On the Front Lines

by Kathy Marson

 Let us keep close to the Word. (iStock)

SPOKANE, Wash., March 22, 2016  -  Meeting people day to day and going door to door is common for our Outreach Coordinators.  Here are some of their stories of how God is working in the lives of many people. We have used pseudonyms as these are stories in progress. We encourage you to pray for our Outreach Coordinators that they may have wisdom and the character of Christ as they meet the people in their communities.

Dee was moving into a new dwelling and had just walked outside to move more boxes when Mike and Brent walked up the sidewalk. She thought they were managers, but was pleasantly surprised they were doing a survey to help the community. As they got to questions about the Bible, Dee mentioned that she believed in God but that she had not been to church in a while because she found people not accepting of her. She told them she was a lesbian and married to another women and together they were raising two daughters.

The result of the visit was that Dee wanted her daughters to learn about God because she firmly believed in God. She was excited to talk to Mike and Brent about faith and related topics.  They invited Dee to an upcoming Creation Seminar and she was very excited to come with her kids and wife.

Jim, an Outreach Coordinator in another part of eastern Washington was working with Angelina who wanted Wellness Coaching. One day he asked her if she would like to study the Bible. She was very interested. As soon as she learned about Sabbath she asked her dad, “why don’t you keep Saturday Sabbath?” She also looked up a nearby Adventist Church and found some Bible studies on the website of the church. She started the studies right away. 

Angelina is also church shopping. She recently moved to Jim’s community and began attending the Baptist church. Then she moved on to Calvary Christian. She is looking for another church because “one of the churches,” she said, “was gay bashing, saying they were an abomination.” She feels it is important to point to the sin and not the sinner. She said, “This left a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t want my children in a church like that.”

When she visited the local Adventist Church she appreciated the message that God loves the sinner and hates the sin. She wants an environment where her children can plant their roots. Needless to say, Angelina is an “active” visitor in that church.

Another Outreach Coordinator working in the southern part of UCC, was reading the quarterly lesson which was about Christ’s temptation to be presumptuous and risk his life at the suggestion of Satan. Little did Lauren know she would be given the same test hours later. She was visiting some large, hilltop homes in her area. She knocked on the door and a 30-something man answered the door. He learned that Lauren was religious and his annoyance and anger grew. He began to blame Lauren and the individual with her for all the problems in the world. Before they left, he gave them a final challenge:  He said, “Go out to a field with me and let me shoot at you. Let’s see if your God protects you?”

With confidence rather than fear, Lauren answered the man. “We shouldn't do that, I just read about it this morning!  Jesus didn't and neither should we!”  He then muttered some more words of disgust and left.  Lauren rejoiced (though her nerves were shaken) at how God prepared her to respond to this challenge with confidence rather than fear or doubt.

As we daily face people, let us all remember that Jesus first and foremost “loved” and “cared” for the people with whom he came in contact. He asks us to do the same

“We are not called upon to enter into controversy with those who hold false theories. Controversy is unprofitable. Christ never entered into it. 'It is written' is the weapon used by the world's Redeemer. Let us keep close to the Word. Let us allow the Lord Jesus and His messengers to testify. We know that their testimony is true” -- Ellen G. White, Medical Ministry, p. 97.