I want to share some encouraging reports from this year’s Day of Dialogue free speech event.
When I originally blogged about the April 16th event giving Christian students a chance to share a hope-filled perspective on issues like marriage, sexuality and gender-identity issues, I told you we were expecting 18,000 young men and women would participate.
In reality, an estimated 25,000 students took the initiative to lead Day of Dialogue events in schools across the nation.
But even more impressive than the number of teens who participated are the stories they and their parents and pastors have shared with us. Here are just three of those testimonies.
Lily, a 13-year-old student: “My teacher for one of my classes wants us all for 45 minutes to be silent [for Day of Silence]; what he doesn’t know is that I will not be silenced, and I will stand for what I believe—and if that means respectfully saying, ‘Hey, Jesus Christ loves you’ … then that’s what I’m going to do, because Jesus loves us all and died for us.”
Lily also shared that she and her best friend invited others to “have lunch with us to talk about the Day of Dialogue … We go to a public school and we took risks in doing so because many kids don’t agree with what we believe … We gathered these kids and talked with them about Jesus Christ and how he loves us all … (W)e should stand up to bullying, to bow when others stand and stand when others bow.”
Ashlee, a 16-year-old high school student: Ashlee and her friends participated by wearing Day of Dialogue’s “Let’s Talk!” wristbands at school (see photo) and distributing the Conversation Cards. She said that this was her “first time ever hearing about Day of Dialogue and, after reading all the details, I am all in with the mission, goals and themes” and was excited about “sharing God with my school.”
Karen, a parent in Massachusetts: “Thank God we just found out about Day of Dialogue … It is an answer to prayer. We live in a very liberal area and the opposition to Christian beliefs is harsh. Please pray for our students as they express their beliefs.” She added: “The events of Diversity Week and the Day of Silence at [our high school] have become fanatical, even to the point now that … unisex bathrooms are on the way.” Day of Dialogue is a crucial resource for their family, because “both of my kids have been harassed, even by their longtime friends, for their Christian beliefs. We believe it is truly our right and responsibility to exercise our free speech in a loving, Christian manner.”
It can be an intimidating thing for a Christian teen to share God’s truth on sensitive social issues, so it’s encouraging to me that so many students participated in Day of Dialogue. Putting our First Amendment rights into practice is an important thing for all Christians to do, but this event goes beyond that. It’s about sharing the heart of Christ with kids who are just waiting for someone to tell them they matter and they’re are loved. That’s what Day of Dialogue is all about.
After all, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:14)
Please join me in thanking God for these courageous young men and women who aren’t ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? May we learn from their example!