GOD at Work Stories


By Gene Elfering

That isn’t that simple for me.  In my previous attempts at witnessing, I came away with mixed feelings.  Did I say the right things?  I should have said this or that.  Did I do more harm than good?  Did I make an impact for God’s kingdom?  Being an ambassador for Christ didn’t seem to be my strength.  How could I witness to people and come away feeling that I had said all that I wanted to?  I decided some years ago that if I witnessed in letter form, I could say everything that I wanted to say and not come away feeling inadequate or incomplete.  After all, a very wise man once said, “sometimes it’s enough to just put a rock in their shoe”.  So that’s what I do.  I write a letter.  I hang on to it for a week or so and tweak it until I’m comfortable that I’ve said what I want.  This is an example of a letter that I send to a fellow in my golf league:

Dear So and So,

You must be wondering why Gene Elfering is writing you a letter. I hope you don’t find it offensive.  First, I want to tell you a little bit about me.  I’ve lived a pretty normal, maybe boring life with its usual bumps along the way.  I moved to Annandale around 9 years ago and have known you a little bit for most of those years.  In a lot of ways we are alike.  I think we share some of the same passions and I think I can assume that gold is close to the top of the list for both of us.  We’re both in our twilight years.  We’re both disappointed with the Twins.  We both hate it that our skills are diminishing somewhat, although your golf game seems to be in good shape.  Some years ago I started thinking about what come next.  I’m past the age of the life expectancy of the average male.  So are you.  That’s kind of scary for me.  I hate reading obits and seeing most of the deaths are people younger than I am.  Maybe this isn’t’ an issue for you right now but it will be sometime.  I hated the thought of passing away and being stuck in the ground and that’s the end of it.  I’ve been a church goer all of my life, but that didn’t keep me from worrying about what happens after I die.  I wanted something better to look forward to.  When we moved to Annandale we started attending Annandale Free Church.  This is by no means an endorsement for AEFC.  That’s not my intention.  This church promotes Bible principles, and Bible study is encouraged as a way of life.  Studying and learning from the Bible has given me a hope that I didn’t have.  When I accepted Christ as my Savior, it gave me the assurance that when I die it’s not going to be the end.  It’s just the beginning of something better than we have here on earth.  All I had to do was believe who He is and what He did for me.  I realize that this sounds like a lot of baloney.  I thought, “how can I trust or believe in someone I hardly know?”,  so I started to learn more and more about him.  By studying the Bible, I learned about how Jesus came to the earth as a man about 2000 years ago to atone for our sins.  Yes, we are all sinners.  I still am, but Jesus died for my sins.  I’ll always be a sinner.  We’re all that way.  We have a sinful nature.  Jesus takes care of that.  It’s kind of like being in court and being accused of a crime and Jesus is there as our advocate to pay the fine for us and set us free.  By now you many have crushed this up and threw it away, but I hope not.  So why am I telling you about this?  The reason is that Jesus Christ wants you in His kingdom.  He know who you are and He loves you.  There is no way that I can remove the hokis pokis that you might feel about all of this right now.  You’ll need to know more.  You can do it by learning about Christ and knowing who He is.  Otherwise, how could you believe in someone you don’t know?  He died to remove our sins and then He rose from the dead just like He promised we will do some day.  I know that now and I want you to have that assurance too.  I can help with this.  This is a lot to think about and I don’t expect you to do anything right now.  I just want you to think about it.  Living without Christ is a huge gamble.  It’s a gamble that I wasn’t willing to take.  I don’t think you should either.  If this is something you would like to discuss further, I’m willing to help in whatever way I can.  It’s an important step, but one worth taking.  I hope you’ll give this some consideration.  Audrey and I would be happy to sit down with you and your wife, or just you for further discussion regarding our future. 


Gene Elfering

That’s my letter.  It’s pretty simple but I’ve said what I might have forgotten had I witnessed in person.  I’ve written to family members, friends and just people that I know and sometimes I write to people that I don’t know.  I once sent one of my letters to the owner of a pornography business.  Did I make an impact?  Who knows?  I’m just in the business of installing rocks. 



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