HeartCry missionary Dana L. recently married Mr. Florin V. While she has been adjusting to married life she has maintained her ministry among local university students. Please pray for the annual evangelistic ski camp scheduled for February 19-23 that many young people will attend.
One Sunday I got to know a teenager who recently started to come to church with a Christian young man, a friend of my husband. The young man said the teenager is already a believer because he prayed the sinner’s prayer. I engaged in a conversation with the teenager and asked what he had learned since he came to church. He said God talked to him about forgiveness during the last sermon. Then I asked him if he read the Bible and he said he reads from Genesis from time to time. I encouraged him to read the life of Jesus in the Gospels and explained to him that the Old Testament is about Jesus Christ and God’s redemption plan is fully revealed in the New Testament. I asked him why he started coming to church and reading the Bible. He said he wanted to be good and this might be a better path for his personal development than other possible paths. I asked him how a person can be saved and he said by believing in the sacrifice of Christ. Then I asked him what is saving faith, since the Bible says the devil also believes and he’s not saved. He thought for a while and then said he didn’t know. I explained to him saving faith means first to renounce trusting in ourselves, in being good or doing good deeds, to recognize we are sinners and can’t do anything for our salvation, and then to fully trust in the person and work of Christ for the forgiveness of sins. I gave him a few practical examples to help him understand what it is to trust 100% in Christ. He seemed amazed. He said, “so I need to fully trust in Christ for salvation?” Please pray for the salvation of this teenager and his perseverance in coming to church.
This month a close relative of a friend of mine died suddenly. After the funeral she sent me a few questions about life after death and the Orthodox Church’s traditions. Then she asked me to meet for a discussion. She said, “Where is his soul now?” We talked again about how anybody can be saved, explaining Luke 16:19-31 as well. Then she pondered and said that her relative was not a believer. She wanted to study together the nativity passages and then we talked about the incarnation of the Savior. Then she asked me to continue to do a Bible study with her and liked my suggestion to study the attributes of God. Please pray she continues in our meetings and for her salvation.
We ended the student meetings with a talk about the sufficiency of the Bible and a Christmas event. At the end of the Christmas meeting, one of our Orthodox Church participants said she wanted to share something with us. She told us how much our community means to her and thanked us for welcoming her in our midst since she was a freshmen. She said she has gotten to know about God through us. Before coming to the university she didn’t know anything about God or had opened a Bible.
In spite of the busy holidays, the students wanted to continue our Bible studies. I just started another one on Romans with two students. They have bits of good information, but are still unorganized and unclear. Many of my questions end up in silence for a long time. When we talked about Romans 1:17, they said that justification by faith means forgiveness of sins. I explained to them it is more than that. God the holy Judge declares the sinner righteous by faith in Christ. I explained “the great exchange” that we give Christ our sins, He gives us His righteousness. I asked them why we need righteousness and what is it? And many questions like that. They seemed surprised that justification means declared righteous, and all past, present, future sins are forgiven. Please pray for the ladies to have patience during the study and for a deeper understanding of the Gospel.
My last study this year was about the holiness of God. It was evangelistic. Before that study we had covered a few of God’s attributes. We also did a Bible study on the incarnation of the Son of God. During the study, one of them asked what the Bible says about reincarnation. She said it seems very real to her because she has had many déjàvus in the past and many coincidences. The Orthodox believe in reincarnation. We discussed that the Bible always states that human beings have only one life and then comes the judgement. I then read Hebrews 9:27. Please continue to pray for my friend to understand salvation is only by faith.