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People from Three Continents Work Together to Save a Soul


by: Stafford North | November 7, 2017

How much is one soul worth?  Jesus said that one soul is worth the whole world and that is how people in many different countries felt about Irene.  Here is the story.

Vanessa, who is from the Philippines, had been friends there with Irene since they were twelve, but by 2015 Vanessa was living in Texas and Irene had moved to Sydney, Australia, to study at a university there.  Through their communications with each other, Vanessa found out that her friend might be open to a Bible study but she was not sure how to get that done.  So she contacted Kent Hartman, who teaches at Oklahoma Christian University.  She had met him when she attended a program at OC for Third Culture Kids, those children who live on the mission field and who need help in adjusting when they return to the United States.

Since Kent had served as a missionary in Australia, he knew people there and contacted Bob Marks who works with the Warringah Church of Christ in the north part of Sidney.  Bob, however, was some distance from where Irene was attending school, so he reached Grant McFarland, the youth evangelist for the Eastside Church of Christ, who works with university students.

Grant said he would be glad to make the contact and responded that he was glad her friend wanted to learn more about the Word.  He even mentioned that there were already some Filipinos worshipping with them and that one was baptized in the previous year.

Vanessa replied “Thank you Bob and Grant.  It’s always great to get connected with other brothers in another country.”  Then she supplied Irene’s email address and said she would be praying about the contact.

Grant got in touch with Irene who accepted his offer to study with her.  Two weeks later, he emailed Vanessa to say he had met twice with here and she was showing good interest.  He asked for prayers that she would have an open spirit.  Vanessa replied, “Thank you so much for the update.  I have heard that she’s enjoyed having these discussions with you, and I hope you’re enjoying her questions!  She asks very good ones. I will begin praying for both of you daily.”

Grant replied that although Irene asked good questions, he didn’t give her the answers.  He said he just led her to the scriptures and then they would discuss the answer. He said that he thought it was important for her to find the truth on her own. 

Vanessa replied, “This is excellent to hear Grant.  I’m right there with you. In fact, my husband and I are actually planning to do this exact thing when we begin our ministry in the Philippines next year.  Leading the horse to water instead of giving it to him.”

The study continued for about five more months and at this point Irene decided to be baptized.  Arrangements were made to Skype the event to Vanessa and Bob so they could see  her being baptized at Coogee Beach. Bob wrote, “Great news that Irene decided to become a Christian!  It was good that you could be Skyped in too!  You can see that she was very happy with the outcome.  And we are too!  Thanks for sending her our way!  Got any more friends like her in Sydney?  God bless you all as you prepare to serve him back in the Philippines!  Come visit us in Australia!”

Vanessa replied, “This was so awesome!  I’m so glad you were there Bob. Glad I also got to join in this joyous event via cellphone.  Thank you Kent for getting us connected!  It’s amazing to see how God uses his network of believers.”

Vanessa then wrote to some of her friends to thank them for their prayers on behalf of Irene.  “Thank you for joining me in praying for someone that I have been praying about for SO long.  I pray that you will not give up on the ones you have been praying about for many years.  I hope this story of redemption encourages you today and reminds you of how awesome God’s family is all around the world!”

So a woman from the Philippines who is in Texas asks a man in Oklahoma to make a contact in Australia and the man he reaches sends word to someone closer who contacts a woman from the Philippines who is attending a university in Sydney.

So much to learn from this story.  There are people who want to learn the gospel and we need to find them and teach them.  There are people around the world who are willing to help put a teacher in touch with one who will study.  Studying by referring people to passages of scripture that will answer their question and then discussing together what the passage teaches is a great way to study with someone.  And we should bathe those souls in which we are interested in prayer.  Every soul is precious, even worth working together  from opposite sides of the world.

Our thanks to all who were involved in this effort.  How much is one soul worth?  It is worth all the effort needed to bring that soul to salvation.  “Go thou and do likewise."