The Face of “Reaching Out”
As Christians we often have a distorted, or incomplete view of “outreach.” We look at outeach as a program or as an event. We think of going door-to-door and inviting people to come to a meeting, or an event. We plan wonderful activities and invite our community to join us. These are all great efforts and are a part of outreach. But sometimes outreach is simply reaching out.
Just being Jesus.
That is what happened to my friend at Aldi’s Supermarket. She was leaving the store on foot, and a woman drove up beside her and offered her a ride home. At first, she declined, but then feeling the weight of her purchases, decided to get in the car. The driver seemed pleasant enough. As soon as my friend was buckled in, the driver handed her a Bible and asked her if she had a relationship with Jesus. My friend honestly replied, “Not really.”
So on the short drive home, this Good Samaritan shared the Good News of Jesus with my friend. When they arrived at their destination, the woman gave my friend the Bible, her phone number, and an invitation to go to church with her the next Sunday. My friend took all three.
After attending church and studying her Bible, my friend gave her life to Christ and was baptized. She is the first person in her family to follow Jesus. She continued to study her Bible and was troubled because some things at the church were not lining up with what she was reading. Something was missing.
One Saturday, she heard about a coat giveaway at an area church. She needed a warm coat this winter, so she went. As she was sitting in our auditorium and waiting for her number to be called, I sat down and visited with her. I found out she wanted to attend English classes. I made an appointment with her to apply for class. She came and applied and we talked some more. I invited her to church.
She came the next Sunday, and has attended every Sunday since then. She is in a solid Bible study. She sang with us at a nursing home during Christmas. She participates in a Life Group. She helped at Room in the Inn. She has brought a visitor.
She has found the missing piece. She wants to place membership with us and be a part of our family.
Living like Jesus.