The mission of sharing the Good News often involves direct engagement to bring people closer to Jesus Christ, nurturing them in biblical truths, and inspiring them to spread this message further. Matthew 28:19 underscores the importance of making disciples by reaching out, baptizing, and teaching others to follow Christ. Witnessing the impact and transformation of those we reach is incredibly rewarding.
Yet, there are moments when our efforts might not yield visible results, either intentionally or unintentionally. This aspect of ministry, as Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 3:5-6 concerning Apollos and himself, highlights that while we sow seeds and water them faithfully, it’s ultimately God who brings about growth. These instances are special because the harvest’s fruition might only be revealed when we join our Father in heaven.
This Movers is dedicated to faithful servants like Marais Koeglenberg and Gerda Snyman, who tirelessly devote themselves to this cause despite uncertain outcomes.
Over the years, their commitment has been focused on yearly outreach initiatives, primarily conducted in harbours throughout Spain, Italy, and France. Their goal? To offer gift packages to North African travellers heading back home for their summer holidays. These packages contain materials like the New Testament in Arabic, and the Jesus Film translated into relevant languages, along with other resources like children’s booklets. They also provide follow-up contact details, ensuring ongoing support beyond the initial encounter.
Marais began going in 1994, while Gerda joined in 2004. Initially coordinated by the Macedonia Project (Mac), later renamed Jesus Film Short Term Missions Projects, this endeavour continued through Marais and Gerda’s collaboration with Operation Transit in Spain after the SA ministry’s closure due to lack of leadership.
Despite missing only two years due to the pandemic, Marais attests, “I can’t afford to miss out. Experiencing the hand of God in action is too precious!” Meanwhile, Gerda, with over 20 years in CCCSA and more than 10 outreach missions, expresses her dedication: “I want to put a Bible in the hands of Muslims and there are not many people who are available to do that, so I feel called to go and hand out these Bibles to those who are interested.”
To Marais and Gerda, faithful servants of unwavering commitment, we commend your persistent efforts. The ultimate joy may await in heaven when the incredible harvest of souls finding salvation through the New Testament, the Jesus film, or children’s booklets you distributed in the harbours of southern Europe is fully revealed.
Following this year’s outreach, here are some extracts and images from their Newsletters.
Marais’s Newsletter - September 2023
I’ve had the opportunity again to hand out materials in one of the ports in Spain. As always, a highlight in my calendar year!
Just to see the hand of God in action! I always get the feeling that I’ve become part of the book of Acts for two weeks. Just because one becomes so keenly aware of what the Holy Spirit is doing.
The words of Jesus come to mind; “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27. Observing this is what I find so astonishing! Lost sheep minding their own business suddenly perk up and pay attention when the material is offered to them. You can clearly see how it’s meant for some and not for others. I’ve learned from experience that all I have to do is to hold my post and clearly explain to passers-by what it is that we’re offering. One or more out of ten will ask for it – like a sheep responding to the voice of the Shepard!
Click on the images below to enlarge.
Gerda’s Newsletter - September 2023
Dear Ministry Partner,
“I would like to put a Bible in every Muslim’s hand!” That is what I wrote before the outreach to North Africans in Spain. A team of believers from South Africa, Spain, Germany, and Peru as well as a couple from the Middle East came together at the port in Tarifa to do just that.
During the two weeks in August, we handed out 1488 packets that contained the New Testament, the Jesus Film DVD (according to the Gospel of Luke) and some other booklets. I now pray that people will read the Bible, watch the film, and get to know God.
Some of the amazing testimonies shared by Marias and Gerda
- This time, a pedestrian approached us directly, requesting five packets. He explained that a Moroccan colleague of his had received a packet from us the previous year and now desired more due to the interest it sparked among his friends.
- A young individual from Spain approached us, requesting a package. Petra, our colleague stationed in Tarifa, engaged in conversation with him. He mentioned it was for a Moroccan friend employed in a neighbouring town who had heard about the distribution of Bibles. Unable to go himself due to work commitments, he asked his Spanish friend to retrieve one on his behalf.
- As a luxurious car glided by, we offered a “Free gift, the Gospel” in Arabic. With a hearty laugh, the man replied in English, “Free is always good,” and graciously accepted the package. His expression lit up when he discovered it was the Ingil (Gospel), and he exclaimed, “Wow, thank you!”
- Every day seems to bring something that makes us eager to experience it all over again next year. For instance, while distributing the packages, a man politely declined by saying, “No thank you.” However, his daughter in the backseat exclaimed “Baba” in Arabic and reprimanded him. He quickly apologized and accepted the packet. We were all delighted because it included a booklet for children! We trust the children in the family will explore the Bible and discover more about God.