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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)

TITLE: Silver and Gold
By Joanney Uthe


“Make new friends and keep the old,
One is Silver, the other Gold.”

Our annual Thank God for Friends Thanksgiving Dinner was an overwhelming success that year; in more ways than one. I’d made lots of new friends at the church where I started attending. It wasn’t that God wasn’t part of my life before, but I’d walked away from Him and had now rededicated my life. On top of that, my husband took a new job out of state, so this would be the last Thanksgiving Dinner with this group of friends. We had a record attendance of about 25 guests. The tables were set up all over the house, including the recently finished basement.

The church we attended was evangelical in nature, but I knew most of my non-church friends from a Twelve-Step group. We had a strict rule that while we could express our religious beliefs, we could not try to convince anyone that ours were right. Most of my friends knew where I stood on the issue of spirituality, but the rule made my faith less threatening to those friends that were homosexual, Wiccan, or sworn atheists.

As people’s plates were emptied and they leaned back into their chairs, one friend of my Twelve-Step friends decided to ask a question of everyone at the table, suggesting that we go around the table to answer it. I looked at everyone sitting in the basement family room, and cringed at what I expected to be Jane’s reaction to the answers she would get. Jane, an atheist, was the only friend at the table that I knew from somewhere other than from church.

As a result of her suggestion that she would like to hear everyone’s philosophy of life, Jane listened to the testimony of eight to ten people with whom she had just spent the afternoon fellowshipping. The testimonies ranged from drastic changes to childhood decisions to just knowing that something was missing. All along, I watched Jane, expecting her to show regret for her question. Instead, I saw fascination; perhaps even a hunger.

As the last of the testimonies was given, and Jane started to answer the question herself, we heard a very distinct laugh from upstairs. My friend Betty was mentally handicapped, partially from the abuse of her childhood. Yet Betty was a very fun-loving spirit and had found peace in her life through her faith.

Jane looked up, as if she could see her best friend as clearly as we could all hear her. “I don’t believe in God. But I look at Betty and all that she’s been through; locked in the closet as a child, sexually abused and beaten by her dad. Yet, she’s been able to forgive him and has come so far. I’ve watched over the last year since she became a Quaker and I’m starting to think there might be something to this God thing.”

I had not planned the Thanksgiving Dinner to be anything more than an opportunity to celebrate the friends through whom God had blessed us. Yet it turned into what we would later learn to call a “Matthew Party.” We invited Christians to the same party which we invited non-Christians, and let them interact. I did not need to witness to Jane beyond what she saw in my life. She saw that these friends were fun, caring and interesting people. She wanted to know what made them tick. God used our Thanksgiving Dinner in a way that I would never have imagined.

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This article has been read 902 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 11/12/07
Wow, is this a true story? God's ways are amazing. I like your title and opening poem in relation to the friends. Good writing!
Beckie Stewart11/14/07
Beautiful testimony of the power of the Lord in our lives when we live in obedience to the Lord and "live" our beliefs before the unsaved.
LauraLee Shaw11/14/07
I loved your title and the effective opening poem. That could be sold on plaques....

I would have loved to see the title tied in with the closing somehow to tie it all together, but that's not really a critique- just a suggestion.

This is a powerful testimony of the power of evangelism. Great job!
Darlene Casino 11/14/07
Hi: I enjoyed your article. It was well written and easy to follow. Your point was well taken about mixing saved and unsaved friends. In this case it was surely effectual.
Pam Carlson-Hetland11/14/07
This is a wonderful account of how God can use us even if we don't intentionally plan it that way. What a delight to be a part of planning the menu while the Lord planned the testimony. Well written. Thanks for the reminder to just keep living the life in front of everyone.
Terry R A Eissfeldt 11/14/07
In amongst all the cleverly crafted fiction I LOVE finding the true, gritty, down in the street non-fiction.
This is more than a testimony - this is a jewel in your crown.
Thanks for sharing.
Ann Renae Hair11/14/07
AMEN! Perhaps the less we plan an agenda to convert and just live His love...the more we allow God to work! Thanks for sharing this beautiful story.
Jan Ackerson 11/14/07
Very inspiring!

Another possible approach would be to write this with more dialogue, to enable us to get to know one or two of these people better.

Thanks for sharing this "golden" story!