She asked me how I thought my work here was going. I had to think about it for awhile, because it's hard to measure. It's easy to count the number of times I've shared my faith or the number of people attending Bible study each week. But what's really going on in people's hearts is honestly a mystery to me. But the one thing that I have really felt strongly about is that my time here has been authentic.
I have always known that no one wants to hear a speech about what I believe in. I've always known that I don't particularly enjoy when others—trying to convince me of something—talk at me instead of with me. So, I have made it my goal to just be real with people about why I believe what I believe and to talk about the events that have happened in my life that have changed the way I think. I just want to be authentic, and God’s word does such a great job of explaining it in 2 Peter 1:16— "For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty."
I don't want to try to cleverly convince people that following God is the right thing to do, I want to tell them about the awesome things the Father has done in my life and how in my life I have had opportunities to see just how amazing God can really be.
And through this, we've seen growth. And it might not always be crazy exciting growth, but growth where little by little we convince our friends that the questions and doubts that they have are not going to offend us. And little by little—I pray—they start to develop an understanding of who God is. It's not easy, and it's definitely not fast. But it's authentic.
Jon, a student at the University of Texas at El Paso, is serving in East Asia with Go Now Missions. His last name is withheld for security reasons.