Stories from our field

“I can be a missionary again!”

Stories from our field

“I can be a missionary again!”

Roelof Sietsma is a pastor in Brazil – in total for more than ten years. Covid-19 brought a period of isolation: pastoral work was restricted to the telephone or digital contacts. That’s when he found out about GlobalRize’s need for mentors. Roelof says, “It was a great encouragement to be able to share the Gospel online.”

"Ik kan weer zendeling zijn!"

“I love being a mentor. The students that I’m allocated are hungry for the truth, and I can be a missionary again! In the church where I work, most people have known the Gospel for a long time. So when I’m at work there, I am mostly helping people to grow in their faith. Which is, of course, an important and beautiful ministry. But the online courses put me in contact with people who do not yet know anything about the Gospel, at all. They ask basic questions such as, ‘If God knew that Eve would sin, why did He put the tree in the Garden of Eden?‘ I love that. Regular churchgoers don’t ask questions like that.”


“Most of my students are from Angola or Mozambique. Their beliefs are often more focussed on miracles and special experiences. It is wonderful to be able to show them that faith is more than just our feelings. It’s great to see that the students appreciate it when I show them Biblical truths. That makes me grateful, as well.”

Letting go

“It’s a challenge for me to find a good balance between holding on to a student and keeping an appropriate distance. I once had a student who started calling me ‘Papa’ (‘Dad’) and I had difficulty with that. When the student is finished with their course, I have to let him go. As an online mentor, you cannot offer a person all that they need. So I regularly ask, ‘Can you talk with someone you know about this?’
At the end of the course we always ask if the student would like to take another course.”

Hungry to learn

“Some time ago I mentored a student from Mozambique, a young man named Pascoal. He was eager to learn and asked a lot of questions. But it was a challenge for him to do the course, because he only had limited access to the internet. Then he sent me videos of himself and a friend in which they went to the market to evangelize: they spread the message with song and dance!
This young man is extremely poor; he lost his parents during the war, and lives with a pastor who, like him, has no worldly possessions.
But now, Pascoal has become a mentor himself, and he is able to share the treasure that he found. To God be the Glory!”

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