MaryAnne,* a school bus driver in Riverside, California, did a quick internet search on her phone while waiting for school to let out. She had a burden she couldn’t keep carrying and wanted spiritual help.
She came across PeaceWithGod.net, an interactive website from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) that explains the Gospel. MaryAnne tapped a chat button on the website and started typing.
“I am ashamed of my past sins,” she admitted to Sarah,* one of the ministry’s 270 trained chat volunteers. “And I feel like I will never be able to move on.”
Her life was like one of her bus routes—always going in the same direction. But in life, she never seemed to be on the right path.
“MaryAnne, know this—that Jesus came for sinners,” Sarah responded on the other side of the screen. As Luke 5:32 says, “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (ESV).
But MaryAnne still felt like she was dragging around the dead weight of her mistakes. “How do I let [my past] go?” MaryAnne asked.
“Jesus is ready to give you a new life,” Sarah explained. “If you are willing to allow Him to help you by His Holy Spirit.”
Before the final bell rang for students to be released, MaryAnne made her decision. She wanted to start a relationship with Jesus Christ and for the Holy Spirit to be her guide. She prayed for Jesus’ forgiveness of her wrongdoings and committed her life to Him in the school parking lot.
She was still sitting on the bus, but she had moved forward with her life.
“I appreciate you taking the time with me,” MaryAnne thanked Sarah. “I don’t see stars or fireworks or anything, but I know that I prayed the prayer [to start a relationship with God]. And I know it’s real.”
MaryAnne remembered that a friend had given her a Bible a while back. She plans to read it to help steer her newfound faith.
“My kids are coming out[side] soon,” she typed. “But I want you to know that I will never forget this day and that you prayed with me.”
In 2022, there were more than 24,500 chat conversations about the Gospel in more than 170 countries through BGEA’s internet evangelism ministry. Will you pray for more people like MaryAnne to experience the Good News online?
*Names changed for privacy.