image courtesy of http://svgblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/kentucky-fried-chicken.html
Yesterday I along with a veteran missionary went to visit a girl we knew who had been in the hospital for almost a month because of heightened blood pressure and exhaustion among other things, due to a slight heart defect she was born with (very small hole in her heart). We honestly didn’t know what to expect, so were happy to see she had gained her strength, and was hoping to come home later this week.
As I drove to the hospital I asked the Lord for an opportunity to share Christ with Sarah (not her real name). She knew the Gospel and frequently attended Bible club, but didn’t quite seem ready to place her trust in the Lord. Knowing situations like extended hospitalization can lead a person to think about eternity I felt certain the Lord would open the door for us to share the Gospel…but He didn’t.
The fellow missionary and I did discuss spiritual things with Sarah and read some Bible verses, but there was no opportunity to explain the good news of Jesus.
However there WAS an opportunity to do something very special.
After a few minutes of small-talk the other missionary asked “what do you miss?” She thought for a few moments and excitedly said “I miss good food!” And about a half-hour later we handed over a chicken dinner from a nearby KFC (she was very grateful).
As we were on our way to pick up the chicken the missionary said “you know that girl won’t forget this the rest of her life” and in a way that’s true. I’m sure the combination of us visiting, and getting her “real food” at a time in life when was stuck in the hospital (wasn’t even able to walk around) made a huge impact upon her. That act of kindness will probably lead to a stronger friendship in the future, and opportunities to share Christ.
Often in missions are minds are focused on sharing the Gospel which is obviously a wonderful thing (that’s what God calls us to do). But the most effective evangelism is done when we have built “Gospel bridges” into the lives of individuals. In other words we show kindness and compassion while ministering to the needs they may have, over time that knowledge that we truly care about them will open the door to share WHY we care.
I didn’t come yesterday planning to buy Sarah KFC, but in hindsight that’s the best thing I could have done because God was already working on her heart.
After we got the chicken I dropped the pastor off then parked, and walked down myself. As I got there Sarah was carefully opening a box, and once she got it open pulled out a handful of Gospel tracts. This young lady confined to her bed (especially at the beginning) had lots of time on her hands and nothing to do so God sent other Christians with tracts that I’m sure she read more than once.
The point is Sarah didn’t necessarily need someone to share the Gospel with her in that moment. She needed someone who she could ask her hard questions, who could explain the deep truths of Scripture in simple terms, who could clarify what Scripture teaches till the Holy Spirit convicts her heart. And that’s usually done in a relationship.
I’m eternally grateful that God’s plan for our lives includes sharing Christ, but sometimes it also includes building “Gospel Bridges” with delicious chicken.