DON’T GIVE UP! THERE IS HOPE!

Torrey & Jalene Jaspers Faith Baptist of Longmont, CO

  • Grew up in church
  • Went to a Christian school
  • Rebellious
  • Expelled from school
  • Ungodly lifestyle

But even in this all too familiar scenario, NO-ONE is past God’s grace! Torrey Jaspers sent a beautiful story of the prodigal described here. Though this young man had twice made professions of faith, they had no impact on his life. “I have spent a quarter of my life already and I have nothing to show for it. I have a lot of knowledge about who God is, but I definitely don’t know him.”

It took two months to work through The Exchange Bible Study. As he put it, “I know all of this but I need to hear it all again so that I understand it.”

Torrey writes,

“When we finished the last lesson his conclusion was that to this point Christ had always been someone that he hoped would fix his earthly life problems, but, as he said, ‘I have never had a heart for God and I need a new heart.’ He understood the positional components of justification, but the idea of Christ becoming his life was a new component of the exchange that he did not understand.
It was so fun to hear him pour out his heart to the Lord desiring to know Christ and to follow Him.”
Christian, don’t give up! Some people have to come to the end of themselves before they really understand the gospel. There is hope!

TEENS SHARE THEIR FAITH!

Jessica (Right)

Mackenzie (Left)

Jessica and Mackenzie Perry, from Folsom California, took The Exchange training last year. At the top of their Find Five list was seven-year-old Erin. Over the past few months they’ve been using the truths they learned at The Exchange as they teach Children’s Church in Roseville, CA where their family ministers every Sunday afternoon. Sunday, after Mackenzie’s lesson, Jessica was able to take Erin to a back room and lead her to the Lord. She writes,

“It was such an exciting moment for me! She was one of my Fnd 5”

The gospel works, and it’s never too early to start sharing it!

ON THE WATCH FOR GOSPEL OPS!

Jon & Joy Fry

Jon & Joy Fry

What happens when you’re looking for gospel opportunities?

Jon Fry from Grace Bible Church in Massachusetts was praying & sharing the gospel in hopes that someone would be curious enough to do The Exchange Bible study with him. Jon writes,
“Laura and her son, David, came faithfully to our Sunday morning services for about two months.  When I offered the Exchange Bible study to them, they agreed.  I was surprised because my faith is small.  Laura seemed especially excited to be learning God’s Word for herself.  She would do the lessons well ahead of time.  I believe she trusted Christ in her home as she studied lesson 4.  Her new life was apparent when she attended church the next Sunday and enjoyed the singing for the first time.  She thought she was a good person and was only coming to church for her son.  God revealed her sinfulness and hopelessness through the Exchange Study.  She has repented and fully trusted Christ alone.  3 weeks after her salvation, she gave testimony to God’s saving grace in her life and was baptized in our church

Dao grew up in a Buddhist home, but wanted to know more about Jesus.  In writing about his salvation and baptism for a church membership class, he stated that he was baptized in an LDS church as a teenager and thought he was a follower of Christ.  He has been coming to our church for the past 3 months. He wanted to join our church, but without a clear testimony, I decided to meet with him.  In meeting with him, I asked if anyone had ever shared the whole plan of salvation with him.  He said no, but was very concerned about his sin.  I used the Exchange GPS tract and gave him the choice to accept Christ right now or wait to think about it.  He was ready to trust Christ right then, not wanting to wait another minute.  He is now going to the do the Exchange Bible study as a follow-up to his salvation.  On his own, he rewrote his testimony for church membership and baptism.  His testimony was as clear as possible with many verses to back up his decision to repent and believe the Gospel.

Our church is praising the LORD for allowing us to see two adults get saved in the same week and be baptized just weeks later.  They are both eager to grow and follow the LORD!

We could not be more appreciative for the clear Gospel presentation in the Exchange materials.  Thank you Jeff and Anna for your ministry to our church, all for His glory!”

SAVED IN THE NICK OF TIME

Tony Slutz

Tony Slutz

A medical doctor from Thompson Road Baptist Church was very burdened for a blind cancer patient and her husband. He described them as “very hard. They will never come to church.” Fully expecting to be refused, this believer invited his seriously ill patient to church and she agreed but said “my husband will never come to church.” Never tell God never! Guess what? They both attended church and the cancer patient walked the aisle to be saved that morning. Pastor Tony visited this gentleman, and though the he tended to scoff, Tony invited him to do The Exchange four-lesson Bible study and he agreed. On Lesson 4 he trusted Christ and within 3 months he was diagnosed with cancer and died. His widow is recovering and is nearly cancer free. Tony’s words – “He made it in, just under the wire.”

Praise God! Tony and this doctor both followed the Spirit’s prompting. Praise God! Another precious soul was added to heaven’s throng!

SO, JESUS TOOK THE RAP FOR ME?!

13912440_1366204243408764_7031466682679498116_n-2The Lord has convicted me for years and years about not being the witness that I should, but it usually only resulted in giving out a few tracts just to help with the guilt, unfortunately. My good friends, Jeff and Deanna Bartlett, have been instrumental in training me to use your “exchange” materials in Deanna’s Bible studies last year and I was determined that I wouldn’t struggle with this the rest of my life, so I tried to own it. I was able to establish a contact with a 20-year-old girl (Kalene) that took my blood in a blood drive in the spring and I reconnected with her this fall. She agreed to go through the exchange with me and even brought along a friend for our “God meetings” 😊 It was such a great tool to be able to start from scratch and work so logically through the Gospel. I can be a very wordy and random person, so it has given me so much more confidence knowing I have a thorough, yet relatively concise presentation. They both made professions of faith. Kalene has been especially fruitful in her growth. She is like a little missionary now, so bold about her newfound faith and wanting all of her family and friends to understand the Gospel, too. She calls me her “God coach” and tells me about different friends of hers that need “God coaching”. I love her terminology! So, we have given out the “exchange” book to a guy friend, that friend that came with her to some meetings and made a profession of faith. Her grandma came to Deanna’s Bible study the last three weeks and had completed a portion of the exchange booklet. I am so excited to tell you that Deanna was able to lead her through the exchange after Bible study last night and she received Christ! When Deanna gave the illustration about the chairs, and demonstrated straddling both chairs, her countenance changed and she got emotional, realizing that that is where she was – putting her faith in Christ and herself! She accepted Christ last night and Kalene said “one down, a million to go”! I can’t imagine The feeling that she has knowing that most everyone she knows is probably not saved.

Also, a friend of mine and I get to teach six middle school students from the public school across the street in a “released time” program. A couple weeks ago, I was able to present the exchange to them, and it was awesome to see the room begin to understand the Gospel… especially when I did the columns and exchanged the names. At that moment, two of the boys said “I get it now!” 😊 Every time I do those columns, I get choked up because it’s such an amazing visual! That illustration has revolutionized my witnessing! When I did that with Kalene, she got teary-eyed and said “So Jesus took the rap for me?!” LOVE it! It seems like it’s always a lightbulb moment.

I finally feel like I’m alive as a Christian and actually starting to fulfill the great commission that I’ve been so lax in most of my life.

Tina Parry, Anderson, SC

GOD SO LOVED ___ _____!

jonathan-speightsYou can easily fill in the blanks. John 3:16 is so well-known! But stop and think for a minute of the scope of God’s mission – THE WORLD. Is His vast mission ours? This photo of missionary Jonathan Speights and a photo of a young man he recently led to Christ in Brazil is so encouraging. Jonathan is sharing the Good News in his corner of the world. Jonathan was trained back in 2007 when The Exchange was called Come and See.

Greg & Linda Waller participated in our seminar in Midland, KS. They take the gospel greg-linda-wallerall over the world using medical help to open doors to give the gospel. Linda writes, “We have used The Exchange method all over the world It is a wonderful way of sharing the gospel with great results. We have over 2500 professions of faith so far this year, each with a one-on-one soul winner.”

May our vision to give the gospel be as big as our awesome God. Remember, God so loved the WORLD…!

 

DON’T GIVE UP!

Pastor Joel and Jonathan

Pastor Joel and Jonathan

A Spanish speaking member of Grace Life in Cypress, Texas has been inviting Jonathan to church for over TWO YEARS! She is his family’s housekeeper and speaks very little English. Praise God, she didn’t give up. This culminated in Pastor Joel and Jonathan doing The Exchange Bible study. Can you tell by Jonathan’s smile? He put his faith in Jesus Christ last week.

Obstacles are a very real part of evangelism, but remember – Nothing is too hard for God. So…DON’T GIVE UP!

EVANGELISM TEAMWORK

IMG_0047“Sara and I became friends over the fence. I always shared my faith with her and always had an extended invitation for them to come to church with us. But I knew from things she told me that church was not something she thought she would ever do again. So I just tried to be a really good friend and interject the gospel and Gods word into any conversation we had and when I felt God leading me to. (which was many!!) I prayed for their family every day and began to see some softness to the idea of church. I honestly knew I should ask her to do the Exchange but since I had not taken the class I didnt feel equipped. So I just kept praying and having our Sunday school class praying for them as well. One day she called me and said, “Okay Jeremy and I both have had something brought to our heart that we need to tell you about…. We feel like we need to go to church.” I was so happy it struck me silent! They came with us a few Sundays later and I had a lot of people praying ahead of time. Pastor Todd introduced himself and asked about doing The Exchange with them. They began the Exchange Bible study and on the third lesson Jeremy was saved. And in that time Sara realigned her heart with God’s. We had a lot of rejoicing and crying happening that night when they came to pick up the kids and Jeremy told us of his decision.” -Miriam and Todd and Kim Curtis’ story.

Jeff and I were blessed to spend an evening with Todd & Kim Curtis and Sara and Jeremy, hearing their stories and rejoicing with them. Jeremy has been baptized and they are actively involved at Burge Terrace. Our takeaway – First of all, be a good neighbor! Second, if you don’t feel ready to study the Bible with a friend or give a Gospel witness, find someone to help you. I’m absolutely positive they’ll love helping you out.

Evangelistic Bible Studies Won’t Work in the West!

Dear Readers,

While this is longer than our normal posts, it is so worth the read. Can you put your feet up and give us about 5 minutes? You’ll be inspired! Mandy writes from Apple Valley, CA.

DSC_7562Hi Jeff and Anna. When you were wrapping up the workshop at Life Point, you asked us to raise our hands, and commit to doing The Exchange with someone within the next 30 days.  While I enjoyed the workshop, and learned through it, I was quite skeptical that actually doing an evangelistic Bible study with someone was going to really “work” out here in the West. I would not commit to that. Just about 2 weeks following the conclusion of your workshop at our church, I met Alyssa at AWANA. She was visiting for the second time that night.  After our initial introductions, I asked her if she had a church background? She told me that she had gone as a child, and hasn’t been since.  She is currently 25 years old.  I asked her if she knew where she would spend eternity, and she said, “No. I know nothing, and would have to start from the beginning.” All giddy inside as I could see the Lord orchestrating and directing this entire conversation, I asked her if she would like to do a Bible study with me? She said, “Really? You would do that?” Attempting to maintain my composure (as I was jumping up and down inside), I said, “Of course. I would love to. She mentioned to me at this time, that her husband would not ever be interested, and that he would never step foot in a church. I began to pray for BJ, and that the Lord would begin softening his heart.

The following Tuesday, we met for the first time, and completed week one of The Exchange, and agreed to meet the following week for Lesson 2.  When that day came, Alyssa texted me, and told me that she couldn’t come because she and her husband of a little over 2 years, had just separated.  Two months went by, and I would text her every once in a while to tell her that I was continuing to pray for her and her husband.

One Saturday night, as Pastor’s family and our family were together at a park, I got a message from her. She said that she and BJ were back together, and were looking into counselling.  I quickly asked Pastor if he would do their counselling, and told him they need Christ.  He, of course agreed.  When I told her that our Pastor would be glad to counsel them, she again replied, “Really? He would do that?” The next day,  she AND BJ came to church, and set up a time to meet with Pastor the following Thursday.  That Sunday morning, in the hallway at church, Alyssa asked me when we can start up our bible study again? We met that Tuesday for Lesson 2. She was so open, trusting from the beginning that God’s word is truth.  At the end of this lesson, I asked her if she thought BJ would be open to doing The Exchange with Tim, my husband. She said that He would love to, and that he had asked her to find him someone to go through it with him. Wow! What a God we serve!!!!!!

Week 3 came to a close, and as I was going through the part where if they don’t want to wait to be saved, she stopped me, and said, “I have a question…The other night, I was talking to God, and I told Him that I can not do this life without him. That I need Him in my life. Did I just get saved???” We talked further, and she assured me that she had repented of her sin at that time. PRAISE GOD!!!!!!! During that week, she texted me, and asked if I would go through Living The Exchange with her following The Exchange. Hallelujah! Of course!!!!!

We finished up week four, and set the day for the following week to begin Living The Exchange. In the meantime, Tim and BJ had started The Exchange.  Again, when the guys finished up with week 3, BJ bowed his head, and right there with Tim, repented, and called on the Lord to save him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They, too have been in Living the Exchange for about 4 lessons.

Jeff and Anna, they are both like sponges, and so on fire for Christ.  BJ has begun sharing the Gospel with co-workers, and praying for opportunities for he and Alyssa to begin the exchange with one co-worker and his wife, in particular.

I get texts from Alyssa often with questions about Gospel conversations she is having with friends and family.  Their son, William, age 6 has since come to know the Lord, and their other son, Gauge, has made a profession, and they are praying to see fruit of a Believer. Alyssa’s mom has started coming to ladies bible study, and her sister has started coming to youth group! They are like wild fire!!!! The Lord is using them and growing them, mightily!

The week we were to be working on week 3 of Living The Exchange, I got a text from Alyssa that read, “Finished week 3! It is time for this Momma to be baptized!!!!!!” My response was tears of joy and thanksgiving! She and I are meeting later this week to go through week 10!

This past October, Alyssa went with us to our Ladies Retreat.  While we were there, she was chatting with a gal who has been attending our church, but had many questions about whether or not she was a Believer.  Alyssa’s first response to her was, “Will you do a Bible study with me?” The following week, Alyssa and Krissy met, and BJ and her husband, Mondo met.  Mondo and Krissy are certain after meeting for a couple of times, that they are, indeed saved, but just need discipled.  This Sunday, BJ, Alyssa, their son, William, Krissy and Mondo are ALL following the Lord in Believer’s baptism! PRAISE HIM!!!!!!!!!!! Krissy and Mondo have asked BJ and Alyssa to continue meeting with them, and after they finish The Exchange, if they could move with them right into Living the Exchange! God is so good!

This has definitely not been an easy road for BJ and Alyssa since coming to Christ.  Just a couple of weeks after she called on the Lord to save her, a CPS worker showed up at her door with accusations made by BJ’s ex-wife. They have had many challenges with custody battles, and through it all, they have responded in such Christ-like fashion; with such grace, and faith in their God to work in it according to His will. Prior to coming to know Christ, BJ spent the majority of his time, drunk.  He has given up the alcohol cold turkey, and is learning again how to speak with words that are Godly, and not cuss words.

In the past month, Tim and I have stopped homeschooling our kiddos, and have put them in our local Christian School.  In exchange for tuition, I get to work at the school every morning.  Not long after starting, I learned that one of my co-workers is Catholic. I began praying, and asking the Lord for a clear opportunity to invite her to do The Exchange with me.  Her name is Melissa, and I was not having any clear open doors to ask her, but my burden for her soul just continued to grow and grow. So I prayed, and asked the Lord for much boldness as I was just going to bring it up out of the blue, and invite her. Last week, as she and I were out on the playground with the grade schoolers, I just asked her. You know what? She said yes, and was so excited!!!!!! God is so good!!!!!!! She and I begin tomorrow morning! I would appreciate prayer for Melissa to see her need for Christ, and to call on Him to save her in repentant faith!

All of this to say, I was dead WRONG! God has done marvelous things with The Exchange Bible Study out here in the WEST!!!!!!!!! 

All to the glory of God,

Mandy McPhillips

A NEW BELIEVER IN NEW ZEALAND!

11891105_10153604504449301_140737347671234050_n-300x300Lydia, a wonderful believer who joined our August Exchange training in New Zealand, is quite the go-getter! Even before the seminar ended she had begun the Exchange Bible study with one of her friends. We just got an exciting Facebook message from Lydia. She says it best, “I rejoice to share with you that following the four lessons of The Exchange and ladies’ retreat the next weekend, Micaela accepted Christ…. She has already shared her love for God publicly and is very keen to come to church for all the services as well as continuing on to do Living the Exchange…Thank you for obeying God’s leading to come to NZ. My walk with God has grown so much through this.”

The value of one soul simply cannot be measured – it is so great! Though we are certain to hear more stories from The Exchange New Zealand mission work, if Micaela is the only person who trusts Christ it will have been worth every ounce of effort and expense.