Note: This is part 3 of a four-part series about Search for Jesus volunteers who counsel and share the gospel with online visitors at PeaceWithGod.net.
A retired art teacher witnessed a miracle shortly after she volunteered to chat with people online about Christ.
Mollie, a mom of one and lay pastor with her husband in Ohio, was the first Search for Jesus volunteer to jump head first into online counseling. “I like the unexpected,” she said. “You have to be ready for anything and you have to be a really good listener.”
As many as 5 million people take their spiritual questions online each day. They’re worried about finances, lonely in their marriages or mourning the loss of loved ones. They want to know: “Does God care?” “Why aren’t things getting better?” “Isn’t there more to life than this?”
Once they type these concerns into popular search engines, Search for Jesus can direct them to the ministry’s evangelistic website, PeaceWithGod.net. There, visitors see an interactive Gospel presentation and have the opportunity to chat with someone about their spiritual and life questions. Trained volunteers on the other side of the screen are called e-counselors, and Mollie is one of them.
“There are a lot of people who will not come and ask me a question at church,” she said. “It’s amazing how honest people will be when they’re typing on the computer.”
Mollie is a chaplain for BGEA’s Rapid Response Team that deploys volunteers around the world to minister to people in crises. About a year ago, Mollie attended a Rapid Response retreat and heard about Search for Jesus.
“If I wasn’t the first one to sign the list, I was close because I have always felt that Christians are missing the opportunity to use the Internet to share with others about Christ,” she said. “Anytime I can use any of the abilities I have to further reach people, then I will. … I love people.”
One online chat in particular stands out to her. Mollie was talking to a woman who was out of work, exhausted all resources and needed to care for her young girls. The pair prayed together online and by the time Mollie typed “amen,” the woman wrote back that she had to go – she had just received a call from an employer who wanted her to start work that day.
“It was truly the miracle we had prayed for,” Mollie said.
The woman on the other end was ecstatic. “I’m so glad you were here!” she typed.
While not every chat is as dramatic, Mollie knows she’s found her niche. She keeps a journal of some of her experiences and said volunteering has enhanced her faith in Christ.
Mollie has led a handful of people in a prayer of salvation and counseled others who were already Christians, like a young person dealing with depression and anger, and even pastors who are discouraged. The training, follow-up and encouragement she has received through the Search for Jesus ministry has been invaluable, she said.
Search for Jesus also has more than 60 discipleship coaches to lead new believers through an online Bible study and walk with them as they learn how to live out their faith. The ministry is training a few hundred more volunteers and hopes to incorporate thousands. In July alone, nearly 90,000 people visited PeaceWithGod.net.
For Mollie, the chance to volunteer has opened her eyes beyond the needs of her church or her community.
“Everyone’s carrying a load,” she said. “People smile and say they’re fine, but people aren’t fine and they need someone to talk to.”
To volunteer or learn more, click here. Read part 1 of this story here and Part 2 here.