This is a featured cross-post by Dan Choe, the Chi Alpha Director at George Mason University. He enjoys the outdoors, wearing camouflage and playing Settlers of Cataan. You can connect with him via Facebook.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the opportunity to serve at a conference for international students. It included a Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday and a trip with them to New York City on Friday. Friday, I was excited about our two hour bus ride back to the camp we were staying at, because I was going to get the chance to talk to the only other guy who was in my New York tour group. We had spent all day together and I was excited about the potential for having a deeper conversation on the way back, that would hopefully include a talk about the service the night before, where our speaker gave his testimony. Our conference director came on our bus and asked if someone from our bus could go to the other, because ours was over capacity. Sure enough, my new friend raised his hand and just like that the opportunity slipped out of my hands.
So, as I prepared to turn my discussion time into nap time, another guy asked me to sit next to him on the bus. This guy, who is not a Christian, noticed I had bought something and asked me what it was. I told him that I bought a Bible, because I had lost my other one. He was actually pretty excited and asked to see it. Location and my purchase of the day launched us into a conversation that spanned the whole bus ride. He asked me question after question about Christianity and how Jesus could be the son of God. I tried my best to answer all his questions and to help him better understand the Christian perspective. However, closing a door (at least I thought I was), opened two more. About an hour and a half into our discussion I felt the Spirit telling me that my job was not to make him understand, but to open the door. So, I immediately stopped trying to close doors and opened a new one. I shared my testimony with him. It became clear to me that it was more important for me to share my own experiences with God rather than attempting to make him understand what he saw as a concept of God.
I am no theologian or expert of any sort, but I did feel I could answer a majority of his questions with a valid answer. However, no answer I could give, no amount of knowledge would’ve been able to change what he believed. And that is okay, because the goal should not be conversion, but exposure. No conversion can come from convincing someone of a way of thinking, but only from the acknowledgment of Christ living within them. And they can begin to recognize this when they are exposed to him by our experiences with Christ. So, no change for my friend; but I got an email address, physical address, a phone number, and a promise to read his new Arabic Bible that means more to me than a convinced mind on a bus ride back from New York.
Our 100 for $100 Project is simple. We are looking for 100 people to donate $100 each. It would make a huge impact! In fact, it'd fund every Chi Alpha Campus Ministry in the city for Fall Kickoff. Are you interested in donating or reading more? Click here.