by Katey Hennigan

CLEVELAND, Ga., (TMNews) – Nine Truett-McConnell world mission students traveled to Argentina during fall break to assist Joel Ballejos, a TMC alum, in door-to- door evangelism; the group shared the Love of Christ through participating in local church services and events.

Ballejos coordinated all the in-country events that took place and everyone worked together as a team to make each event successful. “The unity within the team was amazing,” said TMC’s Director of World Missions, Dr. Ed Pruitt. “Each team member excelled in sharing their faith with the people they encountered.”

On mission

In Argentina, students had the opportunity to share their testimonies with many people as they shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ and used Ephesians 2 to explain how God sacrificed his life, because of His grace and love for us, so that all people can be washed clean of their sins and made alive in Him.

Students went door to door sharing this truth as well as to schools, church family’s homes, and an orphanage. For some, sharing personal experiences with complete strangers was difficult, but God gave everyone the strength to keep sharing and many lives were changed because of their commitment to sharing Christ.

Chelsea Steele and Sarah Fitzsimons, two students who attended the trip, shared how God changed people’s lives right before their eyes: “One day, our team split into groups to go visit some church family’s homes,” Fitzsimons said. “Chelsea and I were in the same group. We arrived at the home of a man who had been recently saved and was in the process of going through rehab. We sat down and shared the gospel and our testimonies with him and his family.”

Steele added to the story and said: “When I shared my testimony and spoke of my rebellious past and what God had done for me, this man’s sister started to break down. She had a child that was going through a rebellious stage too and as a mother she didn’t know what to do. I encouraged her by telling her the greatness Jesus brings and how He can transform her family; that the best example she can set is by following Jesus.” Steele finishes by saying, “I had more love and respect for my mother after hearing her heart about being a mother.”

After the girls shared their experiences and the truth of the Gospel, the young woman gave her life to Christ. Fitzsimons shared how God used them to lead another Argentinian to Christ: “As we were traveling door to door, we came across a man who claimed to be a Christian; but we soon discovered he really didn’t understand the gospel. He thought he could only be forgiven once and that everything after that was unforgivable. Our group sat down with him and shared the gospel. As the pieces started to unravel and reveal themselves, it was like a light bulb went on. This man finally understood that God was a loving and forgiving God and his relationship with Christ became a whole lot deeper.”

Under attack

Though many amazing things occurred on this trip, there were some moments which were difficult for members of the group: “My brother had been put in ICU because he had pneumonia, and I struggled with the fact that I could not be there for my brother and my family; but since there was nothing I could do, I was forced to trust that God had everything under control and that He would take care of him,” Fitzsimons said. “In missions come sacrifices; peace will come when you trust in God.”

For Steele, she wrestled with the fact that she was outside her comfort zone, in a foreign land with new people and a foreign language: “I don’t tend to like exposing my personal life with complete strangers, but John 14:12-14 was continuously being put on my heart.”

God gently reminded Steele why she was there – to share the love of Christ and to glorify Him – and if she was obedient, He would give her the strength and courage she needed. “I felt so unprepared at first,” Steele said, “but the first day, eight people came to Christ. It was like God was smacking me in the face, reminding me why I was there and that He had everything under control.”

Throughout the trip, 13 people trusted in Jesus Christ for the first time, ten through evangelism and three through church services. Both Fitzsimons and Steele share this piece of advice with those considering attending a mission trip: “Allow your heart to be willing; there is no way to completely prepare yourself but trust in the Lord and He will equip you,” Fitzsimons said. Steele added and said: “Be aware of the state of your heart. The Lord can and will work through you despite what you feel. Be quick to respond and genuinely humble yourself before the Lord with your heart and what you feel. Through that, He will reveal Himself in so many beautiful ways.”

For more information about upcoming mission trips, contact Dr. Ed Pruitt at epruitt@truett.edu.

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Katey is a freelance writer for Truett-McConnell.

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