Photos courtesy Jersey Shore Summer Project.

The night Zack stayed home from the boardwalk

Zack* packed up his bags and traveled across the country 2 months ago for the Jersey Shore Summer Project. He left with a desire to grow in sharing his faith.

Little did he know that while he was gone, he would share the gospel with someone back home.

The third week of project provided an opportunity for Zack to attack his fears in evangelism head on.

The night Zack stayed home from the boardwalk (side photo 1)

As part of the “Killing the Giants” week, each student was challenged to set a numerical goal as well as an emotional goal. Zack set his heart on his numerical goal of sharing the gospel with 67 people. It was his primary focus. But God also had plans to work through his emotional goal in an unexpected way.

Zack had always avoided initiating spiritual conversations with his sister and brother. He struggled to care for them and take an interest in their lives. So he chose to combat this giant in his life.

He decided one night it was time to take the opportunity to care for his sister. Instead of walking down the boardwalk, he stayed at home and picked up the phone. After hearing about his sister’s recent struggles and her fears about the future, Zack asked his sister about faith. She said she didn’t feel like she had a close relationship with God.

Then Zack was able to communicate the gospel in a way that was personal and applicable to his sister’s life. He says own his story of faith clicked with her because they came from the same background.

“Transitioning to the gospel from the conversation was very easy,” he says. “It took such little work.”

At one point there was a gap in the conversation. Silence came through on the line.

When his sister returned, she told Zack she had prayed and surrendered her life to Christ.

The night Zack stayed home from the boardwalk (side photo 2)

Zack encouraged his sister to walk with the Lord and start reading the book of John. He challenged her to pray for God to bring her someone who would be able to disciple her and help her grow.

In less than a day, a friend texted her and asked if they could catch up. The two met up and now they will be going over the questions she has as a new believer.

Zack has also talked with his brother more about faith. He took action knowing his family is not in his life by coincidence.

“We’re all placed in our families for a reason,” Zack says.

As Zack has grown a heart for missions abroad, he sees more of an urgency for people back home to come to Christ. But even when his family was many miles away this summer, they were not out of reach.

*Name changed

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