.

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“Along came Kay, wonderful and blessed Kay!”

Louise (L) & Kay (R)

The title of this blog post describes in endearing terms the special bond that develops when a believer gives the gospel and a friend accepts God’s amazing exchange – His holy record for her sinful record. It was not easy to reach Louise, but Kay was persistent. Louise had visited Emmanuel Baptist Church in Mechanicsburg, PA several times. During the invitation Louise raised her hand, confessing that she was unsure of her eternal destiny. This “just so happened” to occur in the middle of our Exchanger seminar, and Kay, who was participating in our seminar, felt compelled to reach out to Louise with The Exchange Bible study. But no-one seemed to know her address or phone number. However, Kay’s husband found a giving envelope with Louise’s address, so Kay dropped by for a visit. Kay was so disappointed because Louise wasn’t home. However, a note on her mailbox read, “If you are delivering a package, please call this number.” Praise the Lord! Kay called, connected with Louise and in Kay’s words, “We have been friends ever since.” Following is Louise’s salvation testimony in her own words.

“I always thought that I was ‘rooted and grounded’ in the Word because of my upbringing. Although I was baptized and had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I never felt truly worthy of God’s salvation.  I always thought that I must do more to repent of my sins. How could it be so simple to achieve everlasting happiness with my Lord and Savior, without constantly working at it?

…And then along came Kay, wonderful and blessed Kay.  If it would not have been for Kay’s perseverance and dedication to the Lord, I would not have discovered the Bible study — the “Exchange”.  Working through each lesson made me realize (in plain language) that although I believed and accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, I fell short of trusting and exclusively depending on Him.

By the time we reached the final lesson I finally realized that I was doubting God and not trusting his Grace and Mercy.  I realized that I could do nothing, because God has already done everything necessary to save my soul.  I finally realized that Jesus died in exchange for my sins and there is nothing I could possibly do to change that.  I accept and trust ‘that It Is Finished’, because God cannot lie.

I thank God for Kay bringing me to that realization through our brief Bible Study.  I was blind and now I see…Alleluia!”

God is at work at Emmanuel Baptist and this is how Kay describes the work God is doing in her church:

“This Exchange works!  Thank you so much for creating it!  Our church is excited, and I’m sure you will be hearing from Pastor Crews soon, if you haven’t already. The last couple of weeks the testimony time has been all about cultivating relationships – it’s very exciting watching God work!”

We share this in hopes that it will inspire you to persevere in your attempts to reach out to people with the gospel. The gospel is “the power of God unto salvation.”

 

 

App Evangelism!

Nike – It’s more than a shoe. It’s the Greek word for VICTORY, and victory was the topic for Jeff’s message at Westwood Christian school in March. Chapel was fun that day with a room packed full of eager students. But as Diego Rivera listened to the message, the Spirit of God was prompting his heart with questions about his soul; so he reached out to Jeff afterward. Together, they worked their way through The Exchange App and Diego’s life was forever changed as he put his trust in Jesus Christ.

His dream to play pro basketball is what brought Diego to Westwood Christian School. Who knows, he might just fulfill that dream. But without knowing Christ, no matter how successful Diego becomes in life, he would have been desperately wanting in eternity. But not now! Diego’s eternal destiny has changed.

*The Exchange App is ready to download. Search for Exchange Message in the app or google play store.

 

 

How Did I Never See This Before!?

Laura (L) Nercy (R)

This exciting story from Nercy Radcliff came to us in November of 2017: “My husband and I attended the Exchange Seminar in Miami last September at First Baptist of Westwood Lake. I am so thrilled to report to you that I began a study with Laura Pinzon, the mom of one of my son’s friends. I just felt that I needed to ask her if she’d like to do the study and she immediately responded, ‘Yes!’ Last Thursday she completely trusted in Christ alone for her salvation and had tears of joy in her eyes. She has been a religious woman all her life but was trusting in her works. She is now continually making comments like, ‘How did I never see this before?!’ or ‘It all makes perfect sense now!’ I am jumping with joy as well and want to thank you so much for your faithfulness in this wonderful program. I just know with all my heart that God has His mighty hand upon your lives, He has revealed this program to you for such a time as this, and I am so excited to see who else the Lord has for me to do a study with.

“We received this story from Nercy this past November. In February, while at a missions conference at First Baptist, we had the blessed privilege of meeting Laura. She is attending church and has been doing Living the Exchange with Nercy. Praise the Lord for believers like Nercy who follow the Spirit’s prompting to give the gospel and also take the time and effort to disciple those they lead to Christ.

24/7 EVANGELISM IN REAL LIFE

Angie L, Wanda R

As believers, we sometimes get the idea that evangelism is something that takes place on Saturday morning or Tuesday evening – a program. Please don’t misunderstand. There’s nothing wrong with a visitation program. In fact, it’s necessary to reach out to our communities and honor our church guests with a visit. But real personal evangelism is 24/7. It’s giving the Gospel to those in our sphere of influence. Wanda Mortensen from First Baptist of Westwood Lake in Miami is a wonderful example of this. Angie (pictured here) works in the kitchen at First Baptist. Guessing that she did not know Christ as her Savior, Wanda reached out to her. Last November they did The Exchange Bible study together and Angie was saved. We were very blessed to meet Angie two weeks ago because not only has she been saved, but she is attending church.

Wanda recently led her neighbor to Christ and is now planning to disciple her. What an inspiration to reach out to the people in our lives and give them the Good News. This is 24/7 evangelism!

FROM LEGO…TO THE TABERNACLE…TO THE GOSPEL

Paola (R), Isabel & the Tabernacle

“Is that lego?” asked Isabel.
“No. Would you like me to show you what it is?” replied Paola.
This is how an amazing gospel encounter began as two school moms began this interesting conversation. Paola took her plastic replica of the Old Testament tabernacle and skillfully illustrated God’s holiness, justice, love and grace – The Exchange. Thus began Isabel’s interest in the gospel, eventually leading to studying The Exchange Bible study together. Isabel put her trust in Christ, and is actively attending First Baptist of Westwood Lake in Miami Florida, and it all started with a plastic replica of the tabernacle!
But the story continues! Paola began a Bible study with four school moms, and Isabel, our brand new believer, calls the study, “God is faithful.” Indeed, He is!

I’m pretty sure we will be hearing more evangelism stories soon from this wonderful Bible study.

May Paola’s story inspires all of us to turn ordinary, everyday conversations into gospel opportunities. From lego, to the tabernacle, to Jesus. Amazing!

Paola’s Exchange Bible Study

 

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.