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Mission's Conference 2017

Witnessing beyond your circumstances

Instead of making excuses, be an effective witness through burden carrying and prayer.   |   Caroline Sommers/THE CHIMES


Students gathered Thursday morning and listened to Arjuna Chiguluri, former Talbot student and current director of Vision Nationals, a church-planting organization in India. Chiguluri utilized Mark chapter 2 and his own testimony to convince students to witness beyond their personal circumstances. Christians make innumerable excuses in place of witnessing. Witnessing beyond your circumstances means that every time you want to witness, you do not allow your circumstance to fail you.

witnessing can be crazy

Mark 2 tells the story of four men who lowered a paralytic from the roof to be healed by Jesus. Chiguluri pointed out that this did not happen at a convenient time as people packed the house while Jesus preached to the people. No time was the perfect time for the men to witness, but they continued to help the paralytic. The men also faced a huge challenge of not being able to get through the door, but they did not give up. Witnessing can also be odd. Lowering a man through the roof was certainly not a normal witnessing tactic. While witnessing can be crazy, Chiguluri reminded students that it is a good kind of crazy.  

Chiguluri shared the personal testimony of his father and the woman who led him to Christ. Like the man in Mark 2, his father’s body was paralyzed. A woman came to their house to share the gospel to Chiguluri’s father. He rejected the message and told the woman not to “return with her God again.” Despite the challenges she faced, this woman continued to share the gospel with him.

Through vasts amounts of prayer and persistence, Chiguluri’s father agreed to go to a prayer meeting. At the meeting, fellow believers prayed for him. His body was physically healed and faith entered his heart. This happened when Chiguluri was the age of 17 which in turn, converted him from Hinduism to Christianity.

boldly approach prayer and persistence

The four people in Mark 2 and the Christian woman who saved Chiguluri’s father all have something in common, they unashamedly witnessed beyond their circumstances. They continued to witness despite the imperfect timing, challenges, and life’s abnormalities. Chiguluri pleaded with students to understand that witnessing without prayer is ineffective.

Chiguluri argued that the culture at Biola is full of people who say, “It is great that you are preaching, but do not bring any of that over here.” We can be one of three types of people: we can be the crowed in Mark 2 that listened to the gospel but questioned Jesus, we can be the paralytic who could not do anything until he was saved, or we can be the group of four who took it upon themselves to carry a burden, overcome and witness to others. Do not allow your witnessing to be defined by circumstances. Instead, boldly approach your mission with prayer and persistence.

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