Christ On Every Side

December 2 2008 / ShareHim in Namibia, Nov. 7 - Nov. 22 '08 #337
by Elfriede Volk

Personal Testimony of Elfriede Volk.

At Missionary Volunteer meetings in the '50s, God was so real. We used to sing, "Christ before us, Christ behind, Christ on every side," and we knew He was there, preparing the way for us, putting us in particular situations for a specific purpose. Through ShareHim, Jesus' constant, tangible presence is a reality again. Sharing Him is not just confined to the sixteen days of the evangelistic series. It also happens before and after.

Take the time we went to India. On the 5-hour flight from Vancouver to Montreal, we sat next to a young Messianic Jew and talked about some of the beliefs we had in common. As he did not order any food (he had no Canadian money and the airline wouldn't accept his credit card) I offered to share the Dad's cookies and dried fruits and nuts in my carry-on. He stared at me, then gratefully accepted.

"You must be real Christians," he said.

"Yes," Heinz answered. "We try to follow Jesus' teachings. In fact, we are on our way to India to do evangelism."

"There's persecution in India," he warned. "Would you mind if I prayed for you?"

On our return we had a 20-hour layover in London. Unable to afford a room in a hotel, we tried to make ourselves comfortable on the cold, hard seats in the arrivals area. Heinz said he would watch our luggage, and insisted I lie down and try to sleep.

"You must be Christians," I heard as I was dozing off.

"How can you tell?"

"By the way you treat your wife."

Returning from Namibia, we sat beside a Zimbabwean gentleman. Several times I felt impressed to speak to him, but always resisted. Once I noticed him writing something on a scrap of paper. "Are you writing a poem or a song?" The words were on my lips, but never uttered. Shortly before landing in Johannesburg, when he put the paper away and looked at a map in the in-flight magazine, I finally found my voice. "Are you planning a trip to Europe?"

"No. Actually, I was hoping and praying for a chance to talk to you, but was afraid that if I tried to start a conversation, I might get embarrassed." He had noticed that, though we were well into our senior years, we still had a special love relationship. "How do you get love to last?"

"By inviting God into your marriage," Heinz said.

He sighed. "For three years I was engaged to a Seventh-day Adventist lady," he said, "but since I am Dutch Reformed, neither her minister nor mine would marry us. After we broke up, I married someone from my own church, but now my wife joined a charismatic group where I feel uncomfortable. And when she sees me praying, she accuses me of having a "holier than thou" attitude. I can put up with it, but what about our children?"

We encouraged him to read and study the Bible as a family, and promised to pray for him and keep in touch.

At my site in Namibia, a young woman had become an outcast from her church and her family. In trying to provide for herself and her child, she had incurred debts of N$4,000 ($400 US) and was threatened with arrest. She appealed to me for help, but I told her that I would not be able to do anything until after my return to Canada. Even then I had no idea how I would raise the money.

On the way home from Vancouver, we stopped in to see my brother. We had not mentioned any of our experiences, but as we were making small-talk, he stopped in mid-sentence and turned to me. "Frieda," he said, "I want to give you $400. If you don't want to take it for yourself, use it to help someone in Namibia."

"Christ before us, Christ behind, Christ on every side." When you really want to share Him, the opportunities are limitless. So are the blessings.
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