What defines success for our workers in the field? For some it may be the obvious fruit of lives dramatically changed. Others, like Andy and Linda,* learn to see “But God” moments in the small steps taken by those they minister to, looking at their work through the lens of “if we weren’t here.”
Two years ago, Andy and Linda, now in their fifth year serving among a Muslim minority people group in the Far East, asked God to expand their network. They prayed that He would bring them people who were interested in spiritual things.
God has answered their prayer, bringing multiple individuals into the life of their family recently. “We scared some people off in the beginning by telling them too much too soon,” Andy said. “But God is growing us in our ability to share the good news with local friends.” And, as they convey the hope of Christ, they are seeing Him at work in little ways that would not be possible if they weren’t investing their lives in a least-reached community.
Tales of God’s Touch
Because they are on the field, Andy has the opportunity to build relationships with Muslim students in the university classes he teaches. Twice during Ramadan, he invited them over to break the fast together. He is eager to get to know this group of students more, starting by talking about life together.
If they weren’t on the field, they wouldn’t be hosting a kids’ English club. One boy there has stood out to Andy as someone with a sensitive spirit. While reading the Bible with Andy, he asked, “If God loves me, why did my dad marry three women?” Andy is encouraged as he sees this boy think about the truth he is able to share.
Because they are on the field, Linda can teach English to a couple of ladies who teach the Koran to others. This has helped Linda learn more about Islam and why Muslims do certain things. By having conversations with them about “What was memorable in your week?” Linda can share testimonies of God’s work in her own life.
A Special Family
If they weren’t on the field, Andy never would have interacted with a local religious leader, who has been instrumental in introducing them to many others. This leader gets together regularly with Andy to chat about life and share Bible stories, and is very willing to try new things. He has expressed gratitude for Andy’s instruction.
And, if they weren’t serving in a least-reached community, Andy and Linda would not have been able to grow close to this religious leader’s wife and children as well. His wife attends Linda’s English class, and their two daughters attend the English club and an art class with Andy and Linda’s children. Andy and Linda are asking God to draw this family to faith in Him and use them for His glory in their city.
The Big Picture
“None of these people are close to trusting in Christ,” Andy said. “They offer rebuttal or rebuke every time we share with them. That can be discouraging.” But he and Linda know that if they were not there, these friends would have no way to hear about God other than what is taught by the only religion they’ve ever known.
By being involved in these peoples’ lives, Andy and Linda can challenge their worldviews and share with them the messages and stories of the Bible. Even if Andy and Linda’s local friends do not embrace the gospel, maybe their children or grandchildren will be influenced by positive interactions with Christians.
Without Andy and Linda’s presence, none of these people would be learning about the Bible! But God—He sent Andy and Linda there, and He is bringing people of peace to them to share with and minister to.
How can I get involved?
- Pray that Andy will have wisdom in how to best reach Muslim university students.
- Pray for the local religious leader and his family, that their hearts would continue being open to things of God.
- Pray that workers in challenging locations who aren’t seeing much visible fruit would be encouraged by seemingly simple opportunities to share biblical truth and live out the gospel.