It’s been amazing to watch God work while I’ve been a pioneer. I’m intentional about mingling, putting myself in places where I can meet people. I believe developing relationships is an important part of my ministry. Everyone I see, whatever their condition, is someone who needs to know about Jesus. I pray that God leads me to someone who's searching, and He does the rest!

Like the time I took French lessons. Because I’d taken some French as a kid, I signed up for the level two class. It didn’t take long for me to realize I was in way over my head, so I switched to the level one class and sat in the only seat still available.

Maybe I’d better take notes, I thought, rummaging unsuccessfully for a pen in my bag. The woman sitting on my left noticed my predicament and handed me one of hers.

During break time, she initiated a conversation and asked what I did for a living. I told her that I led a small group in Bible study and prayer and mentioned that we had various classes, including one for kids. She brightened. She said she was involved with sociological research with children and asked whether she could come watch our kids interact.

She came to our next meeting and the next. She asked for Bible studies and gave her heart to Jesus. I didn’t choose my seat that day in class. God did.

God's always ahead of me, orchestrating everything, like the time our congregation hosted a health expedition. When the event was over, I asked for the list of names of those who had expressed an interest in learning more. The list was lost, but that didn’t stop God.

Shortly after the expo, I agreed to move to a new community and live in the building where our small congregation worshiped. One day on my way to the market, I noticed a woman walking toward me. We greeted and passed each other and then both turned around.

“Aren’t you the doctor who was at the health expo?” she asked. “Well, I’m a spiritual doctor,” I replied, trying to make a little joke. “I saw you there with the group. What do you do?” she asked. I told her that I led a group in Bible study and prayer. Soon she visited and began worshiping with us. She told me that she felt that something very important was missing in her life. She asked for Bible studies and eventually accepted Jesus as her Savior. I didn’t choose where to live at that time in my life. God did.

Currently, I’m working with refugees from various countries and religious backgrounds.

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Several years ago, the Middle East and North Africa Union Mission started an Urban Center of Influence that operates as a learning center for refugee children. We thought we needed to find a way for them to continue their education since most of the schools here can’t take them. I’ve teamed up with the schoolteachers to reach the refugee families with Christ’s love. I visit them in their homes to talk, pray, share God’s Word, and help in any way that I can. I also teach a class on Sabbath for the refugee men.

These people have lost so much—their homes, property, loved ones, and sometimes even their hope. They want a caring person to listen, and I let them talk. Then slowly, I begin to introduce the gospel.

One group of refugees that I work with told me that, despite all their losses, they think it’s better for them to be in this country because they can worship without persecution and learn about the Bible. They believe God sent them. I believe they’re right.

By a Global Mission pioneer in the Middle East as told to Laurie Falvo, Office of Adventist Mission.