Sharing the Good News Forks Church Supports Friendship Evangelism in Queets

The Dames—Ron, a steam engineer, and Delphine, a psychiatric nurse—aren’t trained as evangelists, but they have a heart for people.

This missionary-minded couple first teamed up with the mission-oriented Forks (Wash.) Church in 2004 to build a Native American ministry on the Quinault Indian Reservation in Queets, Wash.

A small fifth-wheel trailer home didn’t prevent the Dames from having an open-door policy and interacting in the community. Neighborhood children loved to play games with Ron and make crafts with Delphine. Neighbors called out friendly greetings to the Dames when they walked around the village. The Dames even made friends with the neighborhood dogs by offering dog biscuits.

“In God’s own way,” Delphine said, “I believe He made the size of our home an asset rather than a hindrance to our ministry.”

On many evenings, church member and Queets resident Steve Sansom joined the Dames to discuss sharing the good news of the gospel and Jesus’ second coming.

“His easy-going manner and quiet wisdom guided our steps and prevented us from shooting ourselves in the foot by acting too aggressively,” Delphine admitted.

To make additional community inroads, Delphine volunteered at the village preschool while Ron worked to bring loads of firewood for seniors.

Finally it was time to plan a religious event. Ron invited gospel singer Herb Desjarlais to present a concert. “The concert was just the right thing to deliver the gospel message to people who may never go to hear an evangelistic sermon,” Ron said.

After the successful concert, planning for an evangelistic series began. Evangelists Brian and Denise Bechtold soon arrived in Queets to begin meetings.

One couple who attended the adult meetings, Marjorie and Fernando Sanchez, wanted to trade their spiraling life of partying, drinking, and drugs for a relationship with God. Circumstances—including loss of child custody and a loss of Fernando’s job—strained this family. It was time for a change. Both Marjorie and Fernando were baptized.

The immediate results after six months of friendship evangelism efforts led to three adults and two children being baptized. Forks members are continuing to share the Good News by offering a Bible Story Hour and children's activities in Queets.

February 01, 2006 / Washington Conference
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Heidi Martella, Washington Conference communication intern