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My first evangelization

I must say, personally, I get anxiety and unpleasant first feelings when I hear: “Evangelization”, “You have to evangelize”! I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. It relates to the past and the first steps in evangelization. The first time was at the very end of the 80s. I did it for the first time without understanding what I was doing. I remember, at that time, a large ship-library from the USA had docked in the port of Riga. (Later I realized it was an organized mission project.) We, a bunch of young girls from the then Lutheran Church, were invited to visit there. Just like that: it will be interesting, the tables are set – let’s go! After a delicious meal and very pleasant conversations with a wonderfully relaxed, smiling and exceptionally good-smelling young woman (I emphasize this because I had never met such a woman or human being before in my life) we were told: “… and now you will go to the nearby park and talk about God with passers-by for 3 hours!”. Directly, concretely and without variations. Since the said woman was likeable, extremely ethereal and smelling good, and we had enjoyed the company of the dinner table, it was awkward to hide somewhere in the corner of the park and don’t do anything. I got over it, overcame a very strong feeling of discomfort, even shame and despair. With trembling legs and an even more trembling heart, I approached an old and well-dressed gentleman sitting on a park bench. I was shaking and the last thing I wanted was to talk to him about God. But it has to be done! I don’t remember what exactly we discussed for quite a long time, but I clearly remember the end of the conversations. The Lord concluded that he has his own opinion about God, which if it remains unchanged – there is no God. In turn, I received a compliment that I know how to conduct a conversation with people well in order to work in this field. Only the Spirit of God knows what was the continuation of this person’s life and whether our conversation changed anything in him. Let it remain a secret, but I got one compliment, which was worth its weight in gold for a very shy, insecure young girl. I must say that I am still not a supporter of planned, group evangelism. It’s not mine. I know it works for others, but not for me. God doesn’t call me or equip me for this kind of evangelism. My way is different – ​​personal, natural and unplanned, I would say even casual. My first comfortable evangelism took place in my family without me really realizing it. The family admits that it was through me that they approached and opened themselves to God. Without a specific plan and well-thought-out actions, just being there. Also, work colleagues, especially doctors, use daily trips and conversations in which they also want to hear God’s Message. The Spirit of God works and changes not only those to whom You bring the Message, but probably much more precisely You, who brings the Message. You don’t need to know what happens to a person after that, because it is no longer your responsibility, give freedom to the work and mystery of God’s Spirit! 

Astra Dannenfelte 

To be honest, I don’t remember which was the first (time of evangelization). But from the family, my mother comes to mind, who herself was only in the church on holidays, and that since childhood I told what was told to me. I praise God that she has met Jesus. On the other hand, we were encouraged to tell people from outside about God and His love at a youth camp in Riga. Food packages were prepared and we visited people, giving both practical help and telling them about God. It was a great encouragement that we could go 2 or 3 together, when one didn’t know what to say and how to act, then the other one did. I believe that this is also why Jesus sent his first disciples in pairs to serve. 

Gunta Grīna-Sologuba

Since I was baptized and consecrated already at the age of almost thirty, this moment was very exciting and fundamentally changed my entire life from then on. After the service, I left the church as a completely different person. Arriving at the workplace in the following days, I couldn’t keep silent about this special adventure. I testified and told everyone at work about God’s great love, the merits of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives. To my great surprise, many people were interested in it and had to answer countless difficult questions. Then I also experienced the miracle of how it is when the Holy Spirit gives wisdom in moments when it is not enough with my own. 

Zinta Dzintara

My evangelism. When I was about 14 years old, Ilzi Paukse (ex. Vīksna) and I regularly went to the Liepāja elders nursing hause to visit lonely seniors. We walked around the rooms, talked, prayed and praised God together. It seems it was one of the first places when I really asked – do you know Jesus? I remember that we prayed for the forgiveness of sins and Pastor Ilze served the Holy Supper. It was a beautiful and special time of service – a bag of cookies and a bag of tea in the hand as a gift, but in the heart and on the lips the Word of God.

Vivita Kalniņa

The Lord pulled me closer to Himself – I took the New Testament and began to read. Then God spoke to me and I realized that I needed Christ in my life.  I realized that I was a sinner. I repented of my sins and came to Him…I gave my life to God. My first testimony was, of course, to my loved ones. When I realized that Jesus is my Savior, I talked about it with my mother. I told about God, how I have experienced Him while reading the New Testament. Before that, our family went to church services together once a year, at Christmas, and that was all. When I read the New Testament, the Holy Spirit touched me and I realized that the Christian life is something different. And that was my first testimony to my mom, grandmother, aunt.. that was my evangelization. After that, I started going to the Liepāja Lutheran Cross Church, but in parallel with this church, I got to know the Russian Baptist Church, with whom we went to hospitals once a week, on Saturdays. At that time, you could freely go to the wards to see the sick and tell about Christ, pray for them. 

Edgars Šneiders

Speaking abaut evangelism. I have experienced how the Holy Spirit opens people’s ears and hearts to hear the good news about our wonderful Savior. And accept it. Some who come to the church and want to be baptized or join the church, come with great skepticism, come after the form, come with intellectual knowledge and consent, but are not really ready to let Jesus into their heart and life. During learning, when you are touched by the Holy Spirit and realize that God has used you, given you the right words to open your heart, it is an indescribable experience.

Gita Medne

I evangelized for the first time around 1997 – 1998. Then I worked in a Sunday school and studied in Riga as a Sunday school teacher. I had to evangelize children for five days of practice at the Liepa stadium. It was an unforgettable time – at that time 8 children accepted Jesus Christ and started attending Sunday school. With God, everything is possible.

Vera Titoviča