02.23.16 – Andrea Schaffer

traffic jam on flooded freewayMeeting Andrea Shaffer; My Failure to Look Back and Looking Back On My Failure

“Making the most of your time, because the days are evil…” – Ephesians 5:16

I was blessed in college to attend a school only one hour away from home. My college town of Jackson, Tennessee was only eighty miles from my hometown of Memphis. Because of the short distance, trips home were fairly common. On one of these weekend trips during my junior year, I had a life-changing encounter that impacted my view of evangelism. I arrived home and quickly ran into the house to get ready to meet up with some friends. As I left, I hurriedly backed my car out of the driveway only to back into another car.  Initially, I was not really sure where the car had come from; for there had not been any cars going down my street. When I backed out, I looked to my left and to my right. It was a rather routine action I had done many times before. Yet on this particular day the outcome was different. The other driver was a woman named Andrea Shaffer. She had been backing out of my neighbor’s driveway directly across the street from my driveway. She was simply turning around. I had looked every direction except behind me. I failed to look in the rearview mirror. The good news was very little damage had been done to the two vehicles. While we were exchanging information, I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to share the gospel with Mrs. Shaffer. But because of the drizzling rain and my “pressing” appointment with my friends, I disregarded what God was leading me to do.

But the story did not end that day in the drizzling rain. A week later, I was at work reading the newspaper in the break room. The front page headline read, “Death Brings Change of Heart; Homeowners Reconsider Sidewalks.” The story told of a woman who had been jogging in her neighborhood the day before when she was struck and killed by a speeding car. But what struck me was the victim’s picture and name. It was Andrea Shaffer. To this day I still have a copy of The Commercial Appeal dated October 4, 1996.

I felt an overwhelming sense of conviction. Did Andrea know the Lord?  To this day I do not know the answer to that pressing question. The missed evangelistic opportunity weighed heavy upon my heart for years.  Yet God used it in my life as a teaching moment. I would like to pass along to you three life lessons in particular. First, we must seize. What are we to seize? We are to seize every moment.  Do not waste your time. Paul stressed the importance of harnessing every moment when he told the church at Ephesus to make the most of their time (Ephesians 5:16). Our life on earth is brief.  With this in mind, let us be about our Father’s business. Secondly, we must see. What are we to see? We are to see every encounter with people as divine appointments. God strategically places people in our path, and each meeting is an opportunity to sow the seeds of the gospel. Third, we must share.  What are we to share?  We are to verbally share the gospel.  It is not enough to simply radiate the gospel through kind actions. Our actions must be paired with our verbal witness. The two must go together.

I pray Andrea’s story magnifies our call to witness.  For me, God used my encounter with Andrea to stir my heart in understanding the urgency of the gospel.

Andrea Shaffer of Cordova, Tennessee died Wednesday October 2nd at the age of 33.  She was born on Saturday, December 29, 1962. She was survived by her parents, her husband, a two year old daughter, a 3 month old son, and a 10 year old step-son.


20 thoughts on “02.23.16 – Andrea Schaffer

  1. If we are filled with the Holy Spirit and led to share the gospel, we should do what we feel God commands us to do. The Lord knows best and His actions are just. We should recognize that God is commanding us to share His gospel, perhaps to save someone or reunite them with Him.

  2. It must have been hard to that question stuck with you and maybe even blaming yourself. It’s still great that you better understand one of God’s lesson and teach it to us.

  3. Sometimes as Christians we might put off sharing the gospel with someone or just don’t do it, but we always have to take the chances because it will change someone’s life. We are fishers of men and when we fish, we don’t pick the fish we want to catch, we catch as many as we can. Thanks for the message Mr. Martin!! 🙂

  4. As humans we tend to go on with our daily lives and forget the commitment we have to Christ to share the gospel with others. We need to put our commitment to Jesus first and our others hobbies and activities second! We never know who is actually saved and we may be the only Jesus they may see! Thanks Mr. Martin for another great message!

  5. that must’ve been very difficult!
    it’s our responsibility to share Christ with others and put our activities after Him. we should share the Word of God with everyone, wether they’re saved or not. ☺️

  6. I have experienced that same thing in my life time. I have known someone who even though has been witnesses to I do not know if they were a Christian and if they went to heaven when they died a few years ago. It has come to my mind a lot when we talk about situations like this and so I hope no one ever decides to not witness because they are worried.

  7. We tend to forget to commite to God in our daily lives and forget that when we go “fishing” we go not to catch one of two but to catch as many as possible.If we chose to pick who we want to share the gospel with someone’s life could be in danger so we need to remember to commite to God and go be fishers of men.

  8. This was a sad story. Sometimes God puts into our minds to talk to people and witness to them. It is hard because you are not sure how people will react.This story will make me think I might be someone’s last chance.

  9. As Christians it is our responsibility to witness to others.God places people in our paths for a reason and we should never give up our chances.thanks for the great message mr. Martin😋

  10. It is a shame that some people have to die so young, but it can’t be helped. We should share the gospel with everyone, no matter what. No matter how we feel or if we know them or not, God loves them and we should share His word with them.

  11. I have done the same thing sadly where I was presented with the opportunity to witness but didn’t. We should share the gospel with everyone, no matter what we think we need to be doing instead. I pray everyday that God will help me see the opportunities to share His and that He will make me have a passion to share it and to be bold.

  12. We should strive to be an example of God and let his light shine through us to reach others. This proves how precious life really is and how we never know when that might be our last opportunity of sharing the great news of Jesus Christ.

  13. We definitely need to seize the moment when it comes to sharing the gospel. Sometimes I feel we are afraid to share the gospel because we are afraid of what the people would think of us. We truthfully do not need to worry about that at all and we need to share the great news of Jesus Christ anyways. We don’t know what could happen to this person and they could die not knowing Jesus like this person may or may not have.

  14. We should spread Gods word to everyone. We shouldn’t be ashamed to admit that we are Christians or that we love God. One conversation with someone about God could lead them to God or maybe even turn their life around.

  15. We often don’t take a step back and look at all the paths we could take or we simply fail to miss a minor detail because of routines or distractions, but everything happens for a reason. As Christians we should always strive to plant a seed in others.

  16. Sometimes in are Christian walk we get opportunitys to witness, this could have a great outcome, or we could not take it and be responsible for them when they are judged. We as Christians need to take every opportunity to witness.

  17. It is our job as Christians to share the gospel with others, and if we are not doing that then what are we doing to spread the gospel like the bible says to do. i think sharing God with other is a great way to glorify his name. thank you Mr. Martin

  18. We should always try to reach out to people. We never know when someone might die, so we should always try to spread the word.

  19. God puts unbelievers in our paths for a reason because our job is to witness to them and try to bring them to Christ. We need to take every opportunity to follow God’s commands and purposes for our lives even if those commands are difficult.

  20. We as Christians are called to share the gospel. No matter what the situation. Like you said, we need to seize, see, and share. That’s what every opportunity we get as Christians to witness we must take it. We aren’t given a time when Jesus will come back to earth but it could be anytime and we must seize the moment and share Gid’s love with those who don’t know Jesus Christ.

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