Sarah Endriss and a precious pumpkin find (a rarity in East Asia)!
Hello Church Family!
This week, I am really excited to share with you an update on one of our members, Sarah Endriss, and her ministry in East Asia. Sarah came to Gainesville as a college student and was involved both at North Central and the BCM. While there, God gave her a heart for Asia, and upon graduating she relocated to East Asia and is now using her vocation as a means of reaching the lost with the Gospel and helping to equip other believers to do the same. Sarah lives in a country that has a 0.5% evangelical population. Of the believers that are there, few have a vision for missions (Source: Operation World). I asked Sarah what her ministry looks like, and she shared this with me:
I pour time and love into genuine relationships. I pray that God would lead people into my life for me to share His truth with and to love. With believers this looks like spending time together and growing friendship. Encouraging each other and challenging each other. Asking each other hard questions and being allies for each other through difficult battles with sin. Celebrating victories together and praising God together. With non- believers it looks very similar. I spend time with my friends and learn about them, and they learn about me. When God gives the opportunity, I share about my relationship with Jesus and how it has changed my life, and I ask about their beliefs. I support and love them. When schedules are free, I love to have friends over to my apartment. Both believers and non-believers together, so that everyone can make new connections and the body of Christ can be experienced. I also have done bible studies over messaging apps with friends who are interested. Most of my ministry is done around a dinner table. This might be my small table in my apartment, or a table at a random sushi shop.”
One thing that is so powerful to me about Sarah’s ministry overseas is that it is so easily reproduced! Whether it is here in America, over in Asia, or some other place around world, simply loving people and being involved in their lives, while openly sharing yours, is powerful! Sarah works full time, and ministers to others through her work and in her free time. She actively looks for and prays for opportunities to share with others in her conversations with them while trusting God’s plan for the salvation of the lost. One great opportunity came through her boyfriend connecting with childhood friends via Zoom. As they were talking with these friends, they learned that Sarah and her boyfriend are believers and became very excited. The friend’s wife has started to read the Bible and both are very curious about Jesus. They even plan to come from another city to visit Sarah’s church! Please pray for these two friends! Pray that they would be impacted by the truth of the Gospel and choose to surrender their lives to Christ!
Another facet of Sarah’s ministry is investing and equipping believers. God has recently given her the opportunity to pour into some girls at her church. In her context, many people do not have deep friendships or deep relationships with their families. They are a reserved culture, and it is difficult to know someone’s true thoughts, fears, regrets, or desires. Sarah has been able to go deep with these women, and now they are becoming transparent with her and sharing things that they have never been able to share with anyone else. She is able to speak life and truth into their lives while encouraging them to pursue Jesus and dig deeper in their faith. Just as Sarah encourages them, they in turn encourage her!
As wonderful as Sarah’s work in East Asia is, it does not come without challenges. Please pray for East Asia, particularly that the hearts of the people would be softened and receptive to God’s love. Pray for Sarah to grow in her own walk with God, and for God to give her joy and energy in reaching people, even in the midst of exhaustion. Pray for comfort for Sarah when she has a hard time missing her friends and family in America. Pray that God would help to guard her against loneliness and the lies Satan uses to discourage her in her ministry.
As a final note, I wanted to share with you all the impact that sending notes and encouragement to those who are laboring for the Gospel can have. Sarah shared with me about how this impacted her in her first year in East Asia. She said,
My first birthday I experienced in East Asia was very memorable. I was sad to be away from friends and family. However, I received a great package from my parents, and one more special package. Many lovely people from NCBC and the BCM sent me letters filled with love and encouragement. I still have them and read some of them when I have a bad day. I wanted to say, Thank you so much. I truly felt loved, and I sincerely appreciated it!
You never know how much a simple gesture can leave a lasting impact on someone! If you would like to send her a some words of encouragement, please email her at email@example.com. If you are interested in getting more involved in global missions opportunities, or would like some resources on ways you can live on mission, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love nothing more than to get you connected!
NCBC Missions Resident