Stepping Up to the Plate

Alan's monthly letter for December 2009

Dear Friend,

I began a recent event by telling the audience I wasn’t glad to be there. I paused during the awkward silence. Then I explained why: I was there to talk about abortion. And I don’t like talking about abortion. It’s an ugly topic. Even regular church attendees get upset about it. But I was there to train pro-lifers to fight this grisly practice.

Right now brave men and women in our armed forces are engaged in combat on the other side of the world. They don’t want to be there either. But they realize that since a battle is being fought, someone must step up to the plate and take action.

Then there’s you. You know the battle being fought. You recognize the importance to train Christians. You see the need to act. And you’ve stepped up to the plate. Your prayer and support has fueled my work this year.

And what a year it’s been. I gave 60 presentations to over 2,100 people, not including radio interviews that reached well beyond that number. I’ve had the privilege of impacting adults, youth, high school and university students, private school and homeschool kids, Christians, and non-Christians.

Many of these talks weren’t just lectures. They involved question and answer sessions, role-play, and real-world interaction with people hostile towards the Christian worldview. In other words, I was involved in genuine training that equipped Christians with the capability and confidence to share their faith.

I also demonstrated to secular audiences that Christianity can compete in the marketplace of ideas. On the topic of abortion, I debated audiences at the University of Southern California and Central Michigan University. It provided a powerful opportunity to model the thoughtful and winsome approach of an ambassador – something I teach Christians to do in their own engagements.

And I presented a biblical and secular case against homosexuality to a room full of Christians and homosexuals. As you can imagine, we had a spirited question and answer time.

Every one of these events presented unique challenges. As I faced each one, I had the confidence of knowing that you are praying and supporting me. Our work together yields a greater result than anything you or I could do alone.

I know you would be greatly encouraged to hear the testimony of individuals across the country who desperately need and appreciate the unique training we give them. It is a gift that keeps on giving. Because long after I’ve left, these Christians are better prepared to share their convictions.

As the Christmas holiday approaches, I’m reminded of another gift that makes everything we do pregnant with meaning. It’s God’s gift to us. In a world crowded with men who would want to be god, there is only one God who would become man. It’s God stepping up to the plate to meet a need that we could not.

Mindful of His gift to us,

Alan Shlemon

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