Recently, our church had our weekly outdoor worship service and we invited a young pastoral student from another town to preach. He brought his wife and two young children. They also brought with them another young woman named Elina from their church to help with the children.
I enjoyed talking with Elina. We shared about our lives, ministries, work and family. She asked me several questions about being an American sent to another country to share the gospel. She wondered what that was like and what would lead us to move internationally to plant churches.
I shared from my experiences, and then asked her how she came to know Christ. With tears in her eyes, she shared that she did not grow up in a Christian home. She explained that she is a believer today because she lived in Kansas for a year as an exchange student in high school. She was led to Christ by her American host family. Then she went to university in the Netherlands and was discipled by missionaries from the U.S. Now she lives in her home country of Latvia and has led her mom and brother to Christ and disciples teenaged girls in her church.
Again, through tears, she said that she’s so thankful that Christians have been willing to come to her country.
I believe God sent Elina to me that day to encourage me to keep pressing on. Even though ministry can sometimes be discouraging, God will bring fruit in His time.