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Overcoming Fears about Witnessing

Elaine Creasman

Our high school mini-mester was coming up, and I had prayed a lot about where to go. (Mini-mester is short for “ministry semester,” a week off from school in which each student serves the Lord by serving others.) Last year, I traveled to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico to work on service projects. I had watched the video about serving in El Salvador but decided not to go there because the project involved evangelism. This year I felt God saying, “That’s where you need to go. Get out of your comfort zone.”

 

Getting Started

Before leaving, we talked and prayed about how we would offer the message of Christ to these people. The day after we arrived in El Salvador, sixteen students and two adults went out in pairs with a translator. My partner and I went into a village and took turns presenting the gospel. We explained the Romans Road to salvation and invited people to a movie, the Jesus film, which would play that evening.

Going up to a stranger and talking about God isn’t easy. The first time we approached someone, I was so nervous that I couldn’t think of anything to say. I let my partner take over.

Hearing my partner’s conversation encouraged me, and I spoke to the next person we met. Getting through that first time gave me courage to continue. We talked to people of all ages, to parents and older teens in the villages and to younger kids in the schools.

 

Gaining Confidence

A woman named Michelle, who lived in one of the villages, agreed with us at first; but then she said, “I’m good enough. I’m a good person.” Then we showed her Ephesians 2:8–9 (NIV): “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Her face lit up as she began to understand that salvation was a gift of God that comes through faith and that there was nothing she could do to earn it.

devozine Ashley-Llerena-FTRI know a little Spanish (my grandparents are from Cuba), so I didn’t always have to use a translator when I worked with the little children. When we went to schools, we took colorful bracelets to explain the steps of salvation; and we told the students, “Salvation is a free gift. God gives us salvation just as I’m giving you this free gift.” One little girl talked to me for a while. Later that night in the village, she told me that she had shared with her parents what she had learned from me at school. How encouraging!

Knowing that I couldn’t witness on my own, I prayed throughout the trip that God would give me the strength and courage to talk to people about Jesus. God answered my prayers. On the last day, I talked to a whole class of fifth graders by myself for forty-five minutes.

I’m no longer afraid to bring up the gospel in conversations, and I’ve seen how God can use me if I’m willing to step out of my comfort zone. Many of the people I talked with prayed to receive Christ. At the end of the trip, our group counted 1,160 professions of faith.

 

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DIG DEEPER

Our verse for this year’s mini-mester was: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15, NIV). I plan to keep on doing that—right here at home. Join me in talking about God’s gift of salvation and in helping others to know and follow Christ. You may be nervous about talking to someone about Jesus; but after the first few times, it gets easier. And I promise that God will give you the strength you need.

 

Elaine Creasman with Ashley Llerena, 16, of Largo, Florida, who enjoys playing volleyball and soccer as well as being active in the Student Ministry of First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks.

—from devozine (May/June 2012). Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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