Updated: Apr 10
Even the pandemic can't stop everyday disciple-makers like Penelope
Penelope is making disciples in her neighborhood on the West Coast. She faithfully pursued her neighbors through COVID and started several Discovery Bible Studies. One attendee, Amanda, shared the stories of Scripture even when it was challenging. Her courage led to a remarkable occurrence!
How I Engaged My Neighbor Ladies
Over a year ago, I met Amanda at a monthly ladies' board game meetup in my neighborhood. Over time, we developed a friendship. She and her husband Chris attended a Christmas-themed Discovery Bible Study (DBS) I hosted, and later we went to a theme park together as families. While at the theme park, we asked about their thoughts on the Christmas Bible reading time. "That was really cool!" they answered. So, my husband asked them, "Would you like to read more with us?" They agreed! Several other couples in my neighborhood were interested in DBS as well, so I invited three couples to form a Discovery Group. However, only the ladies showed up. They told me their husbands weren't interested. Thus began my ladies' DBS! Unfortunately, Amanda had to go away for several months, and she wasn't able to participate in the Discovery Group.
Walks During COVID Led to Poolside DBS
The onset of COVID propelled me to look for creative ways to interact with unbelievers. So, I started going on walks with my neighbors.
After Amanda returned, I invited her to go on walks with me. While walking and talking, I got to hear about her personal struggles and spiritual background. About five walks later, I invited her to read the Bible with me. She responded positively! Every week, our kids would swim in the pool, and Amanda and I would read the Bible while sitting at the poolside. We journeyed our way through the entire Creation to Christ Scripture list. All along, Amanda believed, obeyed, and shared what she read with her unbelieving husband and daughter. Her obedience to God's Word was better than anyone with whom I've done DBS before. I didn't need to push her—she followed through herself!
Cancer Diagnosis Lead Her Husband to the Word
Amanda's husband Chris responded skeptically to the Bible stories Amanda shared. He would argue that science disproves Creation and miracles. However, Amanda persisted in sharing the stories. One day, Chris asked her to stop sharing the stories with him. So she stopped. Three weeks later, while we were in the middle of studying the story of Jesus' resurrection, Amanda's husband appeared. "Amanda," Chris spoke solemnly, "I just came back from the doctor. They told me I have cancer, and I'm scared."
We were all shocked and saddened to hear the news. "Can I pray with you, Chris?" I asked. "Sure, why not? I will take what I can get," Chris agreed. After we finished praying, Chris went back to work from home. 15 minutes later, Chris returned to us and said, "Can I sit with you ladies and listen to your Bible study?"
We couldn't believe what we were hearing—Chris, the skeptic, was asking if he could join our DBS.
"Yes, for sure!" we exclaimed. He sat with us, listened, and even answered some of the questions. When he heard about the angel appearing after Jesus resurrected, he said, "I'd be totally freaked out if an angel showed up!" We were overjoyed to see Chris participating. After this encounter, Amanda and I hoped Chris would open up spiritually. Although we are still waiting on God to see more fruit, we're praying that God will grow the curiosity and desperation in Chris's heart!
Penelope and Amanda's story displays how meaningful, long-term friendships can lead to spiritual conversations and DBS. Penelope used board games, Christmas events, and family vacations to share life with Amanda's family. Along with all the fun, Penelope made sure to direct conversations to God's Word. Penelope is an example of using creativity to engage lost people during COVID-19. While many Christians were staying locked up indoors, she chose to pursue her neighbors in safe ways, such as walking outdoors! Lastly, Amanda's story shows how it is crucial to share God's stories even when it's difficult. Amanda continued to share stories with Chris, despite his skepticism. Her faithfulness led Chris to turn to Scripture when crisis hit!
Free Podcast on Engaging Unbelievers During Lockdown
A global lockdown doesn't give us a pass on living out the Great Commission and Great Commandments. Restrictions can make us retreat from the frontlines. But do circumstances really prevent us from doing God's will? In this episode, we show you how it's not only possible to make disciples in this time, but might even be the best time to! It's just about having the faith to step out and do it. We have countless stories of people who have stepped out with this kind of faith! Click here to listen.