Marie Colwill, 84, has attended
First Assembly of God in Sioux Falls, S.D., for more than 65 years.
"The fire of a soul winner still burns hot in her," says Pastor
Ron Traub. "She often stops me and, with a twinkle in her eye,
reports that she led someone to Jesus this week." Colwill spoke
recently with Scott Harrup, associate editor, about her passion for
Evangel: Why is personal evangelism
so important to you?
I long for other people to have what I have Jesus in my
heart. I was told about Him as a child and read the Bible growing up.
Eventually I realized I needed a Savior. When I accepted Jesus into
my heart I was about 18. It gave me a peace and a joy; I could sleep
at night. It seemed like the grass was greener, the birds sang sweeter
and the sky was bluer. I had such a deep, settled peace.
Evangel: How did you hear the
Colwill: I had attended a
church growing up, but it was at First Assembly that I remember an altar
call that really convicted me. I couldnt go to the altar. I got
up and went outside. That conviction stayed with me. A little later,
my husband and I were fishing with friends on a Sunday. I felt convicted
again and told my husband we should be in church. He promised to take
me that night. After that service I practically ran to the altar and
I accepted Christ.
Evangel: One of your strategies
for witnessing is the "wrong number" method. Tell us about
Colwill: A few years ago,
it seemed I started receiving more wrong number phone calls. When people
would call and ask for someone, Id say, "No, that person
doesnt live here, but did you know that God has such a love for
you that He wants you in heaven with Him?" Some callers would get
kind of quiet and I would say, "You know, the Bible says that we
need to be born again." And Id quote a verse or two. And
Ive been able to lead several people to the Lord. Now when the
phone rings, I walk to the phone praying, "Is this somebody that
Most people are polite. I did have
one lady who called and said, "Here I am, calling a wrong number,
and I get preached to. Preach to somebody else!" And she slammed
the phone down.
I said to myself, "Lady, you
dont know what youre missing."
Evangel: What are some other
witnessing opportunities you have?
Colwill: I have cleaning
help, and different people come on different weeks. I let them do their
work and then I say something like, "Hey, have you heard that a
person needs to be born again to get into heaven?"
One of the cleaning ladies recently
accepted Christ. After I led her to the Lord, she gave me such a hug.
A couple years ago, a traveling saleslady accepted the Lord. Before
my husband passed away, we had a Sunday school bus route for 18 years
and I led several of those children to the Lord. Ive also led
a number of my grandchildren to the Lord.
Evangel: Is there anything else
you would like to say?
Colwill: I often think of
the verse, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see
your good works, and glorify your Father" (Matthew 5:16). I want
to bring glory to God. Ive always been quite verbal and bold,
and Ive asked the Lord for holy boldness. I get excited about
opportunities that present themselves and I hitch onto them. I love
to talk to people about spiritual things.