Back on track with God: Four stories of people growing in their faith online

BGEA’s internet evangelism ministry, Search for Jesus, is an around-the-clock outreach, impacting the globe one person at a time. The goal? To share the Good News that they can have an actual relationship with God by asking Jesus into their lives.

The ministry has reached over 44 million people worldwide since 2011, with more than 8 million of them indicating decisions for Jesus Christ. While many begin a new life with Jesus, others are encouraged to get back on track with Him.

Around 500 trained volunteers are available to connect with this online audience—whether on computer or mobile device—through chat, email or an online discipleship course called Know Jesus.

Here are four stories of people around the world who have been touched by the ministry.

A Secret Christian

A former Muslim from the Middle East found and connected with Deryl Holliday, a trained Search for Jesus (SFJ) volunteer. The 29-year-old man was living as a Christian in secret and was lonely, but said he’s willing to die for the Lord. He had repented and turned over his life to Jesus Christ two years earlier but still felt guilty about his sin. When Deryl assured the man that his sins were forgiven and that he was a new creation in Christ, the man finally understood and said in relief, “I’m a new man since that time.” Deryl then pointed him to SFJ’s free online discipleship course, Know Jesus, to help him grow in his faith.

Teen Planning Suicide Rededicates Her Life to Christ Instead

A teenage girl struggling with sin planned to end her life. Then she found and connected online with Janet Wright, a trained chat coach. “Tonight this young lady was going to slit her wrists,” Janet wrote about the conversation later that night. “In her words, she was falling apart, struggling, and just didn’t know what she was going to do.” The girl’s parents were home but didn’t know of their daughter’s plans. Janet shared the suicide hotline with her, as well as Scripture about how God gives us new life in Christ. Not long after, the teen decided to rededicate her life to Jesus. “I had no hope, and now I’m all turned around,” the girl told Janet. Not only that, but one of the verses Janet shared with her, 2 Peter 1:3-8, was the same verse a friend had shared with the girl earlier that day. “Twice in one day, God was trying to get her attention and [those were] the exact verses she needed!” Janet wrote.

Sharing the Gospel Where It’s Outlawed

Email coach Joseph Duckworth connected with Jarah* in Saudi Arabia through “I hope you can help me on how to be strong in faith in God,” Jarah first wrote to him. Unable to carry a Bible in Saudi Arabia, Jarah had downloaded the Bible onto a tablet, but had trouble understanding it. Joseph pointed Jarah to some easier-to-understand versions online and sent Joshua 1:9 as encouragement. Jarah was thankful for the response, and Joseph is grateful, too. “I am thankful to God … to be able to have the opportunity to help someone who is so eager to read the Bible in a country where it is outlawed,” he wrote.
*Name changed to protect security.

Man ‘Feeling Lost’ Finds Encouragement

A Search for Jesus chat coach talked to a man on who the coach said was “feeling lost … [with] suicidal thoughts.” The man said he’d been to prison five times but hadn’t changed his ways. He also said his wife was seriously ill and his son was struggling with a sin in his life. The chat coach shared God’s love for this man and told him how God has “plans for good and not harm; plans for hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). The volunteer passed on a few numbers he could call in crisis, and the man promised he would call. He also said there was a time in his life when he put his trust in Jesus, but he had fallen away. He had no one to help him in his situation, he said, so the volunteer encouraged him to reach out to some Christians he knew. The chat coach prayed with him, and the man shared how grateful he was, asking if he could come online to chat again in the future.

Would you like to point people to Christ online? See how you can get involved in Search for Jesus.