There’s hardly a pocket of the world not affected in some way by the coronavirus. With millions of lives changed these past months, many are wondering about God.
Thousands of spiritual conversations have happened online through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s internet evangelism ministry, Search for Jesus (SFJ). At the onset of this crisis, SFJ created Gospel-centered web pages speaking directly to COVID-19 and showing people there’s still hope. These pages are available in English, Spanish, Korean, Arabic, Mandarin and Portuguese.
More than 215,000 people have visited these sites with over 13,000 indicating decisions for Christ. A large number of them have talked one-on-one with a trained online coach via chat, email or one of SFJ’s online discipleship courses.
Read how Marisa*, a Spanish-speaking woman in the United States, connected with Karla, a volunteer coach in Spain through the PazConDios.net Facebook page:
‘Let Me Wipe Away My Tears’
Marisa came to the PazConDios.net Facebook page ready to talk.
“I’m so scared because of anxiety and pandemic,” Marisa said, adding that she deals with various health issues.
A trained SFJ chat coach named Karla asked Marisa what she knew about Jesus, sharing how He had given her peace and conquered her own fears over death.
Marisa, a woman in her early 60s, didn’t know much about Him, but said, “I want to understand how to read the Bible.”
Looking for a way to “get rid of this anxiety” and have the same peace Karla has, Marisa was open to God but didn’t know how to approach Him. Karla shared Bible verses with her as Marisa looked them up.
From the book of Romans, Karla showed how we’re all sinners in need of Someone to save us from our sins, and how God stands ready to forgive if we simply ask for His forgiveness and try to turn away from our sins.
Marisa said the verses helped her relax, but she was still fearful of where she lives, surrounded by violence. Karla could relate, saying she, too, grew up in a place like that, but God had given her peace ever since she asked Him to be part of her life.
“Despite what is happening in this world that is far from Him, He will never leave me,” Karla said.
Marisa soon asked God’s forgiveness for her sins.
“It’s unbelievable. I feel better,” she said, but openly shared that she was still afraid of dying—to the point of tears.
Karla continued talking gently to Marisa about how much God loves her and how she can be assured that there’s nothing to fear for those who trust in Christ.
“Let me wipe away my tears,” Marisa said.
As Karla prayed on Marisa’s behalf for God to take all her fears, Marisa was overcome with thanks—not only for the prayer but for God hearing the two women as they prayed. She understood how simple it is to reach out to God.
“I give faith and testimony in the name of Jesus,” Marisa said. “My anxiety is gone. And the pain.”
*Name changed to protect privacy
Two More Stories from Online Ministry
- A man from Guyana, east of Venezuela, came across a SFJ site on his birthday. He admitted he was afraid of the coronavirus, but through a chat coach was encouraged by Scripture and prayer.
- A woman in her mid-40s also found the SFJ ministry from a homeless shelter in Oregon where she expressed concern over her sins just a day before Easter. She faced reduced work hours because of the coronavirus and felt she was to blame for all the difficulty in her life. She admitted she wasn’t sure where she would spend eternity and felt “too stupid” for God’s forgiveness. Yet, by the end of the conversation with a chat coach, she said she had repented and thanked the coach for reassuring her of her salvation.
Do you know where you’ll spend eternity? Be sure today.