• God does the work and I get to watch
  • Reaching many people with a couple of mouse clicks

Dear lezer,

At the heart of our organization are the volunteers who faithfully crawl behind their laptops and guide students, chat with people all over the world or post Bible verses on social media. A few of these volunteers are mentioned in this letter.

Alfa Wijnveen tells how she started timidly as a translator of courses. She has now taken on all kinds of different tasks and she experiences daily how God helps her. And Albert den Oudsten is active among young people in Peru, but also as an online evangelist.

Maybe you can (timidly, or boldly) join in. Go to our website and take a look at our vacancies!

Alfa Wijnveen: 'God does the work and I get to watch'

alfa-wijnveenNine years ago, Alfa Wijnveen came from Portugal to the Netherlands. She only knew a little Dutch and was looking for something to do. Last year, she started working for GlobalRize and is now our Portuguese language team leader. 'Every day I get to make a little world tour.'

'Last year, Arjan (one of our team leaders, ed.) called with the question if I wanted to set up a Portuguese team,’ tells Alfa. 'At one point, there had been a start on a Portuguese team, but it didn’t go very well. I answered that I didn’t think that it was something that I could do, but I was happy to do translations. I translated courses and articles and when those were ready, I thought: I could become a mentor. After that, I thought: You know, I have friends who would probably also want to be mentors. Before I knew it, I was their coach. Then there was the Portuguese Facebook page, where not so much was happening, so I started posting Bible verses and I started answering people who responded. I have contact with volunteers, and do marketing to reach more people, etc.  Actually, I do just about everything!' Alfa laughs her contagious laugh. 'But I have the time for it and I love doing it!'

How does this work bless you?
'For each task, that differs. When I am translating, I have to think carefully about it. With the courses, I think: How can I explain this in every-day language? I get to think more deeply about commonly known Bible verses, which at a second look are not really so common. There are so many treasures to find when thinking about the Bible, and I get to do that for my work! That’s beautiful.'

'And then you have the students and others who send chat messages: they open their hearts, because it is so anonymous. And I think, 'Wow, you don’t even know me, if I am trustworthy or not, and yet, you share your vulnerability and ask for prayer. I experience that as the connectedness of the church. I’ve never seen those people, never met them, and probably never will; yet, during that time of prayer we are bound together. The Universal Christian Church has come into my home, right in my living room.'

'I work with people from different cultures: every day I make a little world tour. It’s so cool if you pray for someone via the chat and later that person comes back to say, 'The problem has been solved. Thanks for y’all’s prayers!''

'I was nervous about the work at the beginning. I thought, 'I need to have a lot of Bible knowledge and experience.' I see this same insecurity in my mentors, as well, they can be nervous about how to explain things. I am trying to set up a prayer team, so that we always have someone who is available who can pray for people by name when they ask for prayer. Some people who I ask to pray feel that their prayers are not passionate enough. We are always concerned that we will fall short. When Arjan first called me, I thought, 'I can’t do this.' But it is not my work, it is God’s work. He gives us what we need.  He teaches us new things.'

'It is a miracle to me that God sends all sorts of people and things along my path to facilitate my work. My son’s school hours changed, that made everything work out just right. God does the work and I watch what He is doing.'

Albert den Oudsten: Reaching many people with a couple of mouse clicks

Albert den Oudsten lives in Peru, where he and his wife care for vulnerable teenagers and young people without parental care and guide them to an independent life. He is also an online evangelist: he coaches Bible students and reaches people through the Spanish-language Facebook page. "You can do this work when it suits you."

What do you like about being a mentor, Albert?
'I learn a lot. There are always a few students who ask questions that set me thinking. It’s wonderful to see students seriously engaging with the topics raised in the course. Recently, I had one who said, 'Through this course, I have become active in my church again.' It’s already great if people take the course, whether they come with their own questions or problems or not. It’s really convenient that you can do this work from your own home, at a time that suits your own schedule.'

A highlight?
'If people indicate that they have interest in going to a church, our team really tries to find one. We have a WhatsApp mentor group and someone regularly lets the rest of us know that they are searching for a church for a student. At first, I thought it wasn’t really necessary to keep sharing that, but it’s actually very encouraging. And we pray for that.'

Every contact is precious
'I’m always on the lookout for an opening to ask if someone wants to join a church. This question is always asked at the end of the course anyway, but you never know if someone will actually finish the course. Every contact with a student is precious: an opportunity that needs to be used.'

Biggest challenge?
'Sometimes I have to remind myself to take the time for the students, and to sit down for that. Sometimes you get difficult pastoral questions, for example about divorce or sexual feelings. You give an answer, but don’t always get much of a reaction. I often ask if they have someone they know who they can talk to about their worries – a pastor, for example, or other people in the church. It’s nice that we are getting a larger network from different countries, so that it is easier to recommend people who can help.' 

A theme every week
'Right now, I am busier with the Facebook page than with being a mentor. On Facebook, we can see how many people see the messages and like them. We receive messages with all sorts of questions. Every week, I consider, ' Where should I put the focus this week?'  For instance, one week it will be encouraging texts, another week, prayers in the Bible; so we have themes every week. I like it that with just a couple of mouse clicks, you can reach so many people!'

Do you also want to change lives online?
Apply to be a coordinator for Bible reading plans or chat member!

+31 (0)525 795 002 |

View online - Manage preferences or unsubscribe - Privacy policy