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Challenges of being a missionary

A friend of mine, one of the best roommates I had at college, is living overseas and working in education. The country where he lives includes a culture that does not like directness. I know this from another lady, whom I knew professionally, who worked there. She said the custom over there is to work through intermediaries.

The roommate said because saying “Yes” is so common over there, it’s not unusual for you to lead scores of people to the Lord one night and the next day they’re back at their churches worshiping in the same old way again.

This reminds me a little of when I’d go to Seville Square in downtown Pensacola, Florida, to witness and talk to the homeless down there–along with anyone else who wanted to talk. I can’t tell you how many times I had this conversation:

Me: Sir, if you died tonight, do you have any idea where you’d go?

Person: No.

Me: Sir, can I tell you about Jesus? Have you ever asked him to come into your heart?

Person: Oh, yeah. I’ve prayed many times for him to forgive my sins and come into my heart?

When I was at Pensacola Christian College, Pastor Jim Schettler suggested this great approach to witnessing in tricky situations. Instead of asking people if they’ve accepted Jesus, ask them something that requires more of a response: “Who is Jesus and what does he mean to you?”

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