“Wherever I go, I go to be a blessing. Wherever I stay, I stay to be fruitful.” – Haggai Leader Arianna*
In a mountainous country in Southeast Asia with only 1.7% of the population identifying as Christian, sharing the Gospel is a challenge. Haggai leader Arianna*, like most people she knows, was raised in a Buddhist home. She was taught from her parents to be a good person and to do good to others. Arianna states that she felt like there was still something more, and she was always looking for it but didn’t even know what it was. In 2007, while at an English school, she met a team of missionaries who prayed for her and shared the Gospel. Two years later, she accepted Christ into her heart and got baptized. Arianna is still the only practicing Christian in her family and prays her family will come to know the Lord and serve Him as she does.
Preaching the Gospel and ministering to others comes with its own challenges and is still a new concept to local ministries and churches. This challenge leads Arianna’s team to ever evolve in their ways of ministerial outreach. Currently, their focus has been on different discipleship avenues to minister to small group settings. People in Arianna’s country are community-oriented, so these new avenues will be helpful in creating a deeper connection within the community.
It was after the Virtual Haggai Leader Experience (VHLE) in January this year, however, that Arianna came to understand her role in God’s Kingdom. It shaped her understanding of His will in the world. After her equipping and knowing she herself needed community just like her countrymen and women have recognized, she joined the national ministry in her country as well as an organization that focuses on discipleship and church planting. In just a few months, they’ve already seen 85 people come to Christ. Arianna set a goal to share the Gospel with 500 people after her VHLE and she is encouraged by these new believers who are also going on to share the Gospel with others. She’s seeing the Haggai model at work: Leaders equipping leaders equipping leaders.
In her full-time position, Arianna serves as the executive secretary and HR manager at a YMCA. It is there that she has had the opportunity of being involved with worship, teaching, and in coaching new believers. She says that she is always learning and seeking out new opportunities for growth in knowledge. It is very important for her to see that her people have biblical materials accessible to them in their heart language. As a country with several native languages, these resources can be difficult to acquire. It is through the help, support, and mission of the national YMCA and the connections that Arianna has that they are able to offer these resources. Arianna feels that it is her calling to be “a hand to help people who God puts in her life — to help them know, get closer to, and grow in the journey of the Lord.” Her passion is to walk alongside people in their discipleship journeys.
Through Arianna’s outreach, she hopes to share the Gospel with her parents every month and present the Good News to 500 people in the next two years. These goals were formed and ignited after the Haggai Leader Experience and her faith and trust in the Lord continues to give given her strength in these endeavors.
*Name changed for security.
Written by Sierra McKinnis