With a robust inquiry, she asked, “Are you okay?” I quickly replied with some apprehension in my voice, “Yes, dear, I am fine...but our Speed the Light car is in the middle of the Danube River.” The questions gushed like a freshly opened fire hydrant. “Are you okay? What happened? Did you get your computer out? What about your suitcase?”
While on the field, missionaries find themselves in unique situations and sometimes, a quick text or a brief phone call is all that is afforded in any given moment. I was reminded recently of an incident that may have just been a bit of a “communication breakdown.” Perhaps my experience can help you in your relationships and in your communication skills.
Twenty years ago, the corner brick building near the riverfront in Antwerp, Belgium was a place where prostitutes gathered to work. Today that same building is a place where they can gather to play board games, be a part of a book club, drink good coffee, and hear about the life-giving hope they can have in Jesus Christ.
Our AGWM missionaries are extremely blessed whenever they see their ministry, training, and sacrifice replicated by those to whom they have come to share the gospel. Such is the case with AGWM missionaries, Blair and Dina Bonin, Students for Christ (SfC) Europe directors, based in Belgium. They relate this type of blessing in the following account:
“As we were saying good-bye to one of our SFCers who was on her way to a ministry school in another country, she made a point to thank us for our ‘oui’ to come and serve in Belgium. She explained that because we said, ‘yes’, she and a few others that she named have also said, ‘yes’ to the call to go into full-time ministry. This is 2 Timothy 2 in action!
“After 21 years of working in Europe to share the good news that Jesus is real and seeks relationship with every individual, we are never more elated than when we see European brothers and sisters respond to God’s call to give of themselves in order to lead others in surrendering their lives to Christ. This is what makes what we do, regardless of its temporal sacrifice, so worth the investment of our lives.
“Fanny Cuisset is one such example. She came first to SFC as a student, then as a student leader, did an internship with a sister SFC group in Grenoble, France, and now serves as an SFC group leader in Namur, Belgium and is also part of the national staff of SFC-Belgium.
“A Congolese-Belgian girl, Jerielle Akoto , also joined SFC as a student, the followed by becoming a student leader, led an SFC group at Louvain-la-Neuve and is now doing a 6-month missions endeavor with YWAM in Amsterdam.
“Both girls feel called to full-time ministry and would love to be part of a planting team for student or church ministry.”
To those who support them, the Bonins, (as is true of other AGWM missionaries, say “thank you for your part in sending us so that we could answer the call, and in turn, see Europeans step up and give themselves in service to Christ.”