SMEA Academy (St. Mark Evangelism Academy) helps young servants, parents, young couples and adults deepen their understanding of the Orthodox Christian faith and prepares them to witness for Christ in their Homes, Schools, Work, Community, or anywhere beyond
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The Samaritan Woman
The Samaritan woman was the first Christian Evangelist. She was the first person who went out of her way, by her own initiative, to tell how Jesus changed her life.
The Samaritan woman is empowered by the spiritual power of God, and this power gives her the courage to tell her true story, in spirit and in truth.
She runs to the village, calling: “come and see!” Come and see Jesus – not a temple in Jerusalem, not doctrines of Judaism, not a cult, a practice or a mountaintop – but a person, Jesus, from whom the living water flows. She does this by telling her story: that Jesus knew her as she really was, and loved her anyway, and gave her living water to drink. Come and see. Come and see.
She runs right back into that community that judged her and isolated her and probably abused her, and boldly says, “I have a great gift for you! Come and see!” Despite all she had been through, despite the pain of her life, she gives to those who had sinned against her the greatest gift she could give: the story of how the living water changed her life.
And they saw this change. They saw in her a power, a new power. They saw a new person and they followed, because they were compelled to follow. They were swept up by this torrent of living water that flowed from her soul, and they followed when she said, “come and see!”
That is evangelism. She was the first Evangelist. The Good News poured forth from her soul,
St. Mark went to Alexandria around the year 61 A.D. Before entering Alexandria, he was praying to God, to provide him with the spiritual needs for the success of his mission. By the time he arrived, his sandal was already torn, so he went to Anianus, a cobbler, to repair it. While Anianus was holding the needle, it went through his finger and he screamed from pain and said, "O’ the One God". St. Mark was delighted when he heard this phrase, which was an appropriate chance to begin talking to him about that One God. It was also appropriate to ease him from his pain first, so he took some mud and spat on it and put it on his wound, saying, "In the name of Jesus Christ, Son of God, heal this hand." (4) It was healed on the spot as if nothing happened to it. Anianus was surprised at the miracle which was done in the name of Jesus Christ and opened his heart to the Word of God.
St. Mark asked him about the One God he called, but Anianus replied that he heard about Him, but didn’t know Him. Then St. Mark began to talk to him spiritually. When his sandal was repaired he was invited to go to Anianus’ home to talk more about that God. As St. Mark entered the house he made the sign of the cross and asked God’s Blessing to fill it. (5) He stayed with this family talking about Lord Christ. When Anianus asked to see The True God, St. Mark assured him that he will. He talked with him about the scriptures, the prophets, the incarnation, the miracles, the crucifixion and the great sacrifice He provided to the world. Anianus and his family became believers and St. Mark baptized them. This home was the first fruit in St. Mark’s preaching in Egypt.
Look in the mirror
Just as the reflection in your mirror can be a vessel for spreading the word of God, each of us has the power to be a modern-day Samaritan Woman. The vision of witnessing for Christ in our homes, schools, workplaces, communities, or anywhere we find ourselves is a noble and fulfilling mission. Just as the Samaritan Woman shared her profound encounter with Jesus at the well, we too can share the life-transforming message of Christ with those we meet in our daily lives. So, step out with confidence and purpose, knowing that your voice and actions can make a profound impact in bringing the light of Christ to those around you. Embrace this vision, and let your life become a living testament to the love and grace of Jesus.