Where do you take your faith-related questions? Maybe you go to a pastor, a friend or a neighbor. Or maybe you’re among the millions around the world who turn to the Internet.
This time five years ago, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was launching its online ministry, Search for Jesus. It started with a website, PeaceWithGod.net, but has since expanded to include over 470 volunteers trained to guide and disciple those who want a one-on-one connection. That happens through email, online chat, an online discipleship course and church referrals.
This global, 24/7 ministry has reached over 40 million people to date, with more than 7 million indicating decisions for Christ.
Molly* is one such person who has been reached by the ministry. She found PeaceWithGod.net over a year ago and recently left the Search for Jesus team a new message:
“About a year and a half ago, I spoke to someone about a lifelong addiction with alcohol and drugs,” she wrote. That someone was a trained Search for Jesus volunteer. “I can say over a year I have been clean and sober,” she continued. “Our Heavenly Father is the head of my life and I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I pray in the name of Jesus that this ministry continues to be led and guided by God’s Holy Spirit to reach out to lost souls.”
Here are five more stories of others impacted by this ministry:
Making Sense of Mother’s Death
Andrés* had lots of questions. The young man from Chile found PazConDios.net and began an online conversation with a trained, Spanish-speaking chat coach. “I feel somewhat alone,” he wrote. “Sometimes I feel I have more reasons for not wanting God than reasons to love Him.” Andrés lost his mother to cancer five years ago and said his brothers were having a hard time processing it. His dad had turned away from God. “To see my father and brothers suffer affects me a lot,” he wrote. The coach sympathized with Andrés and explained how God understands loss; He lost His Son on the cross. It takes time to heal from the pain of grief, the coach continued, but it isn’t God’s will for people to struggle alone. Andrés said his mother was a Christian and guided the family in faith, but expressed concern for his father’s and brothers’ relationship with God. “I am praying that my family can know God in a genuine way,” he wrote. Andrés still attends church himself but said, “I would like to have the ability to read and study the Bible more.” The chat coach prayed for Andrés and his family and sent him a link to BGEA spiritual growth resources in Spanish. “I really appreciate what you’ve done,” Andrés wrote at the end. “Truly I feel better.”
Putting the Bible into Practice
Maciu*, a man from Fiji, signed up to take the free KnowJesus discipleship course. In February, while still going through the course, Maciu’s mentor didn’t hear from him for a couple of weeks when Fiji suffered a devastating typhoon. Maciu did come back the course, though, and completed the lessons as his country continued to recover. At the end of the course, he wrote to his mentor that he understood what the Bible said before, but now realizes how important it is to put it into action. He keeps a book to write down Bible verses and said, “I left a column just to write how I can put it into practice for the day.” He said he’ll recommend the course to his sister who’s now going through some tough times.
‘I Am So Excited About My Journey with Jesus Christ’
“I find that each day prayer is getting easier for me,” Demetria* wrote to her discipleship coach as she worked her way through the KnowJesus course. “I must say I feel so much joy in my heart since I have begun this new walk with Jesus. I have to continue to pray that I will get better with sharing because I have always been extremely shy and tend to stay to myself. I am praying for the strength to go outside of my comfort zone so I can witness to others.” Demetria said she tends to worry about things in her life, but will “be glad when I get to the point that I am putting all of my trust in the Lord.” She thanked her discipleship coach for praying for her and providing support through her relationship with Jesus. “I am so excited about my journey with Jesus Christ,” she wrote. “My heart is so full of joy.”
Hungry for God’s Word
Kalima*, a Saudi Arabian woman, yearns for God’s Word but has limited access to it because Bibles are prohibited in her country. Still, after indicating her decision for Christ through PeaceWithGod.net, she remains persistent. She reached out to the Search for Jesus team for help. “I hope you can help me on how to be strong in faith in God,” she wrote. A SFJ chat coach responded to Kalima, encouraging her to visit BibleGateway.com on her tablet where she can read the Bible for free and find easy-to-understand translations. The coach also reminded her that God loves her and is with her. She thanked him for the affirmation as she continues to pursue God’s Word.
‘It Helped Me Know God More’
After 13 years of hoping for a child and miscarrying 3 times, Selene* was in her last trimester when she signed up for our free online discipleship course in Spanish, Conociendo a Jesus. She was battling anxiety and having conflicts with her husband. A trained, Spanish-speaking discipleship coach led Selene through the course, talking to her about suffering and sharing her own past pregnancy struggles. The coach prayed for Selene and shared Scripture to remind her of God’s presence amid trials. “Thank you so much for this course,” the woman wrote. “It helped me know God more and helped me understand suffering. … Many thanks to my coach who, through her prayers, helped me have peace in my heart and made me feel loved and important.”
*Names changed to protect privacy
Reach people online with the Gospel. See how you can join the Search for Jesus team.
Do you know someone who needs the hope only Christ offers? Share PeaceWithGod.net, or PazConDios.net in Spanish.