Last month, Resonate Global Mission local mission leader Scott Geurink sat in a greenhouse with a group of seasonal workers who immigrated to West Michigan from Mexico and Central America.
They were on their break, sitting at tables in the lunchroom. Work gloves lay on the tables and Bibles rested open to the gospel of John.
“If you died today, do you believe you’d go to heaven?” Scott asked them.
Almost everyone said, “No.”
That’s why Scott is there; he’s collaborating with greenhouse owners to facilitate Bible studies, called “discussion groups,” for employees who are interested in learning more about the Bible.
Fields Ripe for Harvest
Each spring and summer, West Michigan-area greenhouses employ many seasonal workers who immigrated to the United States from Mexico and Central America. Many of them do not have a personal relationship with Christ.
“Most of the employees come from Roman Catholic backgrounds, but it’s nominal Catholicism,” said Scott. “Basically, they have very little understanding of the Bible. They would say they believe in God, and they would say that the Bible is true, but they don’t really know what that means.”
Scott served in Mexico for 23 years as a Resonate missionary (then Christian Reformed World Missions). Today, he is employed by Resonate, Classis Zeeland, and Multiplication Network Ministries to reach Hispanic populations in the Great Lakes region. Recognizing the number of people with a Hispanic background who worked in the greenhouses, he and his colleagues were brainstorming how to reach them.
And then about three years ago, God opened a greenhouse door through one of Scott’s connections who worked at the greenhouse Meadowridge Inc. He wanted to start a Bible study in Spanish for his coworkers, so Scott began facilitating his first greenhouse discussion group. This year, he has worked with five greenhouses.
Sonnyside Greenhouse is one of those greenhouses that collaborated with Scott. Kevin Sall, one of the owners, had a desire to share the gospel with his employees—but he did not speak Spanish fluently, and he was not sure how best to reach them. Most seasonal employees come and go from year to year, so he rarely has a chance to build relationships with them.
“I really prayed about it and just wanted something to come up,” said Kevin. God answered his prayers when someone connected him with Scott. Since then, Sonnyside has hosted discussion groups three separate times. Each time, Kevin noted, has produced fruit.
At discussion groups, said Scott, “Someone who isn’t acquainted with the Bible can get a good understanding of who Jesus Christ is, why he came, and how we can become a part of God’s family.”
Over the past three years, more than 100 workers have committed their lives to Christ. Now, Scott’s greatest desire is to connect them to churches so their faith can continue to grow.
“It’s just amazing to see God use [these disciple groups] to bring people to him,” said Kevin.
Two years ago, one of his longtime Sonnyside employees received Christ. “When he came back to me in January and we sat down to talk about what this coming year would look like, he was a changed man,” said Kevin. “He gave me a testimony about what God has done in his life that was dynamite. Phenomenal. Something only God could do.”
God is working through your support of Resonate as ministry and business leaders work together to spread the gospel throughout North America. “It’s been such a blessing,” said Kevin. “God’s word will not return void—and it hasn’t.”