By BGEA | Published: February 18, 2016
From the mountains of Iraq to a porch in Louisiana, online evangelism knows no bounds.
In the past five years, BGEA’s Search for Jesus ministry has reached over 39 million people with the Gospel through evangelistic websites and one-on-one online connections.
More than 450 trained volunteers are part of this ministry, responding to online visitors through chat and email, or guiding them through a free discipleship course.
Here are three stories of people impacted by this global ministry:
‘If Jesus Accepts Me’
Raheel* lives in northern Iraq near the Tigris River. His home is just north of Mosul, an area where fear and uncertainty are part of everyday life since radical Islamic forces moved in a couple of years ago. Although he and most people around him grew up Muslim, Raheel has a few Christian friends who told him about Jesus. Curious, he went online one day and found PeaceWithGod.net. That’s where he left a message, asking, “How can I be one of Jesus’ followers?”
Raheel connected with a trained Search for Jesus email coach who explained the Gospel. Raheel replied, saying he loves Christ but is a Muslim living among other Muslims and doesn’t know what to do.
About a month later, Raheel watched a live webcast of Franklin Graham’s Jacksonville Festival of Hope in Florida. From there, he submitted another question through one of BGEA’s evangelistic websites. His question went to the same email coach.
“I will be so happy if my Lord Jesus Christ accepts me as one of His followers,” he wrote. “Is it possible if I [was] born a Muslim?” The coach explained salvation, and this time Raheel was ready. He made a decision for Christ and said he would look into an online BGEA Bible study the coach suggested. The coach encouraged him to pray often, read the Bible and seek fellowship with other believers.
Pregnant and Scared, but Hopeful
“I am scared, I am seven months pregnant, and I am homeless.”
Rosalyn* sat on a friend’s porch in Louisiana, unsure of her child’s future. Worried, she went online and typed “I am so lost, can God help me?” into Google. From there, she found PeaceWithGod.net and connected with Irene, a trained Search for Jesus volunteer in California.
Rosalyn shared with Irene how her parents had let her down in life and that she’d had several abortions, but wasn’t able to get one this time around. Irene sympathized with her and explained in simple terms how God wants the best for us, but we miss out on His best when we go our own way.
“Sometimes I feel like it’s easier to relate to the concept of God, rather than Jesus because Jesus was just a man, and I don’t trust men,” Rosalyn wrote. Irene explained how God and Jesus are one and how He wants to be there for us. “I need His guidance. Bad,” Rosalyn wrote.
By the end of the conversation, Rosalyn made the decision to let Jesus Christ have control over her life. Irene also encouraged Rosalyn to read the Bible she had and directed her to an online Bible study.
“Thank you for spending time with me,” Rosalyn wrote. “Only two and a half more months left. Must get closer to God.”
‘I Don’t Even Know How I Got Here’
Jerry* browsed PeaceWithGod.net for a while before starting an online chat with a trained Search for Jesus volunteer.
“I don’t even know how I got here in the first place,” he wrote. “I was on the Internet looking for a porn page and I found myself here.”
Now that he was reading through the Gospel message, something was stirring inside.
The chat coach asked Jerry if he was a follower of Christ. No, Jerry replied, but he wanted to be—“I want to know Him and make Him my personal Savior.” The coach was excited to lead him through what it means to repent of his sins, and Jerry repeated a prayer of salvation. He was also directed to online resources to help him start a new chapter with Christ.
*Names changed to protect privacy.