By Linda Tu’ulakitau
In the northern English city of Manchester in the early 1950s, a Christian lady went door-knocking from home to home every Sunday afternoon, inviting people to attend her church’s evening gospel service. No one ever accepted her invitations. And yet, it never discouraged her. She went from door to door each week, inviting people to attend.
One week, this Christian lady’s little church was having a mid-week Bible Study, so she gave it another go. Despite her faithful effort that day, no one was keen to attend until she came to one home. A young mother opened the door. The young mother was not a Christian, but she attended Sunday School as a child. She was the only member of her family to attend church. The young mom found it hard to decline the invitation, so she reluctantly attended the Bible Study. She heard the gospel, and it touched her heart. She surrendered her life and received Jesus as her Lord and Saviour.
Three weeks later, the young mother’s husband was so impressed with the remarkable transformation in the life of his wife. He requested to go to church with her. He heard the gospel, and like his wife, he also surrendered his life and received Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. Not long after they received Christ, this young couple with their three children migrated to Australia.
The family flourished in Australia. The couple’s eldest daughter married a pastor. He became a leader of his denomination, established a prominent church in Melbourne, planted many churches and had a successful global ministry until his retirement. The couple’s second child, a son, became a pastor in Queensland. He, too, became a distinguished leader in his denomination. He built a large church in Queensland and travelled extensively for ministry. Even in his retirement, he still engaged in preaching the gospel. The couple’s youngest child, a daughter, also married a pastor who had a powerful teaching and pastoral ministry. In his retirement, he still served God by teaching migrants and leaders in developing countries.
Because of that Christian lady’s simple invitation to the young mother in Manchester to attend Bible study, there have been thousands and thousands of men and women who have surrendered their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ through the family’s gospel ministry. Because of that Christian lady’s simple invitation, many churches have been planted, prominent church leaders have been trained and served their denominations and the broader church, the younger generations grew up and followed the footsteps of their elders and served the Lord, and countless lives have been transformed by the teaching of Scripture. Two pastors (a father and his son) from this family have a tremendous impact on my life and my husband’s life through their gospel ministry when we attended their church as a young couple years ago.
The Christian lady knew nothing of the great impact of her simple invitation. But whatever fruits that come from that, she is a part of it because she planted the first seed. Together with the couple she invited to church, this Christian lady has gone to be with the Lord.
To me, the most profound lesson from this remarkable story is that we never really know the eternal impact of our witness or our work for the Lord. Because of one Christian lady’s invitation and her constant perseverance in trying to invite people to church, countless lives have been transformed through the ministry of one family. Even one life you reach out to with the Gospel of Jesus Christ will have an eternal impact and an eternal fruit. Sometimes we become discouraged because we “think” we don’t see any result of the work we do for the Lord. But my heartfelt encouragement would be to keep doing what the Lord has called you to do. Keep serving Jesus with every fibre of your being. Keep inviting people to church. Keep sharing the Gospel with other people until Jesus comes or until the day you depart from this world to be with the Lord. Because like this Christian lady, we may not know the full extent of how the Lord has used us, but it will all be revealed on that day! God bless you all!