Mary Manz Simon, ALOA Board of Directors
“Lutherans are a little shy, you know,” says Linda Widman, Ft. Myers FL.
Yet, Linda, a lifelong Lutheran, has witnessed to countless numbers through her necklace ministry.
Years ago, she started wearing the simple circle of fish around her neck. Every day, she wore the same gold-hue necklace. Linda says, “I stopped buying other jewelry, because this is the only necklace I wear.”
“Christians are in the minority,” Linda continues. “Wearing it was my way of saying, ‘I’m a Christian and forgiven sinner.’”
Now widowed, the retired nuclear medicine tech still wears a fish necklace each day. The symbol reflects an Ichthys, Greek word for fish. During times of persecution, early Christians used this sign to connect with other followers of “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.”
Linda’s not-so-silent witness often becomes the topic of casual conversation. As a result, her outreach multiplies each time she gives away the necklace she’s wearing.
“If a person promises to wear it, I’ll give it to them,” she says. But there’s one stipulation: they need to wear the necklace.
“I tell them, ‘This won’t do any good in your jewelry drawer at home,’” Linda explains. “Several years ago, at the RV resort in which I was living, I looked across the room during one of our dinners at the River Clubhouse. There were 30-40 ladies wearing the necklace. That was pretty cool.”Until recently, Linda kept a stash of the inexpensive jewelry on hand, ready to give away. However, her supplier no longer inventories the product; her stockpile is dwindling. As Linda searches for a new source, she is confident God will provide both the necklaces and the people with whom to share the message. Linda is proof that not all Lutherans are shy evangelists!