Karen Shares The Gospel

Karen Shares The Gospel

In his latest blog post, Mike Barko recounts his recent Gospel sharing endeavors and encounters in Harrisonburg. He highlights Karen's impactful Gospel presentation, which led to a transformative moment for Kylie, resulting in her newfound trust in Christ. Mike also shares a remarkable story of Charlie's journey from a confident self-righteousness to an overwhelming realization of his need for God's grace. Further stories of individuals like Damian, Michael, Michael's mom, and Tim emphasize the power of sharing the Gospel and its profound effects on their lives. Amid challenges and rejections, Mike remains committed to his mission, acknowledging the role of faith and God's sovereignty in transforming hearts.


Mike Barko

5/24/20235 min read

Greetings Beloved:

Another blessed week of sharing the Gospel. J.M.U is out for the summer. This affords more time for office and administrative work. Thank you for your prayers.

Downtown Court Square

Last Wednesday, I recorded Karen sharing the Gospel with Kylie. She shared for 9 minutes, and then Kylie's ride pulled up. Her close was brief, but extremely effective. After turning off the video, as Kylie was leaving, I asked her...

'So, who are you trusting?'

'Starting now, Him.'

'So, how sure are you?'


Great job, Karen!

We saw ten people downtown who wanted to trust in Christ alone. My favorite story was Charlie.


Charlie quickly drove past me on a bicycle. I yelled, asking him if he wanted a bracelet. He turned around and came back!

Charlie initially told me that he was sure he was going to Heaven because, 'I help people, I'm good, and I obey the commandments.'

We went through the commandments together...all ten. When you examine each one on a heart level, we have broken all of them, thousands of times. Let's examine just one...

The second commandment forbids bowing down to a graven image. Most people would glance at that and say, 'Never!'. Here is how we approach this one...

"Have you ever been stubborn?"

'Sure, who hasn't?'

Samuel told Saul in 1 Samuel 15:23,

"...stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry..."

What is the first letter in 'idol'?...'I'

Who are we bowing down to when we are stubborn?...'I'

How many times have we been stubborn, and continue to be stubborn?...'My will, my time, my way!'

This gets most people. Humbles me every time.

Middle letter in 'sin'?...'I'

Middle letter in 'pride'?...'I'

Our default setting is trusting ourselves. This is our pride. God is constantly showing us our sin, to move of from our own righteousness to His.

"Nothing damns a man but his own righteousness, nothing saves a man but the righteousness of Christ." (Charles Spurgeon)

We must trust Him alone.

After going through all ten with Charlie, I asked him again how sure he was of going to Heaven?

'50% now...I obey the commandments.'

We are heading in the right direction (Got to go to the ground floor...0%...'eat the humble pie'...before we go to the top floor...100%...'drink the fruit juice')

If you are standing ankle deep in a baby pool, what does a life preserver mean to you? How about if you are drowning in a raging ocean? People will cling to Christ when they really see their need.

At some point, after presenting the person and work of Christ to Charlie, the light bulb came on for him.

After praying with me, I asked Charlie what happened to him. The joy of the Lord came upon him and he shouted...

'HE MADE ME A NEW CREATION!' (There was so much joy here that Karen and myself couldn't stop giggling...it would have gotten you too!...He kind of had a 'YOW!...OH YEAH' in it!)
He actually rode off on his bike loudly shouting...'I FEEL GOOD...THANK YOU JESUS!'


Holding the Cross

Here are three neat stories from the past three weeks.

Touched Over A Year Ago

Over a year ago, driving through the intersection, Damian saw me struggling to carry the cross. He quickly pulled into the El Charro parking lot, and ran over to help me carry the cross back to my ministry van.

Sitting down with him at the back of the van, I shared the Gospel with him. At the end after praying, I remember Damian weeping quite a bit, telling me how good it felt to be forgiven by the Lord.

Well, recently I had been thinking about him, and there he was two weeks ago. Damian is in the process of moving to New York to assist his aunt, who is not in good health. God bless this young man, who has been through so much.

Froggy is the older man in the picture. He is my friend who made me the new cross.


Here is a two minute testimony from Damian of what it meant to him after hearing the Gospel last year...

Michael and His Mom

I met Michael downtown a few months ago where I shared the Gospel with him. He had just gotten out of jail. Another brother from the Russian Baptist Church and myself helped him with a hotel room for a few weeks.

Michael has been faithfully working at the Taco Bell. His boss asked him to start training others. Michael is still doing his daily devotions.

Great job Michael!


Michael is trying to help his mother, who is homeless and has seizures. There are so many people we want to help, but how?

Two weeks ago, guess who I met walking out to hold the cross?

Michael's mom!

After hearing the Gospel and praying with me, she told me...




I met Tim a few weeks ago as he was walking across the street. There are certain times my heart is 'really yearning' to share. This was one of them.

At that time, Tim was 80% sure of Heaven because he was 'good'. At some point as I shared, he got upset and left. Tim was a little short with me, but I actually wasn't offended, just really disappointed that I didn't get to share with him.

He actually came back 15 minutes later and apologized!

Guess who came back last Friday wanted to hear the Gospel?

Tim asked me, 'Do you believe once saved, always saved?'

I don't answer that question. I just share the Gospel with people. The Greek Word for believe is pistis. It is a 'present active' verb. We need to believe on Christ and then continue to believe.

God is the author and finisher of our faith. Thank you Jesus!

God, please bless my dear friend Tim!

'Thank you for this man out here preaching the Word. Thank you for helping me to start trusting you. I will do the best I can. Amen.'

After we prayed, I shared some more and I the light came on for Tim. We prayed and he was able to confess that he was 100% sure because he believed on Christ. Then he prayed...

I sighed and said, 'Can we pray?' I laid my hand on his shoulder and we prayed. I can't save people. God must open their understanding.

'I have to start doing the right thing'.

Even at the end, he was still trying to justify himself...

It is not 'asking', but 'believing'...not in our good, but in God.

It took quite some time. Tim kept trying to justify himself. He thought God would forgive him because he 'asked'. He even said, 'That's what my bible says!' (Stick with me, Tim, stick with me...)

Tim thought he was a good person. Going through the commandments, there was a whole lot of 'yeah, but', 'not that much', 'not too bad', 'I try not to.' We do acknowledge our sin, but we still try to justify ourselves.