Cultivate Blog

Studying The Story of Hope with High School Friends

Categories: Stories

By Randy Southwell

Studying With Friends

The appropriate moment presented itself to Carter, when God opened a door of opportunity during one of his band periods at his high school in Texas. One of his good friends, Cody, had some questions about the Bible. As Carter answered them, Cody continued to show interest. Cody wanted to know more about God and the Bible, specifically how it all fit together and affected his life. In his next class period, Carter sent Cody a text suggesting that they could do a Bible study together and was thankful and thrilled when he happily embraced the idea. Carter started to think about others at the school who might want to join the Bible study. He talked to several other friends and one, Hope, expressed an interest, so the small group was formed, and they made plans to get together outside of school.

Carter went home that night and talked to his parents about what might be a good study to do with his friends. They had heard about The Story of Hope from his grandparents, retired ABWE missionaries to Brazil, and suggested he talk to them. His grandparents not only encouraged him to use it but offered to buy copies for him and his friends. Carter was eager to get started with his friends, but one obstacle remained: when and where to get together. As they began to plan a time, they realized that Cody could not meet on weekends and Hope was unavailable weekdays after school. Carter had initially avoided the idea of doing the Bible study at school because he was concerned that the focus would be much tougher in the public setting and that the questions and discussion with his friends might be shallow as others could listen in, but this was the only option and turned out to be a clear part of God’s plan.

They met during their lunch period, and the conversation was uninhibited with lots of questions from Cody and Hope. Others nearby sometimes listened in, and after a few weeks another student, Mark, asked if he could join the study. The four of them continued faithfully through the study of The Story of Hope and Carter had many opportunities to clearly present the gospel, share his faith story, and convey the need for their personal faith response to God’s redemptive plan. After the lesson on the punishment of unbelievers, Mark seemed ready to make a faith response, but the bell rang for the next period and as they hurried to class Carter encouraged him but is unsure of the decision he has made. Cody still has lots of questions, but is still very open to the gospel, and Carter has had the chance to engage him in several more meaningful conversations. Hope, who comes from a Catholic background, believes she is saved but admits she is confused and not completely sure.

Carter asks that you pray for his friends. Also, others from his school who listened in or even just heard about the Bible study have approached Carter and he has had numerous opportunities to share with many fellow students at school as a result of the lunchroom Bible study. Carter says, “The Bible study using The Story of Hope was great and it had everything in it to sufficiently explain the gospel and prompt those who are doing it to think about their own lives and make a decision. Overall, I saw God work in several ways and the seed was planted in many peoples’ lives.

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