Reaching out to our community

What are we doing?

This is the question we jokingly asked ourselves a couple of days ago. We’ve been organizing meetings for two and a half months now. At first we had a large group of believers and after a few Mondays had past, the group got smaller and smaller. We were prepared  for this, so it didn’t come as a surprise. Now we have a core group of women who reach out to their community. The men have left the building… Why?  This link leads to a post, where Steven explains why this is happening.

HGN Blog

Moving on… In our first blog post, we talked about the impact a small group can have in Suriname. We’re bringing Jesus to the people. It’s a whole new mind-set for a lot of us. Growing up in church we learned that we had to bring the people to church (as in the building). And we’ve been trying to do this for a long time. But getting the church to people? Better yet, how about bringing Jesus to the people?

Our strategy is to help people who are in need. For those who want to get to know Jesus; there is room for discipleship training. And that’s right where they are! We don’t pressure them to go to church. That’s totally up to them. We just do what Jesus asked us to do!

How do we do it?

HGN Blog 1

Let’s briefly take a look at how we started these meetings. We began with an introduction phase. For nearly 4 weeks we explained the concept of Harvest Global Network. Everyone was encouraged to make a list of 7 people outside the church during the introduction phase. Most of them are friends, colleagues and some are family members. Gradually the reaching out began. Some of the people on the list were open for a conversation and talked about what they need, some were not. We respect that and move on when they made it clear that they don’t want to share anything with us. We know that people don’t (really) trust each other anymore. So we have to win their trust. One way we do this is by introducing the rule that we only use a person’s name during the meeting, if they gave permission. Otherwise they remain anonymous.

 

Quote Engels 2There’s plenty of room to talk about what’s going on in our own life. We also share pieces of Scripture that encouraged us the past week. We end with prayer for the group and the people we are reaching out to. We almost forgot to mention that we eat and drink with each other! 

Results for now

As a small group, we’ve reached a lot of people. Slowly but surely we can see the impact we’re starting to have on our community. Our focus is not on the size of our impact. We focus our attention on meeting people’s needs.  People’s problems are getting solved. Some heal and receive the things they need. We don’t even pray for all of them when we meet them. It depends on the situation and the people. Some of us pray for them right where they are, some of us pray at home.

Quote Engels 1One of the ladies gave a man advice about his work situation. He works inland for weeks at a time. There was a lot of negative energy between him and some of his colleagues that only seemed to get worse. At one point he even feared for his life. We prayed for him and thanked God for the wisdom and insight this man would receive. He took the advice this lady gave to him to heart and talked to his supervisor. The problem got solved and due to the change in his situation, this man came in contact with Christian colleagues. They started having their own Sunday service inland. They encourage and help each other miles away from where we are gathering every Monday.

One more important thing we need to mention is that every single one of us gets challenged to read the Bible and pray more. This helps our spiritually growth immensely.

What about Sunday service?

We still gather on Sunday for Church service. It’s for those who just got introduced to faith in God and for those who are still young in spirit and really need these meetings.

We’ll keep you posted on our progress! The quotes are from some of the ladies we gather with!

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