20-Year-Old Teaches Teen About God Online

By   •   January 25, 2018

young adult on laptop in city

She didn’t want to wait any longer.

Seventeen-year-old Marissa* desired to have a relationship with God now, but her parents didn’t allow her to go to church or own a Bible.

Seeking answers about following Him, she found the  online. This free course, offered through BGEA’s internet evangelism ministry, , explains what it means to know Christ and how to live as a Christian.

“I do love God, but I won’t falsely say that it’s with all of my heart, mind and soul until it truly is. I know that when I know God at a better level, that type of love will form,” Marissa admitted while filling out answers to the course questions.

A trained online discipleship coach was paired with the 17-year-old to help her find answers.  youngest volunteer, 20-year-old Eliza Downer of Colorado, patiently guided the Texas teen through the five-lesson course, providing encouragement to her from hundreds of miles away. Eliza is one of nearly 650 volunteers serving in either English or Spanish as a .

>> Read more about Eliza’s story.

“God says to pray continually. He hears and sees you. He even knows your thoughts. So you can pray whenever and however. Just speak to Him like a friend,” Eliza said.

Although Marissa remembered she had prayed for God’s forgiveness when she was 7 or 8 years old, she knew she hadn’t understood who God is or what she was praying for then.

Eliza encouraged Marissa to , telling her, “The Bible says that if you confess your sins, and repent and then ask Jesus to save you and to forgive you and to be king of your life, then you will be saved.”

Marissa asked the Holy Spirit to help her understand that God loves her no matter what, and to push negative feelings away.

“I want to grow and be better for You, for Christ, for God. I pray that You will help me throughout my journey and goals to live life with God and through You,” she prayed.

Looking forward to living a life with God, Marissa planned to pray through her busy school schedule, listen to sermons and read the Bible online, and eventually attend church.

Marissa, who was one of more than 14,000 people to take the Know Jesus discipleship course in either or last year, thanked Eliza for expanding her knowledge of Christ. She said the course helped strengthen her weakness in praying, and that in all areas she feels stronger and closer to God.

“God has blessed me with an excellent coach to help guide me into what is only the beginning of my journey, and for that I am grateful,” the 17-year-old said.

*Name changed to protect privacy.


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  1. Elsie Slade says:

    Thank God for the many different blessed ministries in the BGEA.

  2. Jim Kroyer says:

    My wife was a Search for Jesus chat counselor and is now an email counselor. I am encouraged in my faith by the interaction she has had with people all over the world for the past two years. She likes the email process a little more, as it gives her time to research and pray about the request in a less “time critical” manner than chatting. I am so grateful BGEA has invested in these great online tools that really do carry the Word of Christ around the world. I am very proud of my wife being counted among the 650 Search for Jesus volunteers! What an amazing group of people!


    Franklin, we send a check to BGEA every month and always pray for you. We are so impressed with the wonderful work you do.

  4. Betsy Scarbrough says:

    My heart thrills within me to read about young people who are being reached for Jesus through your online ministry, Franklin Graham.


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