International (MNN) — Are you planning a vacation this summer? Some “me time” to recoup before hitting the grind again? Rest is important, that’s true. But one Canadian missionary couple is challenging the way we do vacation.
Helen Williams of World Missionary Press says they met this couple a few years back when they began distributing their Scripture booklets around the world. We are keeping their names anonymous for their privacy. The distributor and his wife have passed out booklets in Pakistan, Malawi, Trinidad, Suriname, Guyana, and the French Guiana.
Williams says his passion for the ministry is intense: “He keeps saying to us, ‘Just plain and honestly share the Good News, let God do the convincing work in their lives there. Just keep telling the story, keep giving out the Word, keep at it wherever.’ And he does it with such enthusiasm in every possible way.”
Wherever they go, this couple continues to see opportunities to share — even when it’s on their vacation. In fact, they are extremely intentional when, every fall, they take a cruise. Next to their vacation attire, they pack copies of the Jesus Film and Scripture booklets from World Missionary Press. You see, while they are taking a break from their usual work, this couple recognizes that Christians never need to take a break from sharing the Gospel.
You never know who you’re going to meet on a cruise, especially an extended cruise visiting the Caribbean. But thanks to the multiple languages the Scripture booklets are printed in, you can be pretty well-prepared.
The last cruise they took had about 4,000 people on it. The distributor preached 22 messages in 35 days. He was able to share the Gospel with all the workers on the cruise, many of the passengers, and inhabitants on the islands the ship stopped at.
“He would have Sunday services, he had Bible studies every few days, and passengers responded and the crew. And what’s really neat about this is the feedback is just encouraging,” Williams says.
The cook on a cruise ship
When anyone shares the Gospel, or simply gives someone a booklet full of Scripture, they never know what’s going to come of it. And even if a life was changed, they may never hear of it. But through his ministry, the distributor has been able to see God working.
He received a call from a friend one day who told him a story about another man he met at church recently. The man, his friend said, used to be a cook on a cruise ship. When he was still working on the cruise ship, someone gave him Scripture and shared the Gospel with him. The former cook said it changed his life.
It turns out, the man who shared the booklet is this same distributor. When he heard the story, he said, “’You see, this is how it’s done. I will never see that man again in this world. But the work of the Spirit was done.’”
The snowball effect
Not only has this simple ministry touched the lives of those who previously didn’t know about Jesus, but it’s inspiring other Christians to get involved. We hope it will inspire you, too.
A while back, the couple received a call from some friends in Hawaii they had met on a cruise. They wanted to do a similar outreach with their own vacation and began distributing Scripture booklets.
Another couple from Australia, after a different cruise, called up the distributor to learn how to get involved with outreach to Muslims in Pakistan. But, it didn’t stop there. The man called again to get materials for outreach to Muslims in Australia.
“It just snowballs,” Williams says.
By putting a spin on the traditional vacation, this couple has had an international impact. So, what about you? Maybe you don’t preach sermons on a cruise ship. But what if you just reach out to someone you meet, and hand them a booklet with the Gospel?
“Wherever we are, no matter what we’re doing, the Scripture booklets, particularly from World Missionary Press, are things you can share with someone — they take it and if they read it, they read it. If they don’t, they don’t, but maybe they will later. And you’ve shared the Gospel just in the ease of conversation and getting to know other people,” Williams says.
If you’d like to do this, call World Missionary Press at (574) 831-2111 or visit them here.
The booklets are free of charge. If you’re planning on going somewhere where there’s likely people from all over the world, you might want to order booklets in major languages — Spanish, French, Chinese, Tagalog. Williams says to let them know about your deadline, and they’ll try to accommodate.
“You just never know who you’re going to see. To be able to give them the Scripture booklet, or just the Word of God in their language, it’s just a thrill. It opens doors for communication.”
Simply put, Williams and the coordinator want you to take this with you: “Just share the Word.”