By Chad Bernick
Chad Bernick and his family are missionaries in Wainwright, on Alaska’s far North Slope. He grew up on Chick tracts and relates an early experience being a soulwinner.
My mother led me to Christ on November 4, 1988 at the age of six years old. Around that time, she also introduced me to Chick tracts. I began reading them avidly and started learning Bible truth at an accelerated rate. Those little comics helped to inoculate me against the deceptions of our present age. I also received a burden for lost souls that I have never been able to totally shake by the grace of God.
The day after I got saved, I tried to win my best friend to Christ. His name was Brad. I brought my pocket New Testament with me even though I didn’t know any verses. I recognized the Authority of the Book from the beginning and knew it was needful to be able to reference the source of my new-found faith in Jesus.
I coerced Brad and led him in a sort-of forced sinner’s prayer with the threat that “I can’t be your best friend, if you don’t get saved.” In my mind, I wouldn’t be able to long continue being close to someone that was headed for hell. The Holy Spirit had already impressed the truth of Amos 3:3 in my heart. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” I don’t know if Brad got born again that day, but I would later give him Chick tracts with a desire to see that his salvation was made sure.
In school, I tried to be very obedient to my teachers. I wanted to stay out of trouble and tended to be very shy, but conviction over my lost classmates weighed heavy on me at times.
I finally got up the courage to hide a tract in a friend’s backpack. The boy’s name was David and he had a blue backpack hanging on the hooks where all the children’s gear was kept. I noticed David’s backpack was unzipped. I placed a Chick tract inside when I thought no one was looking. At the end of the day in that second-grade classroom, everyone went for their things and started to get ready to go.
I heard David cry out, “Teacher! Teacher! I found something in my bag that’s not mine!” He ran to her and handed our teacher the Chick tract. She waved it around the classroom and said, “Whose is this?” The class was silent. My plans had failed. I wanted David to get the tract. I was embarrassed that I had been caught.
“Whose little book is this!” the teacher said lifting her voice. She wasn’t angry. David wasn’t angry. The whole attitude was simply that something was out of place. I remember thinking, “Oh, well. I might as well admit it.” I raised my hand and said, “It’s mine. I put it there, but I wanted David to have it. It’s from me.”
The teacher turned to David, “Well, do you want it?” He said, “Oh, ok. Thanks!” At that moment, the class went back to getting ready to go home like nothing had happened. I learned an important lesson that day.
People generally weren’t going to be as shy about receiving tracts as I was about giving them out. I had nothing to lose by trying! It worked! David got the gospel!