Two weeks before Easter 2014, Sophie Golhof Ensing took to heart a challenge given by visiting pastor Rev. Moses Chung, director of Christian Reformed Home Missions.
He had given the members of Sophie’s congregation, Fleetwood CRC in Surrey, B.C., a “Top Ten Most Wanted” bookmark inviting people to make a list of those they know who need Jesus.
“Then do everything you can to attract them to Jesus and pray until they come to know Jesus,” Chung said.
Sophie was excited about the challenge. “We live in a globally diverse community. I began to pray that I might have an opportunity to converse with some people and give them a copy of the Today devotional.”
Sophie made a list of names and showed it to Gerry, her husband of 57 years. Over the past year they have been praying for several people by name and looking for opportunities to share the love of Jesus in practical ways.
First on her list was Tarik, who owns a local print/copy shop Sophie has frequented for a “grandma photo book project” she’s been working on. Since she’s been praying, God has opened doors for Sophie to share her faith with Tarik, who identified himself as a Muslim.
It started with a conversation about Easter and led to a conversation about Jesus. “I was able to tell him the reason Jesus came for every tribe and nation.”
The next time Sophie went into Tarik’s shop to print photos, she gave him a copy of the Gospel of John and the Easter issue of the Today devotional produced by ReFrame Media, the English-language outreach of Back to God Ministries International. She also included a short personal letter explaining what she believes about Jesus. She invited Tarik to read the devotional and the gospel account to learn the story of Jesus.
Tarik cheerfully received the gift and continues a friendly dialog with Sophie whenever she comes into his shop. Sophie keeps praying for Tarik and shares her faith at every opportunity.
A second person on Sophie’s prayer list was Evan [not his real name], their financial advisor. She prayed for Evan, who has no church family, and looked for occasions to share her faith with him.
“As we talked together about our financial business, Evan was interested in our commitment to leave 10 percent of our estate to Back to God Ministries and other Christian ministries when we die. This launched a conversation about our local church’s outreach.”
Evan responded by showing Sophie and Gerry his iPhone app that can access the whole Bible. Sophie gave Evan the link to the Today app for mobile phones and invited him to their church’s Easter worship.
Sophie was thrilled when he came and was greeted warmly by other church members. She continues to pray that God will work in Evan’s heart and looks for practical opportunities to show him the love of Christ. “At one appointment I brought him a small jar of freshly made blackberry jam.”
Chung says he is pleased to know that the “Top Ten Most Wanted List” bookmark has inspired Sophie to pray and look for opportunities to witness to the love of Jesus.
“God is stirring in this denomination and in North America,” says Chung. “The power of prayer is allowing the Christian Reformed Church to approach its work with renewed energy and focus, to discern where God is leading us. Like Sophie, with prayer, hope, and imagination, we can join God in mission in our own neighborhoods.”
Produced through the support of ministry shares, the “Top Ten Most Wanted” prayer cards and Today devotionals are being used by hundreds of others. To join the movement, order the bookmarks through Faith Alive. Today is available through Back to God Ministries International/ReFrame Media and digitally at ThisIsToday.com.