20-year-old teaches teen about God online

A Texas teenager wasn't allowed to own a Bible or attend church. She found answers through an online BGEA ministry with the help of someone around her age.

She didn’t want to wait any longer.

Seventeen-year-old Marissa* desired to have a relationship with God now, but her parents didn’t allow her to go to church or own a Bible.

Seeking answers about following Him, she found the Know Jesus discipleship course online. This free course, offered through BGEA’s internet evangelism ministry, Search for Jesus, explains what it means to know Christ and how to live as a Christian.

“I do love God, but I won’t falsely say that it’s with all of my heart, mind and soul until it truly is. I know that when I know God at a better level, that type of love will form,” Marissa admitted while filling out answers to the course questions.

A trained online discipleship coach was paired with the 17-year-old to help her find answers. Search for Jesus’ youngest volunteer, 20-year-old Eliza Downer of Colorado, patiently guided the Texas teen through the five-lesson course, providing encouragement to her from hundreds of miles away. Eliza is one of nearly 650 volunteers serving in either English or Spanish as a chat, email or discipleship coach.

“God says to pray continually. He hears and sees you. He even knows your thoughts. So you can pray whenever and however. Just speak to Him like a friend,” Eliza said.

Although Marissa remembered she had prayed for God’s forgiveness when she was 7 or 8 years old, she knew she hadn’t understood who God is or what she was praying for then.

Eliza encouraged Marissa to ask Jesus to be her Savior, telling her, “The Bible says that if you confess your sins, and repent and then ask Jesus to save you and to forgive you and to be king of your life, then you will be saved.”

Marissa asked the Holy Spirit to help her understand that God loves her no matter what, and to push negative feelings away.

“I want to grow and be better for You, for Christ, for God. I pray that You will help me throughout my journey and goals to live life with God and through You,” she prayed.

Looking forward to living a life with God, Marissa planned to pray through her busy school schedule, listen to sermons and read the Bible online, and eventually attend church.

Marissa, who was one of more than 14,000 people to take the Know Jesus discipleship course last year, thanked Eliza for expanding her knowledge of Christ. She said the course helped strengthen her weakness in praying, and that in all areas she feels stronger and closer to God.

“God has blessed me with an excellent coach to help guide me into what is only the beginning of my journey, and for that I am grateful,” the 17-year-old said.

*Name changed to protect privacy.

Ask Jesus to be your Savior today.

Learn more about God in BGEA’s free, online Know Jesus course.

Guide people in their faith by becoming an online Search for Jesus volunteer.