Online ministry guides people through coronavirus crisis

In the days since COVID-19 began infiltrating the globe, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) created special web pages through its internet evangelism ministry, Search for Jesus, to address the fears quickly spreading among people of all languages.

These pages were created in EnglishSpanishKoreanArabicMandarin and Portuguese. Each gives the online visitor a chance to respond to the never-changing Gospel in the midst of this escalating crisis.

More than 173,000 people have visited these sites, with over 10,000 people indicating decisions for Jesus Christ. Thousands are connecting one-on-one with trained Search for Jesus (SFJ) volunteers ready to listen, encourage and guide.

All over the globe—from Malaysia to the Caribbean to New York—people are finding this ministry as they take their concerns online, hoping to ease their distress and searching for something more.

There was an older woman who lives alone and feels uneasy about the spreading coronavirus. There was a middle-aged father of seven who’s scared he won’t live through the pandemic and see his children grow up.

One man named Jay expressed his anger over the whole situation and shared how worried he is about losing his job. A South Carolina woman said she’s afraid her husband will get laid off and, with small children, feels desperate because she’s out of work, too. Another woman, Laura, said she’s anxious about the coronavirus and wants to be a better Christian.

Here’s just one of the many stories coming from this online ministry—a teenager who gave his life to Christ last week:

‘I Don’t Know Who Else to Turn to But God’

Terrell*, a 17-year-old from Maryland, found our online ministry on a Tuesday evening, March 24. There, he connected with a trained SFJ chat coach.

Terrell’s first comments were about his fears over the coronavirus.

“With all this coronavirus thing going around, it’s so scary to me. I’m really not a religious person but I don’t know who else to turn to but God,” he said. “I’ve been crying nonstop for two days.”

The teen was already dealing with daily stress at home before the pandemic.

“Waking up every morning not knowing if you’re gonna eat or even if the electric is going to be on,” he told the chat coach.

He shared that his father is a drug dealer and his mother an addict, and wanted to know if there’s more to life than disappointment and hardship.

“Since this virus stuff, everything I was holding in just came out and yes that’s one thing that’s making me worry the most.”

As the volunteer coach explained how God is our only source of peace, Terrell responded, “I want to confess my sins. I want to be saved.”

The chat coach explained that by accepting Jesus into his life and allowing Him access into his heart, Terrell could experience the forgiveness of sins. The volunteer walked the young man through repenting of his sins and turning his life over to Christ. Terrell showed that he understood.

“I want to turn my life over to God and put all my trust and love in Him,” he said. “I want to keep living my life with purpose.”

The coach also shared a free online discipleship course with him, along with several Bible verses, and encouraged the teen to read God’s Word for himself.

“Have been through so much without putting my trust in God, but now I want God on my side with every situation,” Terrell said.

*Name changed to protect privacy

Know someone worried about the coronavirus? Share this page.

Become a Search for Jesus volunteer to help people like Terrell understand Christ’s love for them.