Haggai leader María Dina Boyadji Gedikián of Uruguay reports that sharing the Gospel can be difficult when people think they have everything all together.
“The biggest difficulty is to make people understand that they need a Savior because people in my country think that they don’t need one,” María says. “They are self-sufficient, and they say that if they don’t see, they don’t believe.”
Additionally, an influx of Muslim immigrants creates another layer of challenges as they are discriminated against and not welcomed by the Uruguayans, making them resistant to hearing the Gospel. But María knows that God has entrusted her to reach out to these people and show them the saving grace they don’t know they need.
“Our task is to share the Gospel with both the Uruguayans and the Muslims who live here, as well as to awaken the Church of Uruguay so that it will also share the Gospel with Muslims here and in other countries: empowering, supporting, praying,” she says.
María is also passionate about stopping abortion and works to open people’s eyes to alternatives. She belongs to an organization called CEMUR, Evangelical Multidisciplinary Commission of Uruguay, that works to educate people about the negative consequences of abortion. She even went to Parliament several times to argue against the legalization of abortion, but, unfortunately, it was to no avail, as abortion has been decriminalized.
“I worked for three years in a household of women who did not want to have an abortion but did not have the economic resources to continue their pregnancy,” María shares. “There we helped them to have their babies and get work and housing. I feel like that was a great asset to the community. I remember that we saved about 20 babies.”
María says the Haggai Leader Experience helped her see the importance of not only reaching people beyond her country, but also reaching other ethnicities that are within her country.
“Haggai’s training helped me to understand how other people from other places think and live, and thus share the Gospel,” María says. “Every time we go to the border, we can talk to Muslims and pray for them, establish friendships, and then share the Gospel, as well as prepare sisters from different churches to do the same.”
Since attending the Haggai Leader Experience in 2008, María has trained 150 people from different churches to reach out to Muslims. She also trained 50 people to bring humanitarian aid to the people of Jordania. Three of these trainees have become missionaries in other countries, and 15 people regularly share the Gospel with Muslims at the border.
“I feel good and grateful to God for the Haggai Leader Experience because the training I received helped me to forgive those who had hurt us and to see a reality that was unknown to me until then,” María states. “I have been able to motivate and train other Christians to bring the Word of God to ethnic groups not yet reached by the Gospel.”
This year, María plans to conduct training in Chuy, Rivera, and Montevideo, encouraging other Christians to be faithful witnesses to end Gospel poverty. She will continue to work and wants “to save souls, transform lives, and redeem [her] culture and nation.”