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Evangelism Requires Crossing the Relationship Bridge

Effective evangelism includes finding ways to communicate the Gospel to the people that we interact with every day.

I was renting the 4th floor of a row building from an older single lady. She was old enough to be my mother and since she had no children of her own, she was happy to think of me as her son. But not only did she think about it, she tried to care for me like her son too.

She didn’t allow me to pay her to do my laundry.

She deposited fruit and other goodies at the bottom of the steps for me to take up to my room.

She made sure there was hot water in the pot every morning so I could sit down in her “living room” and chat while I sipped hot chocolate.

Sometimes she’d ask me to take her to the store, but she’d almost always buy so much stuff for me I almost felt bad for taking her.

It did feel good to be cared for by someone like Mae Wan, especially since I was missing my own mother who I had left behind in the States. We developed a fairly close relationship from all the time we spent together throughout the year.

As wide as Mae Wan’s heart seemed to be, she still wasn’t a Christian. She grew up in a Buddhist family, so the pull to remain loyal to her roots was very strong. Her entire worldview was from a Buddhist perspective, so even when she was exposed to Biblical truth, it just didn’t make much sense to her.

Because I spent so much time with her, I naturally felt a sense of responsibility to tell her about the One who can save her soul. I did recognize the importance of praying for her, so she frequently made my intercessory prayer list for the day.

As much as I prayed for her, I still could not shake the sense of responsibility I had to speak truth into her life. I firmly believed that the Holy Spirit must be at work in her heart in order to open her eyes to the truth, but I also believed the He wanted to use the words that I speak to her to bring about a change in her heart.

ow it seems like whenever Christ is presented to someone, there is that potential for wedges to be driven between the message bearer and the receiver. Did I simply need to risk creating friction in our relationship so that I could tell her what I knew she needed to hear?

It seems like the Lord gave me a way to share truth with her while still keeping our relationship in tact. I decided to begin writing relevant scripture verses on little pieces of paper and giving or reading them to her in the morning while I sipped my hot chocolate. In this way, there was the potential that the seeds of truth that she was receiving would gradually cause her heart to be more receptive to the gospel message.

She was very open to receiving and reading the scripture notes that I prepared for her and kept them in the Bible that someone had given to her.

It took more time to hand write scripture notes for Mae Wan, but hand written notes have several advantages over massed produced, printed literature.

- Few people will not read a hand written note that they know was written especially for them.
- Hand written notes can easily be personalized for every situation.
- It’s free! All you need is some scrap paper and a pen.

Some people’s hearts may open immediately when the Gospel message is presented to them. For others, it may take years of slow but steady toil, first by one person and then by another.

In any case, God hasn’t asked us to produce quick results. He only asks us to be faithful in sharing his message, one seed of truth at a time.