Stories from our field

“I can’t think of a better present than the Gospel”

Stories from our field

“I can’t think of a better present than the Gospel”

Gonny Bakker, from the Netherlands, wanted to share the Gospel but 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!”

Ik weet geen mooier cadeau dan het evangelie

She has been an active mentor and chat operator since 2019. “I love being involved in sharing the Gospel. Whenever I stop sharing the Gospel, it feels like there’s a hole developing in my spiritual armor.”

What do you mean?

“When I’m not sharing the Gospel, I tend to focus more 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 start digging in the Bible. It is enriching to look at your own culture from the diversity of other cultures. You begin to put things into perspective and realize how privileged we are, to have the Bible.”

Is there an experience with your work as a chatter and mentor that stands out to you?

“In the chat, I was communicating with a young man from Nigeria. Just prior to that, part of the people in his village had been killed by Boko Haram. This man knew very little about the Gospel, yet his village had been targeted because it was a ‘Christian’ village. Such a harrowing story! This man wanted to know more about the Bible.

As a mentor, I guided a young woman from Bagdad for quite a while. She worked there as a beauty specialist and came from Zimbabwe. She was the only Christian in a Muslim environment and was having a difficult time. The Muslims went to the mosque on Fridays when she would be working; but on Saturday and Sunday, daily life carried on as usual. That made it difficult for her to get involved with a church. I was very grateful for the opportunity to empathize with her and enourage her, often with Bible verses.”

What is the biggest challenge in this work for you?

“The hardest thing when sharing the Good News is language barriers. I often meet people in the chat who don’t know English very well. Sometimes I am not even sure which language they speak. I usually give them a Bible verse that they can reflect on. Some freeze up immediately when you mention Jesus’ name. Having the name of Jesus showing up on their screen may be very risky for them.
The best way to do this work is to do it together with others. I am part of a small WhatsApp group for mentors in which we can share our experiences; that is valuable and motivating.”

What would you like to share with the readers?

“I live in Lunteren, which is right in the middle of the Dutch Bible Belt. The area is teeming with Bible believing Christians who have been familiar with the Gospel since they were young. It would be great if more Christians were to share the Gospel with people who are looking for answers! I can’t think of a better present than that!”

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