My ministry here at FaithSearch is by and large behind the scenes. I’m not usually the one out front bringing the Gospel with evidence to people around the world. I produce stuff (books, DVDs, PowerPoint® presentations, newsletters, etc.) which are used in the ministry, but I don’t always get to see or experience them in action.
On occasion, however, I am quite emphatically blessed to hear how I am intimately involved in making a difference—most often without having been previously aware of it. That’s what happened Wednesday.
During staff devotions this week, our Russian evangelist Oleg Voskresensky was reporting on his recent ministry trip. He told of a woman who attended his presentation, a public school teacher in Petrozavodsk, a city in northern Russia.
Back in 2007, she first heard Oleg speak, and at that time received a copy of his Russian translation of Dr. Bierle’s book Surprised by Faith—a publication which I produced in my role as Director of Communications and Publications. She was very happy to receive another copy of the book this year, and wrote to Oleg to explain why:
Thank you for the Surprised by Faith book, Oleg. I gave away my copy to a friend and am so happy to have it again. By the way, that friend was a non-believer with lots of personal issues and spiritual [questions]. I met that young lady again six months later and could hardly recognize her in this very social person who was now literally shining from within. “My transformation started with the book that you had given me back then,” my friend explained. [emphasis mine]
To be sure, I did not write that book; Dr. Bierle did. Nor did I go to Russia. Oleg did. Nor did I present the Gospel in Petrozavodsk; again, Oleg did. However, the book I produced went with him. I did not even give the book to the teacher, nor to her friend. Oleg did; and she in turn shared it with a friend in need.
This week, years after the fact, I heard how that collection of words, and ink, and paper was instrumental in making a difference in a young woman’s life, literally on the other side of the world. I was suddenly gobsmacked with JOY by the reality that, as part of the FaithSearch team, I truly am touching people’s lives—even when I’m laboring away in my office.
Guess what. Because of your involvement in my ministry through prayer and financial support, YOU ARE ALSO PART OF THE TEAM which is making a difference in people’s eternal destiny. Thanks for that! I trust this blog brings you even a bit of the joy I was overwhelmed by. Together we are making a real difference.
This is precisely what Paul wrote to the Corinthian church about:
I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building (1 Corinthians 3:6-9).