Though it seems like the COVID-19 epidemic has brought much of the world to a standstill, God is always at work. Believers everywhere are finding ways to love and serve those around them, including two IMB families in East Asia who recently saw God give their children opportunities to boldly proclaim the gospel.
Taiwan, where they serve, has so far been able to stem the spread of COVID-19 without resorting to quarantines or lockdowns like many other countries. Recently, IMB personnel were able to gather for an evangelism training.
After the training, ten-year-old Holly was ready to practice what she’d learned. Her family headed to a local park alongside the Daltons, another family from the training, to see whom God might place in their path.
Holly had never shared the gospel before, and she felt nervous as her dad, Bill, started a conversation with an elderly man they met. The man seemed kind and he said he’d like to hear what Holly had to share. So she began to explain the gospel.
He soon stopped her and called to his wife, “Come over here! You should hear this!” When his wife joined them, he asked Holly to start from the beginning again.
This time, Holly explained the gospel in full. When she finished, her dad helped her answer their questions. He asked the couple if they’d ever heard what Holly had shared—the truth that they were sinners in need of a Savior, and God had sent His son, Jesus, to be that Savior.
“No. No one’s ever shared this with me before,” the man responded. “So, what do we do now?”
“You have to put your whole faith in Jesus, and you have to follow Him,” Holly responded.
The couple wasn’t ready to make a decision, but the man reached out to Bill again several days later. He told Bill that even before they met in the park, he’d felt compelled to consider things he’d brushed aside as a younger man. He was once again thinking about the meaning of life and his eternal destiny. Holly’s willingness to boldly share the gospel with him confirmed that he needed to keep seeking truth.
Holly said that even though sharing her faith made her nervous, God taught her he would always help her.
“[God taught me] that Jesus is with you, and that you don’t need to be afraid,” she said. “We’re trying to get more people into God’s kingdom, and that’s a good thing.”
Though the man hasn’t decided to follow Christ yet, Bill said he was still encouraged to see God open doors.
“It was just simply encouraging to us to see that God was working in the kids and He was working in the city,” Bill said. “It was a good reminder that there are people of peace God is preparing.”
The Daltons, the family that joined Holly’s family in the park, was similarly encouraged to see their children living out their faith.
Eleven-year-old Spencer, their oldest son, partnered with Holly’s younger brother Caden for the afternoon. Spencer did most of the talking, while seven-year-old Caden helped by handing out informational cards and always adding “Jesus loves you.”
At the training, everyone had been encouraged to try and share the gospel with at least one person. Caden and Spencer set their own goal of sharing with at least five people. Together they shared with ten different people before the day was over. Two made professions of faith.
Jan, Spencer’s mom, said she was especially encouraged to see how the time and energy they put into language and cultural acquisition had prepared their kids to take part in ministry.
“They were ready and eager,” said Jan. “So often we have this picture in our heads of the type of person we want to share with, but they didn’t. If anyone wanted to listen, they would share.”
As Christian workers in East Asia, both families appreciate opportunities to minister together with their kids. Specifically, Jan said she has a goal of raising her children to “serve the Lord with joy and gladness” wherever life takes them.
Though serving the Lord certainly looks different than anyone could have expected in this current season, Jan said she was thankful her family continues to have opportunities to love and serve East Asians.
The Great Commission isn’t limited by age and can’t be disrupted by a global pandemic. No matter what, God will continue to open doors for the gospel to go forth.