Friday, April 21, 2006
Staci's Story after her sudden death...
[We have created an evangelistic webiste: http://stacistory.com/]
As we share the gospel with students and see them respond, God will often surprise us with a bigger purpose in our work than meets the eye.
Such is the story of Staci Stephens, a sophomore this past school year at an Orlando high school. She had received Christ through our Student Venture team in Florida. A year ago in March, Staci suddenly died from what was diagnosed as Viral Myocarditis -- a virus had attacked her heart. She was a healthy, athletic cheerleader, gone just 48 hours after her first symptoms.
Shortly after her death, a remarkable story began to unfold. In the months until her passing, Staci had grown so much that the impact she had on her campus of 3,800 students was amazing.
In a letter to friends Staci said, “This has been the most life-changing year I have ever experienced. On January 18, 2004, I was reborn and found my savior Jesus Christ at a conference put on by Student Venture. Since then, I have dropped my old ways of living and completely given myself to Christ. My life has been changed for eternity and now everything that I live for makes sense. I don’t have to fill my heart with worldly things anymore. I am completely satisfied and Christ has filled every little void in my life.”
The evening after her passing, over 850 students packed out her school auditorium, sharing stories of the impact Staci had on them personally.
Staci and her friends in Student Venture had prayed all year for spiritual awakening to break out at their school, and even dreamed of a day when the auditorium on campus would be filled with people hearing about Jesus. Through the life and death of Staci Stephens, their prayers were answered.
We believe that God intends to use the story of Staci Stephens far beyond her campus. As you know, the Internet has become the preferred means of communication among teens, and the negative moral impact of the Internet on teens has been documented as well. But what if we could use the Internet for something totally different…telling Staci’s story and bringing teenagers to Christ?
Shortly after Staci’s death, we began production of a video of Staci’s story and an internet web site where students could see the video and be introduced to Christ. The web site and video have now been produced, and the site is live. Listen to just a couple of the responses we are receiving from young people who have visited www.StaciStory.com:
“'When i watched the DVD about staci i wanted to cry. because i also tried filing the empty hole with earthly things to make me happy. but nothing ever really filled it. the DVD talked about how she brought so many people to know christ while she was alive. well she brout me to know the lord last night on march 27, 2006. i thank staci for that because she made me see that i was in trouble and heading for more. well once again thank you staci, you are very much alive.'. Tomi
As students e-mail their responses to us, our “web counselors” respond back with spiritual guidance for their next steps in following Christ. In just 6 months 2,118 people indicated they trusted Christ, with an average of 14.3 people per day clicking “yes, I have prayed to receive Christ” after reading through the gospel! We have dramatically increased the number of students visiting the site, seeing the video and hearing the gospel, by purchasing ads on Google.com.
Feel free to visit the http://stacistory.com/ site and then, if you would, come back here and leave a comment with your opinion. Thank you for the part you play in our ministry to countless others!