The National Evangelism Team (NET) is a team of young people (high school/college age) led by Pastor Del & Grace Miller that travels for 2 weeks during the summer. Their focus is evangelism, but they assist the churches they visit in many ways. NET is a great way for young people to get their “feet wet” in missions and help them grow closer to the Lord and fellow believers. Four NET members have had the privilege of traveling to India on those ministry trips as well.
These are some of the team member’s highlights from the 2013 trip.
I deeply enjoyed interacting with other believers and experiencing the common bond that we have in Christ. This occurred at many different times and in many different ways. The first was at conference, getting to spend time with old friends and making new ones was a great pleasure. Then it was off to the different churches that we were able to visit, the people that you meet at the churches are a great blessing. It is hard to surpassed how close you can get with fellow believers then when you are able to stay with them in their home. There are many reason that we are told in scripture to show hospitality (Romans 12:13) and I think that bringing a closer bond with other believers is one of those reasons. The other opportunity that we had to bond with fellow believers was at the Brethren World Assembly, going door to door and last but not least with fellow teammates. The encouragement that can be gained through building one another up can be so helpful in our spiritual walk and I pray that we all look for how we can be an encouragement to others. – Josh Miller
Tuesday morning, we entered the Findlay GBC church and found that the basement was flooded. Even though we were scheduled to have music practice and go door to door, the guys began to help with the long process of cleaning up all the water. While they were doing that, the girls went upstairs to do team devotions and spent time in prayer. That time really impacted me because we were able to honestly trust God with the plans of the day and thank him for the challenges and “bad” things that happened. We were living the message that we shared each day in our programs and experiencing a side of ministry we hadn’t expected: uncomfortable and unpredictable, and glorifying God through it all. – Rivkah Kran
The theme of conference this year was “Creating a Culture of Evangelism.” Hearing all of the messages on evangelism before we headed out for the NET trip was a very big boost and encouragement! Specifically, Pastor Tom’s message “” was a GREAT challenge to me. He challenged us that if we were to each share the gospel at least once every week, that would be 52 times in a year. If one of those turned into a salvation decision and everyone in the room took the challenge, that would be 250 salvation decisions before conference next year. WOW!! Wouldn’t that be amazing!!! We each need to ask the Lord daily for opportunities to share the gospel and for courage to take them.
We had the privilege of doing a program at the rehab center where Peggy Jones was staying for her rehabilitation after her knee surgery. When the patients started arriving for the program there was a lady in the back that had some kind of brain injury. When we started singing I noticed she raised one of her hands in the air and left it there for the rest of the program. None of us understood how significant this was until the end of the program. One of the nurses who was a believer told my mom, Grace, that the lady with the brain injury was also a believer and hasn’t been able to lift her limbs for a very long time. But during the worship songs she found a way to raise her hand to worship the Lord in the only way that she could. Wow!!
On the last Friday night of the trip we held a cookout and program at the Findlay GBC. We had been inviting people all week during door to door outreach, but we still didn’t expect a very big turnout. The Lord did a great work and surprised us and we had around 30-40 people from the community show up. I had the privilege of seeing 3 ladies that I had invited come to the program. The church had rented a jumpy house for the cookout and it was a great draw for the kids and afterwards the parents just stood around and talked while their kids jumped. It gave us many more opportunities to share the gospel with the people that came. – Joy Miller
One highlight for me was going door to door in Findlay. There were about six different times we went out, inviting people to a community cookout/programat the Findlay church and trying to get into a conversation about the gospel. It was encouraging how many people were open to hearing the gospel. Of course, there were some people who made it clear that they were not interested, but on the other hand, we also met some believers who were encouraging to us. It was neat to share stories and experiences after each canvassing time. – Elizabeth Miller
One highlight from the trip this year was when we were going door to door evangelizing, I was able to run into a man named Dick Strohm, who had been the University of Findlay’s football coach for 24 years. When I asked him about the Life’s Most Important tract we were using, he said you would know that if you had read my book. As we were talking to him, I found out that he came to know the Lord during some health issues. I asked what kind of health issues, and he told me that he had had a stroke, two bouts with cancer, and SIX heart attacks!!! The Lord definitely had a plan for this man, and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of that book. – Jerry Brundage
One of my highlights was the good number that turned out for our final program on Friday night in Findlay. All week, we had been going door to door and inviting people to come to the community cookout and program that would be happening on Friday night. Many people said that they would come, but we have learned that, unfortunately, that doesn’t mean very much because they often do not show up after all. To be honest, I was thinking that the same thing would happen again this year. Friday came and we spent most of the afternoon setting up outside for the community cookout and program. As the time for it to start drew near, we all went inside for some final preparations and prayer. When we were done, I went outside to prepare some final things and was shocked when I opened the door. There were at least 10 people there from the community that we had invited! No one took an official tally of all those that showed up from the community, but we are guessing that there was right around 40 community people there! I was so thankful and also humbled by my little faith. I am praying that God’s Spirit would continue to work in the hearts of these people, many of whom were unsaved, but had the opportunity to hear the gospel clearly presented to them throughout the program. – Joshua Steiner
This year during NET, I enjoyed the bond we shared with believers. It is so awesome knowing that you can walk up to a complete stranger in the churches we visit and build a friendship off of the relationship we share in Christ. This is especially evident when we go to our host homes. There are so many people who open their homes to the team. Sometimes, we go to our homes never having previously met the host. But no matter what, by the time we leave, we have created this unforgettable bond with each person we stay with. It is so amazing knowing that each one of these relationships began with our common bond in Christ. – Ali Reinhardt
Since our purpose is to share the Gospel, I have always appreciated how we keep the Gospel central in all our services and conversations. What made this stand out to me was our visit to the Conference of Brethren Churches. We first attended a panel discussion for youths to express ways in which each denomination could improve. One factor that seemed clear was that youths today are wanting the solid preaching of the Word of God – beginning with a clear presentation of the Gospel. Later that evening, NET shared with the whole conference. As I watched those in attendance it was interesting to observe how the reactions went from “who are these people” to “these people clearly present the Gospel!”. You could tell from the eyes of every believer in attendance that they loved to hear the old, old story of Jesus and His love. It was a wonderful reminder to me of what every believer has in common – we are all saved by the grace of God. – Philip Moeller
One of the highlights from the NET trip this year was going canvassing. Doing canvassing is usually not my favorite thing to do, but this year I actually enjoyed it. The people of Findlay in general seemed to be open and responsive when we talked with them. I was able to give a full presentation of the gospel message to six different people in the week that we did the canvassing. One woman even asked me what she had to do to have eternal life after she recognized she was a sinner and separated from God. Please continue to pray for the contacts that were made, for the seeds of the gospel that were planted, and that God would be working in their hearts. – Daniel Miller
A highlight from this year of NET would be fellowshipping with my fellow brothers in Christ. This fellowship allowed me to grow in my faith by talking to them about different theological questions; questions on Christian living and how we can better glorify God in our daily actions. This fellowship also allowed me to share with them events going on in my life where I need prayer; and by doing that, I am able to draw closer to God as well as my friends. This year during Conference, the friendship level was discussed with having different levels of friendship, and without any doubt I can say that all of these men are true Life-on-Life friends. Also another highlight for me was having a NET service at the church I attend; Center Church. Usually on a typical Sunday, we have about twenty-four people there, but during the NET service there were at least one hundred and twenty people there! That is just one of many examples on how God can turn something little into something big. All of those who attended got to hear the Gospel and our church was encouraged. – Jonathan Reese
I thank the Lord for the blessing of being a part of NET this year! Two of my many highlights are the door-to-door times and the visit to Marie’s house. I was really surprised at how many people from the Findlay area were willing to hear the gospel. They were very open and honest. I pray that some of the people that we spoke with will ask Jesus into their hearts. I also enjoyed getting to go to Marie’s house and being able to sing for her. She was so sweet and I was happy that we were able to visit her. – Bryanna Stergios
Note: Marie was an elderly church member the team had the privilege of going to see. They were able to sing and give some of their testimonies for her. She was a blessing!!
There were many special moments and events on NET ’13, but I will just share a couple that stood out to me.
Cleaning up the water in the church basement at Findlay GBC was one of the highlights from the trip, especially the second flooding on Wednesday. I was very glad we were there to be able to help, so the church members didn’t have to clean it up by themselves. We really had a great time doing it. Everyone pitched in to help in some way, and we worked together as a team to clean it up. When the water inflow started to slow and things weren’t as hectic, we started to sing. I think we were a blessing to the church, and we were also blessed in the process.
Another highlight was listening to the youth panel present at the Brethren World Assembly on Saturday evening toward the end of the trip. Each of them was asked to share his/her testimony and then discuss what their churches were doing well and how the church could improve in the area of ministering to youth in the church. Joshua and Joy had been selected to represent our fellowship. I thought that several of the youth had some valuable insights to share, and Joshua and Joy especially did an outstanding job (although I may be just a little biased). A couple of the youth mentioned that the older believers in the church should reach out to the youth and help mentor them. One of the things Joshua talked was about the importance of parents teaching their children at home instead of relying on the church to train them spiritually. Many children leave the church when they get older because they have never had a change of heart and trusted Christ as their personal Savior. One of the things Joy talked about was the importance of youth being involved in serving in their local church. – Benjamin Miller