In 17 months, five of my close family members passed away. In addition, my husband and I both went through challenging job changes. As we prepared for employment transition I was fighting a respiratory infection and found a bump on my neck. I sensed God instructing me to get an ultrasound, so I made an appointment.
The night before the ultrasound I attended a women’s event at our church. I prayed silently at the altar, “God, you know what’s going on and what I’m concerned about. Please speak to me tonight.” Right there, a woman placed her hand on my neck and prayed for me.
After the ultrasound I heard from my physician: “It looks like an enlarged thyroid. We need to get you in to see an Endocrinologist. Let me make a call to schedule an appointment for you.” Within minutes the assistant called back and marveled, “I’ve never been able to get someone in so quickly. There’s an appointment for 2 o’clock this afternoon. I highly recommend you take it.”
“Pastor Gireesh was skeptical. Since he had never used I am Second methods before our team arrived, he wondered if it would work in the the villages there in India. But soon his doubt turned to delight!
“Each morning, our e3 Partners Expedition members, local believers, and interpreters met Pastor Pastor Gireesh and his wife, Shobha, along with their two sons, Aaron (14) and Asher (10), to participate in a Second group before we headed out for the day. I was on a team with 10-year old Asher. One day, when it came time for “Live and Tell,” Asher spoke up confidently announcing, “I am going to tell my friend about Jesus. I will use my mom’s phone and call him tonight.”
“The next morning, 10 year-old Asher led our I am Second group. After everyone finished sharing how they had lived out the commitments made the previous day, I asked Asher if he had called his friend. He boldy answered, “Yes! I called my friend and told him about Jesus.” Afterwards, the friend’s father got on the phone and thanked Asher for telling his son about Jesus – and asked for directions to their church. That Sunday, Asher’s friend came to church with his father and mother. All three prayed to receive Jesus that day! The father told Pastor Gireesh that he had long wanted to come to a church, but wasn’t sure how to go about it.
“Asher was obedient and kept his commitment. God was gracious and gave Pastor Gireesh a new family of believers to shepherd!
“Pastor Gireesh gushed about the spiritual growth of his own family as well, during the e3 expeditions and I am Second group meetings. He quoted Joshua 24:15 several times, ‘But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’
“May we all be as faithful and bold as young Asher!”
My I am Second journey began at a NASCAR event. A big billboard truck with a T.V. screen was playing I am second films. Amidst the high-octane excitement they caught my attention and made my heart race for the Lord. I picked up some of the literature there and passed it along to my friends. Then, this past summer our church’s youth group went to camp where they too were introduced to I am Second. God was up to something.
Unexpectedly, I was laid off from my work as a millwork superintendent. I was praying that God would show me the green light to do what was next for me. That’s when I found the online group leader training for I am Second groups on the website and signed up. We had a great teacher and group of people in our sessions. The highlight for me was the “Live and Tell” at the end of each session. I was so supercharged when we went through the “My village” session that I made a list of 50 people that need Jesus. Actually, I talked to 66 people that week. If I was working, I’d never have had the time. Go God Go!
Earlier this year we started an I am Second group that kicked into overdrive and split into two groups by the third week. We invited the leaders of a teen and young adult bible study to our group and they caught on to the movement immediately. Now they lead a small army of young adults, as many as 45 people from high school age to their early 20’s, at a local fish camp. They’re identifying leaders to branch off and lay the track for more small groups. Go God Go!
God took the challenge of my job layoff and turned it into fuel for His race to the kingdom of Christ.
– Chris P.
Get Connected. I am Second small groups are designed to connect people with one another and with God through an authentic, action based discussion group. In an I am Second group you’ll be encouraged to discover your purpose in life through Jesus.
Everyone at our leaders’ conference sat in stunned silence as the young college student shared these words. Nancy was coming regularly to a Second group at the Univ. of North Texas. She told us how she studied the Bible with the others in the group, and even made commitments about how she was going to do what it said. But she freely admitted that she still was wrestling with whether to put her faith in Christ, particularly because of some of her lifestyle decisions.
So when asked why she was involved in the group, even though she was not sure she believed what was being discussed, Nancy said, “Why wouldn’t I want to go where I feel loved? I’m not against Christ, I’m just not sure about Him.”
How many other people around us are like that? Just waiting for someone to show enough interest to engage them in the conversation?
Bethany Hamilton, the young surfer who suffered a shark attack that left her with only one arm, is having a very busy 2011. She travelled to Dallas at the beginning of the year and filmed her I Am Second film about her faith journey as she was injured and then recovered and returned to the world of competitive surfing. Her story is both shocking and inspiring, as her relationship with God gave her the resolve to not only recover, but to return to the sport she loves.
We are so fortunate here at I Am Second to be able to sponsor Matthew West’s 2011 tour: An Evening of Stories and Songs. We first met up with Matthew at I Am Second’s 2nd Birthday Celebration last December. He’s got an amazing collection of songs out right now that tell about the power in our personal stories. Joining together was a no-brainer.
Grab your friends and get your tickets fast! His concert series ends on April 3rd.
About a week ago Duche spoke to in the inmates involved with I am Second at the Dawson State jail. After presenting the Gospel, Duche left all the inmates one of his cards that had his story of transformation from drug dealer to Christ follower. Three days later, Duche got a facebook message from a 17 year old girl, named Michelle (name changed for privacy), saying that her mother had seen Duche in prison, had sent her his card and told her to contact Duche via facebook. She said she liked Duche’s story and she would like to meet Duche someday, but she knew that would probably never happen. She was content with a new facebook friend.
Duche looked up her facebook profile and saw that she was from Lubbock, TX. I am Second had an event in Lubbock at Texas Tech partnering with Campus Crusade and Duche invited her to come. He knew this would be awkward for a lonely high school girl to come to an event with hundreds of people she didn’t know, but she came anyway. When Michelle’s father dropped Duche off, the father asked, “What kind of event is this?” Duche gave him an I am Second tract and invited him in, but he said, “No, no, I’ll come back and pick her up.”
My big sister just got a haircut. Big news, I know. “Stop the presses,” right? Really though, it is kind of big news. She cut off all of her hair (think Duran Duran circa 1981) and bleached it so that she could dye it. She dyed it pink because she wanted to do something dramatic before it all falls out. It’s all going to start falling out any day now since she just had her first round of chemotherapy this past Friday.
See, for the past few months my oldest sister has been walking down the path of a breast cancer patient. Since her diagnosis she has been to doctors, getting scans, having surgeries, and now she’s in the treatment phase. She’s relatively young, in good health, and we have absolutely no family history of cancer, much less breast cancer. This was completely out of the blue. She has three young daughters whom she home schools, a husband who has faithfully been by her side every step of the process (even when he has to take off work to make it to a doctor’s appointment with her), and, well, a life. She’s a busy woman, but her cancer doesn’t seem to care. Cancer has a distinct way of messing with your plans and flipping your life on its head.