52 Days of Outreach – Day 8
Jan 20th, 2014 by Nelvin Chase

I had several opportunities at work to share today. First, one of my co-workers asked me about a person in the Bible and I got to share a little about the Book of Ruth with him. We were interrupted and I wasn’t able to share as much as I would have liked but it was still something.

Then I had the opportunity to talk to a floater (a sub, as one of my co-workers called in sick) about what I am studying in school and my goals when I graduate. My schooling and goals revolve around God so it was neat to be able to share. He kept asking me questions too which was neat.

Day 8 – shared about my Bible School and ministry goals in life.

52 Days of Outreach – Day 7
Jan 20th, 2014 by Nelvin Chase

Outreach is officially one week over. And yet again I have failed to participate. It is Sunday and I was literally around Christians all day and did not cross paths with an unbeliever even for a second.

Everyone who is doing this outreach got together and shared stories from the week. It was encouraging to see the victories and also the failures of those in the group. We are all struggling but the exciting thing is that we are getting out there and doing outreach way more than we have previously. We are intentionally looking for opportunities and stepping out of our comfort-zones and take the opportunities that we see. We may not succeed the way we would like every day but there is progress and that is exciting to see.

Day 7 – nothing.

52 Days of Outreach – Day 6
Jan 20th, 2014 by Nelvin Chase

I spent the whole day on my cousin’s film set. I was surrounded by Christians the entire day.  When we had finished filming we all went to IHOP to eat. I was tired and exhausted and completely forgot about outreach. I am disappointed because I know I could have at least left a gospel tract on the table after we left.

Day 6 – nothing.

52 Days of Outreach – Day 5
Jan 20th, 2014 by Nelvin Chase

Yet another day I failed to do outreach. I need to come up with more creative ways to do outreach that work with my situation but so far I’ve got nothing.

Day 5 – nothing.

52 Days of Outreach – Day 4
Jan 20th, 2014 by Nelvin Chase

I had little opportunity for outreach today. I could not think of anything to do. I ended up just praying.

Day 4 – prayed for unbelievers.

52 Days of Outreach – Day 3
Jan 20th, 2014 by Nelvin Chase

The fears have set in. I have come to the realization that this is going to be a long 52 days and, to be honest, I am beginning to get cold feet. The enthusiasm for the project has warn off and I honestly just want to quit as it is constantly placing me outside of my comfort-zone.However, God handed me a witness opportunity today and I took it.

I walked into a classroom at work to gather trash. There were two teachers there chatting – both close to my age and both first year teachers. This is the first time I have seen them since winter break so our conversation revolved around break.

One of the teachers is a Christian while the other is not which made the conversation easy since I could basically have the conversation with the Christian and have the non-believer listen. So when they asked about break I told them about what God has been doing in my heart. It was hard to be that transparent and I typically don’t go quite into that much detail but I felt it important to share in this situation.

I was able to tell them of my struggles and victories over break and how God is shaping and molding me and helping me work through some anger that has been in my heart that previously I was not even aware of.  It was a unique opportunity and I think it was received well although I do believe the unbeliever got a little uncomfortable toward the end when I was talking about God.

This was an opportunity I probably would have passed on by if it weren’t for the outreach. It was good to step outside my comfort-zone and take a chance. It was also nice to have another believer in the room – his presence was the support I needed.

Day 3 – shared a testimony of what God is doing in my life with an unbeliever.

52 Days of Outreach – Day 2
Jan 9th, 2014 by Nelvin Chase

I talked with my accountability partner on the phone in the morning. We discussed not only ideas of outreach but also things that we needed to be praying for. We determined that boldness, spiritual warfare, and seeing opportunities as actual opportunities were in our top things to pray about.

My accountability partner told me that after we had left starbucks the night before that she realized we had passed up an opportunity already. There was a man sitting outside in the cold all bundled up. He kind of creeped us out but she told me she later realized that we should have bought him hot chocolate or something along those lines. I felt bad that we had just be praying for opportunities and we walked right by one.

I decided to journal about my experience on this journey. Not only will it help me to remember what I go through each day and the opportunities that come my way but it will also help me keep my thoughts straight. I also decided to go through my Bible and pull out verses about evangelism. I plan on writing them on index cards, laminating them, and reviewing them often as reminders. 

I had planned on sharing with at least one of the teachers I clean for now that school is back in session but I forgot that it is the beginning of the semester and so the teachers all leave earlier due to not having to grade things. I found no one to share with. I was disappointed.

I determined that I would go to walmart after work and, if nothing else, give a gospel tract to the cashier. I really didn’t need to buy anything but I only had a half hour before the day was up and I needed to do some form of outreach. When I did get off work I was tired and was fighting the desire to skip the outreach and just go home.

As I drove away from work I fought hard against the urge to just keep driving instead of stopping at the store. I was tired. I was grumpy. It had been a frustrating day at work and I didn’t want to have to deal with any more people. But I managed to force myself to go. 

When I got inside I realized just how empty the store was. I walked over to the fruit section and picked out some bananas and got in line behind 2 Indian guys.  The cashier was working elsewhere and it took a minute for her to come over and ring us up. By the time she got to me 2 people were in line behind me one being my co-worker.

I felt flustered and out of practice. I could not have a conversation because there were more customers. All I needed to do was hand her a tract but still I was nervous. My co-worker was watching my every move. The tract slipped out of my hand and hit the floor. “You’re dropping things, Sarah!” my co-worker told me. It was late. I was tired and getting grumpier. I placed the tract on the counter and quickly told the cashier “here is something to read in your spare time” and then I grabbed my fruit and rapidly walked away.

I was frustrated with how flustered I had gotten. I have done this dozens of times before and never had a problem. In a way, I felt disappointed in myself. Couldn’t I be more bold? But either way, I had done it. I fulfilled my commitment for the day.

Day 2 – Gave a gospel tract to a cashier.

52 Days of Outreach – Day 1
Jan 9th, 2014 by Nelvin Chase

I did not sleep well that first night before the 52 days of outreach began. It was strange because I never have much trouble falling asleep or staying asleep until it is time to get up. But for some reason I tossed and turned all night. When I did get up I was flooded with fears and anxiety. I was scared. 52 days is a long time and the number overwhelmed me. I often share about God with my co-workers but that is only when the opportunity is right there in my face. To deliberately bring spiritual things up in conversation is a vastly different story.

I was tired, I did not want to talk to anyone, and I wasn’t even sure why I agreed to take on such a huge project. I feared being able to stay committed once school starts up next week. I feared the people I would have to talk to. I feared starting those conversations. I feared failure.

The whole day I thought about and prayed about the project. Due to school being canceled from below zero temperatures I was allowed to come in to work early which meant I got off work early and was able to meet up with my accountability partner. We talked about our ideas, fears, and how we were going to go about conquering this challenge. And then we prayed. Oh, yes. We prayed.

It was difficult to concentrate as there were people constantly coming and going yet our little prayer meeting went on. Despite the distractions, when we finished I felt at peace. I still had no idea how I was going to manage to find an opportunity for outreach every single day but I knew God was in control of all of that. Yeah, I still was fearful and anxious in some ways but I also knew that this was something that I wanted and needed to do and that God would give me the strength to get through regardless of how difficult it would be.

Day 1 – prayed in a public place

52 Days of Outreach – Overview
Jan 9th, 2014 by Nelvin Chase

The book of Nehemiah. Ever read it? If you haven’t, you should. It is a fantastic book and one of my favorites to read in the Bible. A group of us from church have been studying it every Sunday night. It has been a neat journey taking the book slowly and breaking it down chapter by chapter.

As the study of Nehemiah came to a close, we decided to take on a challenge. 52 days had been spent rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. The crew worked night and day until the job was finished. The dedication and unity of the people is amazing and we have decided to follow their example. For the next 52 days we will concentrate on building our spiritual “wall” through outreach and evangelism.

Our leader gave us a list of 30-some ideas on what we could possibly do as outreach. The list includes things such as: praying in a public place, baking cookies for a neighbor and inviting them to church, sharing what you have been reading in your Bible with someone at work, walk up to someone on the street and share the gospel, etc. The goal is to get out there, get out of your comfort-zone, and make a difference for the Kingdom of God.

When I first heard that we would be doing this I thought it would be more of a group effort but it is not. Yes, we are all united and have the same goal but it is up to each person individually to follow through each day. We are not going out in large groups and hitting the streets but rather are going through our daily lives looking for the opportunities that already surround us and creating opportunities right where we are at.

To add to the challenge, we all have been assigned an accountability partner. The job of this person is to make outreach harder for you by not allowing you to stay in your comfort-zone. If you are comfortable handing a gospel tract to someone, or baking cookies for your neighbor then your accountability partner is there to challenge you to take on something more difficult that will put you outside of your comfort-zone. They are not to allow excuses for why you can’t outreach that day or allow you to find any loop-holes and take the easy way out.

You are required to talk to your accountability partner every single day. Yes. You are to talk to them each day for the next 52 days. If you have not done any outreach that day then they are supposed to challenge you to go find someone before midnight. They also become your prayer partner for this time period. And, the whole time while they are challenging you, checking up on you, praying for you, etc. you are to be doing the same for them.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure I wanted to take on this challenge. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the concept because I loved it and thought it was a really neat idea. But rather, the whole thing scared (and still scares) me. 52 days is intense and a huge commitment. Not only am I afraid of not being able to meet my commitment but I am also afraid of each situation that will help me meet my goal.

The challenge is intense. It is not something that can be done flippantly. It is intentional and deliberate. However, despite all of that, one of the reasons why I chose to take on the challenge is because I saw it as an opportunity to grow. I have always wanted to be involved in missions and to do outreach/evangelism but I have always been too scared to actually go outside my comfort-zone and do it. This challenge is giving me the push and accountability I need to get started. Am I excited? Yes! Am I scared? You bet!!!  But most importantly, I know this is something that pleases God. I look forward to the growth that results from this project regardless of how painful it will be – for it will be painful.

Awkward Moment #62
Jan 1st, 2014 by Nelvin Chase

That awkward moment when a teacher thinks your sweatshirt that is lying on the table is one a student has abandoned so he takes it to use as extra cushion for his desk chair.

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