Monday, July 15, 2013

Manti Pageant 2013 Outreach

Jordan's Born Again Story...
by Kim Jones

At the first Friday night of pageant outreach, I met Jordan, a tender-hearted 18 year old high school graduate. He told me he had been raised Mormon, but 2 years earlier (age 16) he told his temple Mormon parents he was leaving the LDS Church because he had become an atheist. He explained he had left because he had attempted to complete the LDS repentance process, and he determined, "It's impossible!" When I agreed with him that the LDS gospel is impossible, he asked me what I believe about God. I was able to share ALL about the God of the Bible, such as Him being the Creator, the 
Trinity, love, grace, mercy and the Savior. We talked quite a bit about the biblical Gospel and he inquired at every turn in the conversation. He was very engaged for over an hour and then shockingly looked at his phone realizing the time. His parents had signed him up to run one of the spotlights for the Miracle Pageant hoping it would encourage him to re-join their church, so we parted but... the story doesn't end there!

Saturday night... Jordan and I ran across each other again... God is so GOOD! He told me he had missed a bunch of his spotlight cues the night before because he was thinking so much about our conversation (verified by a number of Christians who stayed that night to watch the pageant!). He asked me, "Kim, why do you put so much trust in the Bible?" This started a 1-1/2 hour conversation about the Bible and it's reliability. Before Jordan left to run the spotlight, I could see by his eye contact and quiet-spirit that his atheistic ideas had been challenged. He paused and said, "I have a lot to think about," and then he let me pray for him. 

Sunday morning... I received a text from Jordan asking if he could come with us to Ephraim Church of the Bible, and of course, my answer was "YES!" I gave him a pocket ESV Bible when I picked him up because he told me he didn't have a Bible anymore. I wish you could have been there to see him soaking up EVERYTHING around him from the worship music to the sermon and prayers. It was as though his dark brown eyes couldn't absorb enough. He joined us for college lunch at Chip & Jamie's after re-acquainting himself with Tai, one of our Christian high school students. Tai showed his love with Jordan by giving him a big, warm Samoan hug, as usual!

Monday.. I received multiple texts from Jordan asking questions about the Bible as he read, like "Were there dinosaurs (Genesis 1 & 2)?" and "Were there REALLY giants (Genesis 6)?" By the end of the night, Jordan had read through chapter 26 of Genesis...

Tuesday night (the next night of pageant outreach)... Jordan had read through Genesis 36 and half of John and was back with questions about creation vs evolution. Since our intern, Mel, grew up atheist and went to Penn State to study biology before becoming a Christian and attending Moody, I invited her into the conversation. Our dialogue about creation spanned about 2 hours, and we ended the night with Jordan stating, "I have asked these questions to bishops, returned missionaries, parents, and teachers, and I have never gotten answers until now."

Wednesday night... I passed by Jordan while another Christian young woman was talking with him, and he waved me over. The young girl exclaimed how "refreshing" it was to meet a newer Christian. I stood confused at what she was saying trying to piece her words in my mind. As she walked away, I told Jordan, "YOU'VE got some EXPLAINING to do!" He proceeded to tell me that he had driven to Provo that day and while travelling he had prayed to be born-again! I could have seriously done a little victory jig right there on the street I was so ecstatic!! I think I hugged him until his eyes almost popped-out! I proceeded to introduce him to Shane, Pastor Rodney and every other Christian I could find, and he was, of course, greeted with big hugs to welcome him into the family of Christ.

Today... Jordan is continuing his reading through the Bible, involved with our college group, and attending Ephraim Church of the Bible every week. Despite opposition from his family, Jordan is thirsting after Jesus and his Word. He was stumped by his parents' negative reaction to his becoming a Christian when they call themselves Christians too. He said, "When I became an atheist, it didn't seem to bother them that much, but now that I'm a Christian, they say I've turned my back on them." Good question, Jordan. Good question. And, of course, he KNOWS the answer just like we do.


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