On the busy streets of Bratislava, Slovakia, no one found it odd to see an advertisement for a class on the biblical principles of marriage. Slovakia is, after all, a religious society. Talking about God is normal, but living in relationship with God – that’s a different story. Many see Christianity as a crutch for the weak, something that strong, self-reliant people have no need of.
H. and A. came from this background, but decided to attend the class on marriage offered by Crossworld missionaries. Like many Slovak couples, H. and A. were not married, but lived together. They each believed they were committed to their relationship. After the five-week class ended, they both still seemed interested in learning more, so the missionaries teaching the class invited them to study the Bible together.
For several weeks, they met to study the books of Mark and Romans, and continued to discuss the gospel and what it means to follow Christ. H. finally told the missionaries that she and A. understood it, but they were not ready to accept it.
A few months later, the missionaries called to check on H. She broke down and wept over the phone as she told how A. had left her and she did not know where to turn. The missionaries did their best to comfort her, and as they shared Scripture, her walls came down. She started attending a small group, and shortly after, she accepted Christ.
The Slovak people often think those who are strong have no need for God, and at one point, H. might have said the same thing. But H. learned she was not as self-sufficient as she thought. It was God’s gracious hand reaching out to her during a crisis situation that helped her see her need.
Months have passed since H. trusted Christ, and she has become one of the most faithful members of her local church. She still struggles with sharing her faith openly, but she recently decided to be publicly baptized and is steadily becoming bolder in her witness.
One of the keys to H.’s salvation was having a relationship with the missionaries who lovingly pursued her and invested in her life. There are no guarantees that investing in people’s lives will pay off. A. chose to walk away, but H. decided to keep seeking. But God’s truth – delivered through a caring relationship in the context of the difficulties of life – is a powerful formula for life-transformation.
Jesus came not just to transform our eternity, but to radically impact our life here and now. That’s why the best disciple-makers are those who learn to engage people where they live and speak Gospel-centered truth with love into the brokenness of life that Jesus came to redeem.
Pray for all our missionaries in Slovakia as they seek to make disciples and, by the power of the Gospel of Jesus, transform people’s eternity and their lives in the here and now.