God’s redeeming work is not hindered even if Covid has us stuck at home. This lesson was brought powerfully home to Ray* and Wai Liu recently when an ‘out of the blue’ text message led to an acquaintance finding Jesus.

Ray has loved and played volleyball since he was a kid, and for the last 15 years has played on and off in a competitive Asian league that travels each year to Labour Day weekend tournaments in five cities in the States and Toronto. As a Jesus follower, Ray is in the minority among his teammates, and although they know he is a pastor they haven’t talked about it much. The pandemic has curtailed tournaments over the past year but hopefully, they will be able to play again soon. 

One winter evening, while at home like many of us, Ray was listening to a sermon when his phone alerted him to a text message. He picked it up and saw it was from a teammate but he was astounded by her message.

“How do you know you are saved?” 

This was the end of the ordinary evening Ray and Wai thought they were going to have.

“Her question was a lot to answer by text message, so I asked if she was up for a Facetime call,” says Ray. “When she said yes I was totally surprised. A couple of years back she had mentioned in passing that she was going to church. I said, ‘cool,’ and that was the extent of our conversation about spiritual things. 

“Anyway, I got a hold of myself, called to my wife Wai, who also knows my teammate, and quickly told her what was happening. The two of us spent the next couple of hours with her on Facetime. We got to share our testimonies, God moments in our lives, and did our best to answer her questions about who God is and what it means to be a Christian. She soaked it all in. We shared the Gospel with her, and best of all, we got to pray with her while she invited Jesus into her heart.” 

Before they ended the call with their new sister-in-the-Lord, Ray and Wai both found themselves with the same thought – Alpha. Ray is finding that Alpha is great for use in these times of not being able to meet in the same physical space. 

“Anyone can run their own Alpha,” he says. “We told her about it and she said, ‘I’m in.’ She even invited a co-worker. Some others we know also joined and the group is thriving.” 

Ray has even noticed an advantage to holding Alpha with the participants all in their own homes. “It has been phenomenal, really. Everyone is affected by Covid, so everyone starts off having something in common. It also seems that people are more comfortable in discussions, as if being in their own homes provides a secure feeling conducive to sharing.” 

*Ray Liu is Lead Pastor at EastRidge Church, Stouffville, Ontario.

This article is featured in the Spring 2021 edition of The EMCC Together Newsletter

Download a PDF copy of the newsletter and previous EMCC Together publications here.