Her name was Anna.* The first time I saw her was at church a few weeks ago. As usual, I’d been in the back with the little ones all morning. When I came out for worship practice, there she was, standing next to the worship leader, getting ready to sing with us. The whole thing struck me as strange, but I went on without commenting. We went ahead and practiced, Anna sang along, and life moved on. Later, I found out that before that Sunday, Anna had never set foot inside a church. She was fascinated by everything, seemed lonely, and started coming regularly, which has been very eye-opening.
The day after she first came, Anna attended our youth Bible study. We were going through John, and came to a reference to “the Jews” wanting to kill Lazarus because Jesus had raised him from the dead.
“Wait,” said Anna hesitantly, “isn’t Jesus a Jew?”
“Well, yes,” I replied quickly, “but these are the Pharisees.”
“The Jewish religious leaders.”
She got this sort of dazed look on her face. She had no idea what I was talking about. We spent the rest of our study time that day going back into Biblical history all the way to the flood and giving her a crash course of everything major we could fit in. She had so many questions and was so eager to learn. That was one of the best studies we’ve had in a while, but it was so convicting.
I’d been, as Keith Green would put it, “sleeping in the light.” Somewhere along the line, I’d decided subconsciously that I wasn’t really needed in evangelism. After all, I live in the United States. Hasn’t everybody heard the gospel at some point? I guess not. Anna hadn’t even heard that Easter had anything to do with the Bible. How could I go merrily on with life, never even realizing that there are kids right here in my little hometown who have never heard the good news? How can I be so blind to the suffering they’re destined for?
One of my most heartfelt prayers right now is for evangelists right here in America, and for the courage to be one of them. On my own, I know I’d never have the strength to tell someone that their beliefs are wrong, but I trust the words in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
In looking at the pain, apathy, and wrongs of my generation, I see a desperate cry for a savior. To a large extent, those kids are turning to the wrong methods of survival because the right ones have never been presented to them in an understandable way.
For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ How shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe if they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? ~ Romans 10:13-14