Witnessing ... Across the Continent
July 1, 2007 - I was born to a large farming family in Missouri, and that is where I came to understand that a smile and a little country warmth helps put others at ease.
by Ralph Estill, as told to Ameé Estill
Striking up a conversation has always seemed easy to me. Since accepting Christ as my Savior as a young man at a Youth for Christ meeting in Kansas City, Mo., sharing my faith has been an integral part of my life.
Now I’m retired from an airline career, and I like to keep busy by spending time with friends and family across the United States. I have four granddaughters in Texas, so that is always a favorite destination. This desire to visit with loved ones, combined with my love of driving, made me eager to earn a little extra income by driving RVs from manufacturers to dealerships located throughout the United States and Canada. I enjoy the open road and watching the beauty of the world unfold around me. Along the way I have met many types of people, and God has started me on a personal journey with Him that has led me to share my faith in various ways.
Once, while delivering an RV in the Montreal area, I pulled into a doughnut shop. My thoughts were on getting a little rest, some directions and maybe a quick bite to eat. Inside, I listened to some of the local young people talk about their lives. Intrigued by their accents, I just had to ask a little about their local French culture. As we talked I was able to explain about my faith in Christ. I also handed each of them a Gospel tract and asked them to read and consider it. They all accepted the tracts, and Gordon, who worked the night shift at the doughnut shop, invited me to keep the RV in the lot overnight so I could get some sleep.
After Gordon’s shift ended, he took a look at my GPS mapping unit to see if he could help me program in French the address of where I needed to deliver the RV. Our conversation continued as he told me about his rough home life. I was able to share how much God loved him, and I explained salvation to him using verses from the Book of Romans. What a joy it was when Gordon bowed his head and accepted Christ as his Savior. I encouraged him to attend a Bible-teaching church to help him to grow in his new faith and get support from fellow Christians. Once I arrived back home in Denver, I sent him a Backpacker’s Bible and a Bible for beginners.
Fellowship with other believers is also something I’ve come to appreciate more than I used to. While on the road I take the opportunity to pray for my family, friends and the people I meet along the way. I ask for God to send caring, loving Christians across my path, as fellowship with other believers often gives me the energy and inspiration to keep going when fatigue sets in while driving. But I also pray for the courage and wisdom to share Christ with those who need to know about the healing power of God’s grace.