Evelien Simon and her husband Ron took up a task that just needed to get done: ‘liking’ reactions to posts on our Facebook page. That task has turned into a passion: the enthusiastic lady from Harderwijk in the Netherlands makes her own designs to post and leads a whole team of volunteers.
The team posts six items per day on the Dutch Bijbelwoord Facebook page: Bible texts, songs, and prayers. The page is more popular in Suriname than in the Netherlands itself: 41,000 followers versus 29,000. There is a lot of work that goes into making this even possible.
Evelien: ‘A group of designers creates attractive images to post. They are led by my colleague. I lead a team of ten to twelve people who look at the reactions that the posts get and either like them, or respond to them. If you consider that each message gets 100 reactions on average, then you have more than 600 reactions per day that need a response from us!’
‘We have a very faithful, good team. Each one has the desire to serve God; they feel appreciated and are always ready to fall in for someone else, if need be.’
‘There is also the chat team that is available if people come with their questions. We see beautiful things happening there, such as the man who found his way back to the church through contact with one of our volunteers. But the chat ministry isn’t going as well as in the English page. That is one of our prayer points.’
Something that resonates
Evelien plans in all the messages. Some of them are automatically pulled from a pool of posts, but Evelien really prefers it when she can create a new one about something that has moved her in a song or a sermon. ‘I also make some of the images, and that is really fun to do. If I make one that resonates with something that has recently touched me, I see that that is often just the thing that will encourage other people, too. Sometimes there is something difficult going on close to you, for example, a seriously ill child, so you share Psalm 46 because you find comfort in it; then it turns out that others are also encouraged by it.’
What are your hopes for the future?
‘I would love to see more visitors on the page who want to develop a deeper contact, so that you can help them along further. For example, I’d like to send them on to a Bible course. It happens sometimes, but not that often. I’d also like to reach more non-Christians and youth.’
Evelien you joined this work because we really needed someone, but you sound so enthusiastic! What is it that drives you?
‘My desire to bring people to Jesus and to really encourage others. The page mostly gets Christian visitors or people who have wandered a bit off the path. When we began, the page had 37,000 followers, now that is 89,000! Back then, we posted two times a day, now six times. The numbers aren’t the important thing, but you see we are reaching more people. Onward to 100,000!’
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