The Evangelism School

                                                By Victor Beshir


John received a brochure in the church about a missionary trip to China .  He examined the details of the trip and started to consider it.  However, some members of the congregation did not encourage him because China is well known for persecuting missionary workers.  The church over there had gone underground and the Christians were in real danger. 


He went to bed with an overwhelming load of contradicting ideas about the trip, and he could not decide what to do.  Some friends went on missionary trips before and came back new people, happier than ever.  They told John they found life for the first time in their lives during the missionary trip and that they would love to go back again and again. 

“My friends could have stayed in America to enjoy abundant sources on entertainment, the friends, the good vacations, and to have fun, but they preferred to venture into lands that offer no entertainments, Internet, or even cell phones,” He wondered.


In the middle of his thoughts, he witnessed a group of people walking on a high mountain singing spiritual songs.  John came closer and asked one of them: 

“Where are you going?”

“We are traveling to the Evangelism School ,” answered Peter.

“We are not sure of its location, but we have been told that we have to pass many hills and valleys to reach the school,” continued Peter.

“But this is a dangerous journey, the valleys are so deep, and if someone falls down into a valley, he could die,” John said.

“Yes, you’re right. Yet, we know that our Lord Jesus Christ will not let us fall.  He will protect us,” answered Peter and started singing with the rest of the group.

John found himself attracted to the sweet spiritual singing, so he joined the traveling group.


He walked with them during the sizzling hot days and severe cold nights.  Sometime he wondered, “Is attending the Evangelism School worth all these troubles?” But, these questions never lasted that long because of the great company, the singing, and the prayer meetings which were something new to him. 

He asked Peter, “Please tell more about the prayer meetings?”

Peter answered, “Prayer in a group is more powerful than individual prayers.  Individual prayers usually last for a few moments and they are mostly not that deep.  But, prayer meetings help the heart to warm up and be ready for prayers through singing, silence, and the way you get touched by the prayers of other members in the group.  They also last longer and give the heart a chance to come closer to God.  To reach the School of Evangelism , you have to learn about and use the power of prayers.  This is why you saw us praying more often as a group.  Actually, we can not continue our journey to the School of Evangelism unless we are armed with the power of prayers, because the road is so dangerous and our needs are so great.”

One time they approached a great valley.  John looked down, and saw at the bottom of this valley many of his old friends and others he didn’t know.  They were all committing different kinds of sins.  John started blaming and judging his friends.  All of a sudden, he found himself starting to fall into the valley.  John cried loudly.  Peter and the others hurried to pull him up.  They had to struggle to pull him up and he was so scared.  Finally, after many hours, they succeeded in getting him back.  Paul, from the traveling group, told John:

“This is the Valley of Judgment .  You have to cross this valley to become a student of the Evangelism School .  Evangelism means that you love people.  If you start judging others, you will never have the love and compassion to lead them to Christ.  If you fall in the Valley of Judgment , you need to climb this harsh mountain to come back here again.  Many people who liked to become good Christians fell into that valley and lost their love for the sinners.  Remember, we are all sinners and we all should have compassion and love for sinners and never have a judgmental mind. Listen to what our Lord says, ‘17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.’ (John 3:17)”


John wept bitterly because he realized how judgment is a sinful behavior.  He will never forget those moments when he was about to fall into the depth of the Valley of Judgment .  It was a dreadful feeling; as if he stepped on a great void that opened its mouth widely to swallow him.  He decided not to judge anyone anymore.  


He then asked Paul, “But, what do you do to avoid judgment?”

Paul answered, “You learn to pray and this is why we have many prayer meetings all the way to the School of Evangelism .  Prayers change hearts and minds.  Prayers make us aware of our own sins and weaknesses, and when we discover our own sins and pray for forgiveness, we become more compassionate towards others.  Have you noticed during our prayer meetings how many people start to cry?  This happens because they see their sins and their tears express their hearts’ desire for forgiveness.  When we remember how spiritually weak we are, we don’t judge anymore.”


Now, john became more aware of the power of prayer meetings; they’re not only channels for power, peace, and heavenly help, but they are also a school that helps us see ourselves better and as a result change us dramatically with the grace of the Holy Spirit.


A few hours later, the traveling group stopped to start a special prayer meeting for those who were down at the bottom of the Valley of Judgment , for all the sinners down there.  It was an amazing meeting; it had songs, individual prayers followed by spiritual songs and then moments of silence where every heart was opened to God in deep silent prayers that he has never seen before.  From time to time a person would start to pray audibly.  Each person prayed as if there are no other creatures in heaven and earth but he and God.  How great these prayers were?  They came from the depth of the hearts. He was amazed to see that not only the heart prayed, but the soul as well, even the body was also moving with prayers as if every drop of blood of the person was praying too.  These prayers shocked him hardly.  John found himself for the first time in his life kneeling down on the rocks and praying so deeply and honestly. 


The prayer meeting continued for a long time, longer than any prayer he has ever had.  When the prayer meeting ended, he saw from a distance some of his friends that he prayed for running toward the group; they succeeded in climbing up and leaving the valley.  It was the power of prayer that pulled them up.  God responded to all the heartily prayers for those who were in the valley and He raised them up.  Now, John saw the miracle of prayer meeting.  He said to himself, “Then, the way to save the world is to pray heartily, especially if a group prayed together.”   Later on he remembered the golden words of the Lord Jesus Christ, ‘“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matt 18:19, 20).


John noticed that his heart started to be filled with a sweet warm spiritual feeling that enabled him to mingle with the traveling group and to feel joy that is totally different from any joy he experienced before.  Shortly after his friends joined him and he noticed they were all filled with a great power; they were praising God for what He did in their lives and they were ready to do anything for the sake of Jesus.


The traveling group, along with those who joined them lately, continued to walk until night started with its darkness and cold.  Although, the mountain was known for having all kinds of animals and insects, John felt no fear in his heart.  Now, John has learned another benefit of the prayer meetings; an overflowing peace of the heart that erased all traits of fear. 


Second morning the traveling group passed by a small village of very poor people.  The traveling group went around the village to gather children, youth and adults to give them of the little food they have and to distribute gifts.  John was amazed at how members of the traveling group hugged dirty children and ate with them and at how they played with them.  He kept a distance until Paul came to him asking him to play with the children.  Hesitantly he joined Paul in playing with the dirty children.  A few hours later they were ready to continue on their trip to the Evangelism School , and the children started to say goodbye, a child with tears in his eyes came and hugged John for a long time.  John found tears in his own eyes too and cried bitterly. 

When others asked John, “Why did you cry?” 

“I was never touched by such a pure love. The gift that this child gave to me is more precious than any other expensive gift; he gave the gift of himself, he give me all his heart,” answered Paul while trying to wipe out his tears. 


Leaving the village with a heavy heart, Paul approached John and asked him,

“Do you know why you were touched by the love of the poor children?” Paul answered,

“Because they have pure hearts and they love for the sake of love itself.  Above all, it is because you touched Jesus Himself when you hugged these children, as Jesus says, ‘And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.’ (Matt 18: 5)”


John then said loudly, ‘the way to go to the Evangelism School is to master prayer meetings and love of others.’  He was so happy to discover the secrets of the trip. He said to himself, “The road to the School of Evangelism was made this way to teach candidates of the school these great lessons before they reach the school, to soften their hearts with the love of God through prayers, to enrich their lives with the love of others, and to inflate their hearts with the love of the Lord who walks all the way with them because of their continuous prayers and love of others.”


After days of traveling in the mountains, John saw the building of the Evangelism School from a distance.  He shouted, ‘Here is the Evangelism School ,’ and started running.  Paul and others tried to stop him but he continued.  To his surprise he saw a big valley that he was about to fall in.  If he has not recognized it, he would have fallen thousands of feet.  He thanked God for not falling into this scary valley.  Paul told him that this is the Valley of Self Reliance . 

“What a strange name for a valley,” said John

“Yes, John, it is strange, but if you know the reason, you will appreciate the name.  Evangelism is the service of God where we totally depend on God.  Sometimes we try to rely on our education, experience, or intelligence, and this is when we fail drastically.  Before joining the school of evangelism, a person needs to learn how to rely totally on God.  Without this realization and experience we would be preaching to the people our message and not God’s message, we would be communicating our own ideas and not God’s.  Moreover, we waste our time and the people’s time too.  God needs those who depend totally on Him and deny themselves and their capabilities.  They need to be like a musical instrument in the hands of the great musician where the strings do not do anything except responding to the master musician on His pulling or touching.  The Master musician has the great musical notes and any attempt of the strings to intervene with His work would result in out of harmony tones that will not amuse the hearts and souls. ”


Finally, the traveling group, Paul, and the others reached the Evangelism School .  At the door of the school, they saw a big inscription that says:

“It took the Disciples over three years with the Master to learn evangelism. As a matter of fact, the Holy Spirit continued the mission of teaching them evangelism from the day of the Pentecost. So, when was their evangelism education over?  Actually, it was not over even when the Disciples became very old; they continued to be faithful students until they departed to the Lord.  No wonder, some of our students came here so many times to earn not diplomas but to gain a glimpse of the mystery of evangelism through learning how to be more humble, more giving, and have more prayerful life.”


Then, the entire traveling group, along with the others, knelt down in deep prayers and with eyes full of tears they thanked God for granting them such an honor which they did not deserve, to be students for life in the School of Evangelism .


All of a sudden, John opened his eyes and to his surprise he did not see the School of Evangelism , his beloved traveling group, nor the others. Instead he found his pillow full of tears and his heart inflamed with the love of God, so he knelt down to pray.