Going the Distance part 2

Going the Distance part 2

Author - Anne Dryburgh, Echoes International Mission Worker

Author Bio:

Anne has been a mission worker in Belgium since 1991. She works with women in the areas of teaching, discipleship, and counselling.

You can read the first part of this blog here.

In my first blog post, Going the Distance, when I wrote about the continued importance of long-term mission, I concluded by saying the following:

“It is important because it means that Scripture can be ministered at the core of who a person is. People can be changed at the level of their motives, values, and desires and how these are expressed in their relationships. This is something that would not have been possible in the short-term. In many other cultures around the world it also takes years to come to a place of acceptance and trust in relationships.”

In this blog post, I wish to show the reality of this during our recent evangelism week in Belgium during the summer.

Sharing the gospel through literature

Similarly to the ’90s, we distributed evangelistic literature and invited people to the various events that we had organised. The number of people who turned up at these events was comparable to that of the 90s. I wonder how the Lord will use the literature in people’s lives. I have heard many stories about people who had their first contact with the gospel through literature received through the letterbox and have later come to know the Lord. This doesn’t often bear immediate fruit, but seeds have been planted in people’s lives.

Long-Term Friendships

What is particularly meaningful is how the Lord has used friendships that have been built over many years. Way back in 2001, I met with a young woman who wanted to be discipled and to deal with serious issues that she was struggling with. She chose to let her life be defined by Christ and not by her past. It has been encouraging to see her grow and to move on with her life even to this day.

In 2013, this same woman asked me to help a friend of hers who had gone through something traumatic. This second young woman also chose to let her life be defined by Christ and has seen the Lord redeem the suffering and heartbreak she went through.

It is through long term relationships, the building and sustaining of trust, and the evidence of the work of the Lord that others have become open to the Lord.

A few years later, in 2017, a family member of the second woman, who was also going through a time of suffering, asked me to help her too. When I first met this relative, she was extremely hostile to Christians and to God. The fact that she asked me to help her was a huge step. The reason why she asked me to help her was because she had seen the Lord change her family member. During the evangelism week, she came to one of the activities and has since then been asking questions about God.

The woman I met with in 2013 also brought friends to one of the evangelistic activities. Another family member, who is not a believer, also asked for help and is spiritually open. This openness has led her to start to read John’s gospel because she wants to know Jesus. It is with a deep sense of gratitude that I see the Lord change these women at the core of who they are. I am also profoundly thankful to see that others have noticed the change and are themselves drawn to the Lord who has brought it about.

The Importance of Sticking it Out

2001 – 2013 – 2017 – 2018.

Many years have passed and numerous relationships have grown and developed.

The Lord has been working and changing women to become more like Him. It is a blessing to see Him work in their lives in the long term and bringing about lasting change.

It is through long term relationships, the building and sustaining of trust, and the evidence of the work of the Lord that others have become open to the Lord.

Please continue to pray for long term mission!

Welcome to the joint blog of Echoes International and GLO. Sharing the thoughts and experiences from experts in mission across the world, we aim to examine the issues facing mission today, and challenge existing views about cross-cultural mission.

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