Good news to sometimes weary souls – People all over the world are being saved! Recently at a mission board meeting, Pastor Tim Berlin from Faith in Warren, MI where we held an Exchange Seminar last January shared the amazing news that 25 precious souls have been saved over this year. Things in our country look pretty bleak, don’t they? It’s easy to hang our heads and wonder, “Is anything good happening?” But the emptiness, loneliness, fear, guilt, and lack of genuine love that thrives in America is causing people to spiral down – driving people to look up. Let’s arm ourselves with the gospel and commit to reaching out with the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ. SOME WILL HEAR & BELIEVE!
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!
The 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
You 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 all 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.”
Don’t you love the fresh faith of new believers? Recently Lisa was saved through the ministry of Lighthouse Baptist. Her pastor’s wife, Cassandra, helped Lisa with assurance and beginning discipleship using The Exchange Bible study. So when Lisa grew burdened for a client, they did The Exchange together. What a thrill it was in May to train both Lisa and the woman she had recently led to Christ. The good news gets even better! Lisa writes –
Just a few short weeks ago, we were blessed at Lighthouse Baptist Church in New Concord, Ohio by your amazing seminar! God used that to do so much in my heart!! God has allowed me to begin The Exchange with two ladies since then! Jennifer and I finished the third lesson yesterday and she accepted Christ as her Savior! Until then she knew Jesus died for the sins of the world and that she has sinned. The Holy Spirit showed her that Jesus died for HER and that no one else could pay her son debt! Another one has entered the kingdom!
Many believers face feelings of inadequacy when sharing their faith, but Lisa’s story reminds us that if God can use a brand new believer, He can use you. If you need a helping hand, looking into The Exchange Bible study.
Amazing! This one word describes Taza and Cathy’s story. It all began in Taza’s youth. Raised in a dysfunctional home by an alcoholic mother, Taza knew only that lifestyle. His older half-brother, Wayne, was rescued from the home, raised by his grandmother and influenced by his godly Aunt Ruth. Because of the trauma of his youth, Wayne did not wish to associate in any way with “those people”, including Taza and Cathy. God has a way of using traumatic experiences to draw people to Himself and such is the case with Taza, Cathy and Wayne.
Taza writes, “I stopped drinking after 22 years of that lifestyle. My wife had threatened to leave me.” But Cathy was still spiraling down, and a year after Taza quit drinking he helped Cathy find help with her addictions. “Not long after committing her I was out fishing for lobster (pronounced in our hearing “lobstah”). It was very rough out that day. I was by myself and began to think about how our lives were going. Pretty soon I felt the urge to pray and tell Him all my problems. I asked for help. I told him I was ready to turn my life over to Him. I told Him that if He could help my wife get better, I would start attending church.”
Cathy writes, “I was 40 years old before I began to put my life together. After years of struggling with alcoholism, drug addiction, bulimia and anorexia I finally sobered up and regained my health. I started reading self-help books, and while they satisfied me temporarily, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was still something missing. One day, out of the blue, I told my daughter, “I want to read the Bible.” Cathy’s daughter, returning from a basketball trip, handed Cathy a Gideon Bible she had “stolen” from the motel. Cathy attempted to read it but got discouraged. Taza writes, “She started reading in Genesis. It made no sense. I knew bits and pieces because my aunt had always written Scripture on my birthday cards.”
A few months later, after 20+ years of separation, Taza and Cathy reconnected with Wayne – a Christian. Wayne told Cathy to begin reading the book of John, and he invited them to visit his family in New Hampshire and attend church, Heritage Baptist with Pastor Matt Fagan in Windham. “I (Cathy) had never been to church in my life but with an extreme desire to understand the Bible better and to get to know Wayne and his family, we accepted. The pastor (Matt) was preaching from the Gospel of John. That book just came to life for me. We left New Hampshire that day knowing we wanted church to be part of our lives from then on. That was December 11, 2011. We continued our relationship with Wayne and expressed to him that we wanted to be baptized. That weekend he came to Maine to visit us. Before church Wayne held a short devotional in our home, explaining to use how and when he accepted Jesus as his Savior. I couldn’t hold in my emotions – “Why can’t we say that prayer right now in our living room? The look on Wayne’s face said it all! On Feb. 12, 2012 I accepted the Lord Jesus as my personal Savior. Since that day I have never looked back. My relationship with God is the most valuable, rewarding trusting relationship I’ve ever had.” Both Taza and Cathy were saved that beautiful February day, sitting in the home of Wayne – a godly gospel witness despite the pain of his early years.
Shortly after Cathy’s conversion, her pastor’s wife in VinylHaven Maine invited her to do The Exchange. Cathy invited her daughter. Cathy writes of the Bible study, “You opened up doors for me that I never even knew existed. You created a path that my daughter was willing to explore and because of your obedience to scripture coupled with your hearts desire to see lost souls saved, my daughter gave her life to the Lord.” God used Living the Exchange to help Cathy grow, and since that time four short years ago, Cathy has led many friends to Christ using The Exchange Bible study.
In keeping with the “Amazing” theme of this story, we were blessed to train Taza and Cathy in our recent Exchange seminar at Heritage in Windham, NH. Perhaps God will open the door for us to train in Vinylhaven, a tiny Island in Maine in great need of Gospel laborers!
14485 E. Evans Ave
Aurora, CO 80014