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.” 

“PATIENT” EVANGELISM

A few years back a woman who had just joined Calvary Baptist of Alachua asked prayer for her unsaved husband, Michael, and her son. When Michael had to go into the hospital for surgery Marty asked if he could pray with him, and he agreed. During Michael’s rehab Marty faithfully visited him each week. As Michael was getting ready to be discharged Marty invited him to do The Exchange Bible Study. He said YES! Several weeks later we got a very excited call from Marty as he was leaving Michael’s home having just led him to Christ. They had just gathered together for a prayer of thanksgiving, and when it came to Michael’s turn he thanked God for his new salvation and prayed, “Lord, please save our son!” A burden for this lost family member was clear evidence that Michael was a new man.

This story reminded us of the need to be patient with lost souls. This man’s heart opened to the gospel when he became a “patient.” Indeed, physical needs often soften hearts. We were also reminded of the power of a praying wife.

SHORT AND SWEET!

Cher is on the left with the hat. Pastor Jeremy and Renee are on the right.

One of our wonderful partnering ministries, Farmington Avenue Baptist of West Hartford Connecticut sent a short, sweet story. But from Heaven’s perspective, stories like this are anything but short. In fact, this is a story which will last forever.

Cher participated in Exchange training in January. She took a friend through The Exchange Bible Study who also began attending the ladies Bible Study Reneé Sweatt led this spring. During the final session of the ladies’ Bible study Cher’s friend gave a clear testimony of salvation. She has been a practicing catholic all her life, trusting in works. Cher is now taking her through Living the Exchange.

 

A SPIRITUAL GRANDMOTHER

Deanna & Jeff Bartlett from Anderson SC

We love getting stories from Deanna. We have many! The latest two include one of her own and a story of someone she trained. Enjoy and be inspired, as are we!

“Just to encourage! I taught the steps of the Exchange to a ladies class I teach at our new church. One of the ladies that took the class leads the Celebrate Recovery program. I challenged them to ask God to send them someone whom He is calling to salvation. She did and at the end of her CR class that night she led a lady to the Lord using the Exchange. She said it gave her confidence to share the gospel.

Also, I spent 3 hours with a new lady at our church this past Sunday. I noticed in her FB posts that she was headed down a bad road. She met with me and her struggle came down to her salvation experience which wasn’t based on the Gospel at all. I went through the Exchange (which I now have memorized 🙂 ) and she said she wasn’t sure of her salvation. She understood the way it was presented and accepted Christ.”

We praise God for Deanna’s faithful gospel witness!

BAD NEWS IS DEPRESSING, BUT THERE’S NOTHING LIKE THE GOOD NEWS!

Peggy

Peggy writes from Colonial Hills Baptist in Indianapolis where we trained in February.

“Yesterday I met with my friend for lesson one of The Exchange. She had done her homework and also read half of the book of John. At the end of the lesson when I read the question, “Would you like your Bible Study leader to show you how to go to heaven now, or would you rather study it for yourself in the next 2 lessons”, she pushed the Bible toward me and said, “Now, please, because I’m pretty depressed by this news so far!” I got out my GPS (presentation tool) and we walked through the gospel together, and she trusted Christ! So exciting. Thank you, Jeff and Anna, for the wonderful Exchange training and the excellent materials. I’m excited for the updated version of the Discipleship program so I can use it with Dana and others!

THE POWER OF A MOTHER’S PRAYERS

Angie was in The Exchange seminar at Berean Baptist in Lilburn Georgia. She was burdened for a 25 year old single mother that she met through the day care she manages. So she invited Crystal to dinner, the conversation turned to spiritual things and Crystal agreed to do The Exchange Bible study with Angie. At the end of the first Lesson it was “Crystal Clear” that she was ready to trust Christ.

Angie writes, “God has been drawing Crystal to Himself without a doubt.  Crystal’s mom became a Christian about five years ago and has been praying for Crystal and has tried to talk to Crystal about the Lord but Crystal didn’t want to listen.

At Christmas time this past year I heard from her daughter’s teacher that Crystal’s restaurant was going to be closed for a couple of weeks for remodeling.  I am the director of the preschool where Crystal’s daughter attends.  The Lord had already burdened my heart for Crystal. I knew she was a single mom.  I offered Crystal a temporary position at the Preschool while her restaurant was closed.  During that time I had an opportunity to get to know Crystal.  Even before I began the exchange, I was looking for an opportunity to share the gospel with her.  I did not know at that time that her mom had been praying for Crystal for the past five years.  It was “crystal clear” to me that God wanted me to do so and that was the main reason I signed up to take The Exchange seminar.  She was the first person on my “Find Five List”.

Thank you so much for all you’ve done in creating and sharing this wonderful gospel presentation.  Crystal told me that it is “so clear” and “easy to understand”.  I am looking for that next person that God brings across my path to begin the Bible study with again!”

TOMATO FIGHT EVANGELISM

Mark Taylor, Right

It all began when Andrew Taylor and some friends had a tomato fight in the neighbor’s garden. As you can imagine, the neighbor was none too happy and stopped by Andrew’s dad’s house to complain! But the Taylor’s not only worked to resolve the conflict, their son, Andrew, took a special interest in the neighbor, helping him out with yard work. As time went by, the neighbor discovered he was terminally ill, so Andrew asked if they could study The Exchange together; however, he declined with many of the usual excuses: I’m ok, my church is helping me, etc. Andrew decided to leave the Bible study with him in hopes that he might just read it.

One day Andrew’s dad, Mark Taylor, was driving out of the neighborhood when he sensed the sudden strong urge to turn around and check on his neighbor. In answer to the doorbell, the neighbor quickly opened the door and without so much as a “hello” said, “It’s not by works! We’ve got to talk!” He had read through The Exchange Bible study and was under conviction. Mark was able to lead him to Christ and then a short time later he led the neighbor’s son to Christ. Within six months, both the neighbor and his son died.

Often people feel they’ve hurt their testimony with friends or neighbors, so they think witnessing is out of the question. Mark’s story is a great reminder that as believers we should resolve conflicts and invest in people’s lives, regardless of how they treat us. This story is also a stark reminder of the urgency of responding to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. May we become more sensitive to God’s Spirit and work to have uplifting relationships with unbelievers.

WORKS-BASED RELIGION OFFERS NO HOPE!

Rene training for evangelism (Left)

Works based religion is disillusioning. Rene grew up in a denomination that gave no assurance of eternal salvation. “How many works are enough? Does my good outweigh my bad?” Eventually, with the hopelessness of this false teaching, she gave up on church. “What’s the use?”

Years passed and the hardships of life began to take their toll. Among other challenges, Rene’s daughter, a severe asthmatic, was critically ill. Rene began to search for answers. A gentleman handing out tracts came by her home and invited her to a Baptist church. Rene remembered that her sister, Darlene, attended a Baptist church and wondered if it might be the same one. After not having spoken to Darlene for 10 years, she called her. Darlene invited Rene to join her at Westside Baptist in Eugene, Oregon.

After attending a few weeks, Pastor Nathan introduced them to the four-lesson Bible study, The Exchange, so Rene and Darlene began to do it together. On lesson three when Rene learned that Jesus made possible a great exchange – our sinful record for His righteous record – she finally understood what salvation was all about. She completed the 4th lesson and made that Great Exchange with Jesus. Her immediate question was, “What’s next?” So Darlene and Rene did Living the Exchange (a discipleship Bible study) together.

This past week after demonstrating the great exchange that took place on the cross I sat down beside Rene. She said, “That’s the part that helped me understand!” Up until that point I had no idea that I was seated beside someone who had been saved and discipled through Exchange material. How fulfilling! Our mission is not just to see people saved. Our earnest prayer is that believers will lead people to Christ, disciple them and then train them to lead others to Christ. Darlene did just that!

I HAVE NEVER FELT SUCH RELIEF!

The Eastwood Family

“I have to go to church today!” These words from Jodie in Sackville, Nova Scotia remind us that God is drawing people to Himself. Indeed, she did go to church that day at Sackville Independent Baptist where Jeremy & Cheryl Eastwood invited her to do The Exchange Bible study. After studying Lesson 1 she stayed up until 1:30 in the morning reading the book of John.

After Lesson 1 Jeremy invited Jodie to trust Christ, but as he began to explain the decision she said, “I did that. I didn’t use those nice words you just said, but I repented and asked God to forgive me and saved me. I have never felt such relief.”

God is still giving fruit from the sacrifices believers made to help us train in Nova Scotia last summer!

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!