What is EDGE-X?

Evangelize the Lost, Disciple the Found, Give back to the Community, Edify the Church, all to eXalt the Savior.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Hey everyone!

I am in a bit of a pickle. A war is waging in my mind on what decision to make. I’m not talking about a stupid decision like chocolate or vanilla ice cream. This decision could have dire consequences—eternal consequences.

Now that I have freaked you out a bit, let me back up. Our first day here (at the Kibbutz), one of the dig site directors walked up to our table at dinner and introduced himself and his son. The director was so nice and friendly, joking with us and telling us about how his eight-year old son is actually in charge of the dig site and that if we need anything, we should go to him. His son shyly hid behind him, but responded to our questions when asked. When I asked the kid's name, he responded, “Samuel.” (Pseudonym.)

“So what do you like to go by, Sam or Samuel?” I asked.

“Either one,” he said, smiling.

The next day we went to the pool for a little bit, and Sam was there. He quickly clung to me and we became buds (I have discovered kids tend to trust me right off the bat and want to hang out with me; this is a trait that honestly scares me to death). Sam followed me around the rest of the day.

After a while, he became acquainted with our entire group. We lovingly called him our “communal child”. Over a game of foosball, I started to ask him some questions about his life, to start to see where he was coming from. After the normal conversation of TV shows and super heroes, I asked him what he did on the weekends. He told me he normally stays at his friends’ house.

I casually asked him, “So you don’t go to a church on Sunday?”

“Nope,” he replied promptly, picking up the ball. “Never have.” Then he dropped the ball quickly on the table and kept playing like his answer was common knowledge and so obvious.

His answer for some reason set me aback. I have worked with kids before who have never been to church, but they have always been at a church-related event, like a Vacation Bible School or a church sponsored picnic or something when they told me they had never been to church. Normally, if a kid had never been to church before, I would share Christ with them right there (or at least start a conversation with them about it). These churchy places I could fall back on if the parent ever questioned what I was teaching their kid--which they have before (“I am very sorry, ma’am, but you did send them to a church-sponsored event. I can’t help but share Jesus with your child.” Most of the time the parent realizes we were just doing what we were called to do and storms off dragging the child away.).

This situation with Sam was different. I had nothing to fall back on. I had no reason or obligation to share the Gospel with this child who may have never heard it before, except my raw conviction. I had no failsafe, no back-up plan if things got bad. I was for the first time totally on my own when it dealt with talking with kids about Jesus.

I had started to allude to Jesus earlier that day when we were in the gift shop and I made mentions about the thorns Jesus wore (of which they were selling replicas on the shelf).  At that time, I didn’t give an all out Gospel message because I didn’t know where he stood. (Plus the gift shop was noisy, crowded, and distracting—not the place you want someone making choices that decided their eternity.)

As I stood there across the small table looking at him, my heart wept for him. Being eight-years-old and never having heard about how much Jesus loved him just broke my heart! There he was, smiling, laughing, having a good time, all without ever knowing the Greatest Love that could ever have loved him. As we continued to play, I made up my mind that I had to tell him. I could not miss this opportunity to plant a seed that could change his life forever.

This is where my problem came in. That night during dinner, while Sam was eating at another table with our group, I got to sit down with his father and talk to him. We talked about the dig and his career as he related to us how he connected his job with the dig site. Talking with him more, I asked him why he decided to come to the dig (a holy site).

“Ya know,  that a very good question,” he said, putting his fork down and leaning across the table. “I myself really want to know why most people come here to work and dig. We are actually putting together a survey asking that very question: Why did you come to this dig site to work? We want to know if it is for religious reasons,” he said with his eyes looking toward the ceiling and waving his hands around a bit, "or for the academic, archeological experience. The reason I say that is because many people think this is only some holy site that people make a pilgrimage to when it is not that at all. Well, not entirely.

“I came because…” and then he related the process of how he met the dig director and yada-yada-yada.  While his story was interesting and I listened to every word, I realized the background of his religious beliefs: he had none. He may have been an atheist or agnostic, but he sure wasn’t practicing anything.

My heart wept for him as well. The way he talked about religion seemed like he had been hurt by it before, or that he had run into some crazy fundamentals that turned him off. All I knew in that moment was I had an even bigger problem.

How am I to address Sam with the Gospel when his dad seems so against it already? How would I feel if someone started talking to my kid about a faith I don’t believe in or practice? How arrogant is it of me to just barge in and tell his son how my religion is right and all the other ones he has heard about are wrong?

But how can I NOT share the Gospel with him?! How much do I hate Sam to not tell him about the cure that could save his life? This may be the only time he hears the full Gospel clearly explained to him. What am I to do?!

Can you see my dilemma? Can you see why a war wages within me? Do I tell him and then risk losing that relationship with their family forever? Do I bide my time and witness to his dad through Facebook over the next few months to try to help him come to know Christ so he can then share Christ with his son? How do I witness to Sam with the full Gospel without his father yelling at me and tell him he can never talk to me again?

*le sigh* I need to just pray about this a lot and be open for when God moves. Because I know Him; He will move when I least expect it. Until then, I need to be ready to preach the Word, in season and out of season. I can only pray that God opens a door so I can witness to their family and tell them just how much Jesus really loves them.

Following His Call,
1 Peter 3:15

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