"On this side of the world ..."

Lourens Laureti says sharing the gospel in a remote jungle comes with many challenges--and some really great rewards.

It’s not an easy task. Sharing the Good News of Jesus with the Mengen people has brought its share of challenges, Lourens Laureti writes.

Lourens recently hiked with some Mengen believers from the village where he and Marie and their children live to visit several villages on the coast. This particular hike involved four river crossings. Due to heavy rains, Lourens and his co-workers had to swim across each of the rivers—all of which were at flood-stage.

“Even though it was tough, we had a great time on the way having fellowship … and just spending time around God’s Word.” Lourens adds that this challenging journey contributed to a discussion with Mengen believers about ongoing outreach to other villages. One such village has made repeated requests for someone to come and teach them God’s Word.

So yes, there are rewards, too. Hope and light are shining now and are penetrating into places where darkness has ruled for a very long time.

There is challenge for the young Mengen couple who has experienced persecution for their decision to attend Bible teaching. They have been chased from their home and have gone without food.

Lourens and Marie have watched amazed as Gabi and Itu have persevered and continued to stand up for God’s truth.

This kind of persevering faith speaks volumes. Lourens writes that these young Mengen believers “are often an example to us in times of persecution … and many local people in and around the village where we live are seeing the difference in the lives of believers and are being drawn to Christ’s love.”

Seeing God produce this kind of faith and growth is a great and joyous reward for Lourens and Marie.

Lourens remembers well the day they first taught the Mengen people about Christ’s sacrifice for them. He says his co-worker read the account of Christ’s death on the cross and quoted His words, “It is finished,” speaking of His work in paying the penalty for sin. In Mengen, Christ’s words were Ore rongo.

Afterward, a young man approached Lourens and repeated to him, “Ore rongo.”

Lourens explains, “I thought he referred to the lessons. I asked him what was finished and he answered, ‘My sin is finished and not standing between me and God anymore.’ What an amazing testimony coming from a young Mengen man!”

It is, in fact, that finished work of Christ that empowers Lourens and Marie, day after day, to finish the task God has given them in loving and sharing God’s truth with Mengen people, in spite of what are sometimes enormous challenges.

Because the rewards, Lourens says, are great.

In fact, they’re eternal.