Gonny Bakker, from the Netherlands, wanted to share the Gospel, but she found street evangelism difficult to combine with caring for her children. She read about the possibility of sharing the Gospel online and thought, ‘I can do this!’
She has been an active mentor and chatter since 2019. ‘I love being involved in sharing the gospel. If I don’t do it, I feel like I get a hole in my spiritual armour.’
What do you mean?
‘Then I am more focused on my own concerns. As followers of Jesus, we live with hope and when I share the Gospel, I proclaim that. I confirm it for myself, too. Sometimes I get questions that I don’t know the answer to. Then I have to go digging in the Bible. It is enriching to look at your own culture from the viewpoint of diverse other cultures. You begin to put things into perspective and realize how privileged we are that we have the Bible.’
Is there an experience with your work as chatter and mentor that stands out to you?
‘In the chat, I had contact with a young man from Nigeria. Just before that, a part of his village was killed off by Boko Haram. This man knew very little about the Gospel, yet his village was targeted because it was a ‘Christian’ village. So gripping! This man wanted to know more about the Gospel.’
‘As a mentor, I led a young woman in Bagdad for quite a while. She worked there as a beauty specialist and came from Zimbabwe. She lived and worked as the only Christian amongst Muslims. It was difficult for her. The Muslims went to the mosque on Fridays and she worked then; on Saturday and Sunday daily life carried on. That made it difficult for her to get involved with a church. I loved our time together and encouraging her, often through Bible verses.’
What do you think is the biggest challenge in this work?
‘The hardest thing is to pass on the Good News through the language barriers. I often meet people in the chat who don’t know English very well. Sometimes I am not sure what language they are speaking. Usually, I give a Bible verse for them to take with them. Some stop immediately when you mention Jesus’ name. It may be too risky for some of them to have the name of Jesus showing up on their screen.
You can only do this work together. I sit in a small What’s App group for mentors where we can share our experiences; that is valuable and motivating.’
What do you want to pass on to the reader?
‘I live in Lunteren, which is right in the middle of the Bible Belt in the Netherlands. It is teeming with Bible believing Christians who have heard the Gospel since they were young. Let’s share that! I Can’t think of a better (Christmas) present than that!’