Prayer brings five people for Bible studies

The Southwest District of Minnesota, which includes the Artichoke, Marshall, Pipestone and Windom churches, invited Karen Lewis to speak for our District Rally in August. She graciously agreed to drive the three hours to the Windom Church to train our members on how to do personal evangelism. As always, her presentations were stirring and inspiring for everyone in attendance. Her unique Bible study approach of Lifting Up Jesus before presenting any doctrine or prophecy has been very effective in anchoring people in God’s Word and in faith.

The following week I met with our head elder in Marshall to pray for God to use us and to help us apply the things Lewis had just shared. We poured out our hearts and opened ourselves to the Holy Spirit’s leading. While I was at the church, some other members came as well. As we were visiting, a man named John* walked in and began to tell us his story.

“Six weeks ago I was fed up with the life I have been living so I decided to douse my TVs and electronics in gasoline and set them on fire!” John said. What came next absolutely shocked me and the other two members. He said, “I kept one TV and after hooking it up to my antenna I was able to get two channels: NBC and 3ABN.” At that moment I could not help myself from grinning ear to ear. John continued, “Every day I take notes while I watch Pastor David Asscherick on 3ABN, followed by two hours of reading my Bible to see if what he said is true.” I was in disbelief—God was answering my prayers!

After a few more minutes of talking with John we found out that he quit his job because he wanted to honor the Lord’s Sabbath; he went to the library to look up the closest Seventh-day Adventist Church; and he thinks Ellen White is a “really neat lady” and asked if we had a copy of Steps to Christ. “Of course we do,” I blurted.

I have been studying with John every Tuesday for the last three weeks and he has come to church two weeks in a row—hallelujah!

But my story does not end there. After prayer meeting that evening I stopped by a church member’s apartment whom I had not seen for a while. He was not home, but his two roommates were. Both men are in their 20s and I had seen them before when they visited our church. Since I had spent a year in Kenya, it was easy finding things to talk about with a Kenyan and Rwandan my age. They were surprised that I am a pastor because I am so young. And somehow that led to a discussion of what Adventists believe.

Two hours later we were wrapping up an impromptu Bible study on the validity of the Bible and the importance of the Sabbath. We prayed together at the end and I asked them if they would be interested in studying more about the Bible on a regular basis. They both said, “Yes! We would love to.”

I have now been studying with Franklin and Joshua for three weeks and they are as excited as ever. To date, God has sent five people for me to study the Bible with. Up until three weeks ago I had not had one Bible study in the city of Marshall since I started working in this district. I am convinced that Jesus was absolutely serious when He said, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32). The Lord was waiting for me and the Marshall Church to lift Him up.

If we are willing to be instruments, used by God, He will gladly bring us in contact with just the right people who are ready to receive Jesus.

This article was written by Tyson Kahler, who pastors in the Southwest District of Minnesota. It was also published in the December 2014 print edition of OUTLOOK.

*Names have been changed.