Chile - El evangelismo en Chile y alrededor del mundo

Jon Gross (Linares, Chile)

Archived discussion

About the presenter

YouTuber, Jon Gross, a Kingdom Worker with three years evangelizing in Chile, graduated from Martin Luther College as a teacher in 2009. He came to Chile with his wife Elise to do evangelism but never realized that evangelism could be done globally while living in an unfamiliar country. He started making YouTube videos two years ago in order to show Chile to his family back in Wisconsin but quickly his channel started to grow. Today he has over 35,000 subscribers and has been featured on television and radio stations as well as various newspapers throughout Chile and the United States. His channel shows Chile and his life which includes sharing what he believes. Jon is a new father to Moses and continues to share Jesus while using social media every day.

Click here to go directly to English translation below.

El evangelismo en Chile y alrededor del mundo

No tenía idea de que YouTube podría servir como herramienta para el evangelismo. Hace un año y medio, me propuse a hacer videos en YouTube para compartir con mi familia en los Estados Unidos sobre cómo es la vida en Chile. A el video blog lo llamé “Explore Chile”. Después de poco tiempo, 100 personas estaban mirando mis videos. Hoy después de un año y medio tengo 34,000 suscriptores. En mi blog, comparto mi vida con mi audiencia, ellos sienten que me conocen y me convierto en su amigo. Nosotros vivimos y compartimos experiencias juntos. Como, por ejemplo, ellos pueden comer una típica comida de Chile, conocer a mi esposa, o ir de aventura visitando montañas, etc. A veces, ellos vienen a la escuela conmigo. Ellos saben que voy los domingos a la iglesia y asisto a las clases bíblicas. También, han notado que mis valores son diferentes. En el proceso de mostrar mi vida en YouTube, mis fans han creado una conexión conmigo y les gusta hacer conversaciones personales. Típicamente eso pasa por medio de Facebook chat, Instagram chat, o Twitter chat, y después de unos minutos me doy cuenta del impacto que tienen mis video blogs.

Tomaré a Luis de ejemplo. Luis vive en la India, pero es originalmente de Chile. Él se mudó a la India con su familia muchos años atrás, pero recientemente su esposa lo dejó. Rápidamente él me dijo que era ateo, aunque quería saber mi opinión sobre el divorcio. Entonces, le dije lo que la Biblia dice sobre el divorcio y él se sorprendió.

--Por qué no me estás diciendo lo que la iglesia dice sobre el divorcio? ¿Todo lo que me dices, está en la biblia?

Le aseguré que la Biblia era la fuente de donde yo consigo todas mis respuestas. Le dije que Dios nos ha proveído la Biblia a nosotros para poder entender sus increíbles promesas.

--¿Qué promesas? –preguntó Luis.

--La promesa del perdón --yo respondí.

--No puedo ser perdonado por mi esposa ni mis hijos por lo que he hecho, así que estoy seguro de que Dios no podrá perdonarme.

Después de conversar con Luis sobre algunos versos de la Biblia, él me agradeció. Viendo que eran las dos de la mañana, recordé que yo tenía que enseñar al día siguiente. Entonces, me despedí y le dije que hablaríamos más del tema pronto.

Me desperté con un mensaje de Luís en mi computadora que decía que yo le había salvado la vida. Entendí que él no me estaba hablando solamente para buscar respuestas, ya que él estaba tomando alcohol en exceso y planeaba suicidarse. No quería decirme sobre eso mientras hablábamos, pero luego de nuestra conversación me agradeció. Desde ese momento, Luis y yo hemos tenido conversaciones continuamente sobre el amor y la gracia salvadora de Jesús que sólo en el nombre de Jesucristo nos puede dar.

Las redes sociales son poderosas. No sólo me conectan con personas de todo el mundo, sino que también me conectan con personas que necesitan un Salvador Jesús. Luís era solo otro suscriptor, pero Dios está usando estos medios sociales para hacer su ministerio, no solamente en el ministerio que salva vidas en la tierra, sino también para salvar vidas eternamente que es el más importante. Vine a Chile para hacer evangelismo, y simplemente no me di cuenta de todas las formas en que Dios podía usarme. ¡A Él sea la gloria!

Evangelism in Chile, and Around the World

I had no idea that YouTube would be a tool for evangelism. A year and a half ago I set out to make videos on YouTube to share with my family about life in Chile, a vlog I call Explore Chile. Pretty soon 100 people were watching my videos and now after a year and a half, I have over 34,000 subscribers. I share a glimpse of my life with my audience, and they feel like they know me, like I am their friend. We go on adventures together and experience things together. This could be eating typical food in Chile, going on a date with my wife, or going on an adventure to the mountains. Sometimes they come to school with me. They know I go to church on Sundays and attend Bible studies, and they've noticed my values are different. Through showing my life on YouTube, my fans connect and want to have a personal conversation. Typically that starts on either Facebook chat, Instagram chat, or Twitter chat, and after a couple of minutes I find the true meaning of my vlogs.

Take Luis for example. Luis lives in India but is originally from Chile. He moved to India with his family many years ago, but just recently his wife left him. He quickly tells me that he is an atheist, however he wants to know what I believe about divorce. I tell him what the Bible says about divorce and he acts surprised.

"Why aren't you telling me what the church believes about divorce? Everything you said is in the Bible?"

I assured him that the Bible is where I get all of my answers, God provided us this means in order to understand his amazing promises.

"What promises?" asks Luis.

"The promise of forgiveness," I respond.

"I can't be forgiven by my wife or my kids for what I've done, so I'm sure God won't be able to forgive me."

After sharing with Luis a few Bible verses he thanked me, and seeing as it was 2 a.m. and I had to teach the next day, I said goodbye and that I would talk to him more soon.

I woke up to a message saying that I had saved his life. He was not just talking to me looking for answers, he was drinking heavily and was trying to commit suicide. He didn't want to tell me about this while we were talking, but now he wanted to say thank you. Since then, Luis and I have had continuing conversations about Jesus' love and the saving grace that only Jesus Christ can give.

Social media is powerful. Not only does it connect me to people from all around the world, it connects me to people in need of a Savior. Luis was just another subscriber, but God is using these means of social media to do ministry, not only ministry that saves lives on Earth, but more importantly to save lives eternally. I came to Chile to do evangelism, I just didn't realize all the ways God could use me. To Him be the glory!

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Tyler Baldwin (Martin Luther College) 2018-10-26 11:08:34am
Mr. Gross,

The work you are doing in Chile is such a blessing and comfort to know that the Word is being spread “to all nations.” The way that you have used your YouTube channel to reach others and share the gospel with them is such an incredible story. God works in mysterious ways and ways that you would never even anticipate, such as the booming popularity of your YouTube channel, “having over 34,000 subscribers.”

I think that the use of YouTube as a way to connect to others is a great, useful tool to use. Many young people look at YouTube all the time and it is a very easy way to access the younger generation. Maybe you could give pointers or ideas on what to share on your YouTube so that others could maybe do the same. With all your success, you obviously are doing something right and I’m sure many would love to learn on what they can do to spread the gospel on their own YouTube channel.

I did have a question about your encounter and conversations with Luis. You stated that “he didn't want to tell me about this while we were talking, but now he wanted to say thank you.” Was there ever any time that you suspected that he needed to hear God’s Word immediately? How shocked were you when you heard that you were the one who saved him? To have an encounter like that without even knowing must’ve spurred on a lot of mixed feelings once you found out. I guess I’m just interested to hear more about your reaction afterwards. Also, did you ever keep in contact with Luis? Do you talk to him still today?

Thank you for your contribution to the conference!
Jon 2018-11-06 1:04:21pm
Hey Tyler!

Thanks so much for reading my story. First, God is good and all of your questions can be answered with that really. God has opened this door for me and as far as pointers about how to make a YouTube channel that is all God but I feel like I could do a talk about that for hours explaining that answer but in general what worked for me was making lots of content while getting better every day. I went to MLC to be a teacher while never really wanted to make videos, take pictures or do much with social media.

After getting into showing my family our ministry in Chile people started to watch my videos often and I got more and more motivated to make more because of positive comments. Also, conversations like the one with Luis happen often for me as I talk to over 100 people in conversations via social media per day. It’s amazing how people talk on social media today (case and point, right now).

Luis and I did talk a a lot afterwards but I haven’t talk to him personally lately mostly because I can hardly think about things happening the next minute of my life because I am constantly creating, managing my business or talking to people. I do pray for him though. It’s amazing how my prayer life has changed after taking to so many people too!

Thanks so much for your question and God’s richest blessings!

Maya Budin (Wisconsin Lutheran College) 2018-11-11 4:59:38pm
Mr. Gross,

I found your words intriguing from the beginning. I even stopped reading to explore your YouTube videos. When I finished reading your post I was speechless. You and your efforts are a blessing to so many people. Not only are you reaching those in Chile, but many other souls around the world as well! I find it really cool and inspiring that people have noticed that your "values are different" through your videos. You might be the only "bible" some of those people ever read. Way to live your faith!

Your conversation with Luis evoked feelings within me that I struggle to put into words. Desperate people do desperate things. By the grace of God, you unknowingly intervened. What an almighty and gracious God we have! I admire your kindness. This experience serves as a wake-up call for all who hear of it. We never know what people are going through, and it is so crucial that we show them kindness. Although you didn't know much about him or about his situation, you stuck by Luis' side through this obviously dark time. Not only did you provide him with information that shaped his earthly fate, but also with information that has to potential to alter his eternal future. It is all about speaking the truth in love!

Thank you for sharing your inspiring story! May God continue to bless your efforts to further His Kingdom!
Nicolas Martinez Biali (Bethany Lutheran College) 2018-11-11 7:34:36pm
Mr. Gross,

I liked reading about the work you're doing in Chile which is very good, and I liked the way you use your YouTube channel to share good values ​​about the gospel. Thanks for what you do.
kira fulbright (bethany lutheran college) 2018-11-11 11:45:23pm
Mr. Gross,

Wish I could be apart of what you are doing because I think this is amazing.