Teen's first solo witness stirred terminally ill grandmother to faith

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)--"I don't know why anybody would think that I'm doing anything special," said Katie Cox, a teenage soul-winner. "I thought God told everybody to witness."

Since learning the basics of soul-winning at the annual Soul-Winning School at First Baptist Church of Central Florida in Orlando, Katie has been especially sensitive to those who need to know about Jesus. The 14-year-old, a member of Eastside Baptist Church, Orlando, was encouraged to go the conference by her youth minister, Rex Terrell.

"Actually, he just kept bugging me about it until I agreed to go," Katie admitted.

She and four adults from Eastside went to the Soul-Winning School. They were taught witnessing techniques, which they practiced on others in the classes. On the third night of the school, the students went out into the community.

Katie and classmate Andrew Crowther encountered a boy at an apartment complex who asked them to witness to his uncle.

"We really think that he was already saved," Katie noted. "But we talked to him and just confirmed what he already knew."

Then came Katie's first solo experience in witnessing -- with her grandmother, Helen Bertram of Cocoa Beach. The family had witnessed to her through tracts for years, with no success. Katie's mother, Donna, remembers her daughter's resolve in going with her four siblings to visit her terminally ill grandmother. "She said, 'If I get a chance to talk to Nana alone, I'm going to witness to her. I can't stand the idea of her not knowing Jesus.'"

For a short time, Katie was alone with her grandmother. "I gave her the plan of salvation, and I asked her if she died, would she go to heaven? She said no and then prayed the salvation prayer," Katie recounted. Nana died one week later.

Katie is president of her freshman class at Colonial High School and does not hesitate to talk about Jesus with other students at school. She recently was able to witness to one of her fellow cheerleaders. One of the girls got into an argument with the others, and Katie asked the cheerleading coach if she could intervene.

"I took her aside and was able to witness to her and pray with her," Katie said. "From the next day until now, the change in her has been like night and day."

Katie also continues an e-mail relationship with a former English teacher at Liberty Middle School. She regularly invites the teacher to church and encourages her to think about trusting Jesus.

While Katie was in middle school, she was honored as a "Walt Disney Dreamer and Doer." Her mother believes Katie's decision "to be a doer" in witnessing singles her out.

"She has taken opportunities to witness when others could -- or would -- not," she said.

Download Story