Are planned church programs or congregational community outreach essential to effective cross-cultural ministry? Or can we also work for the Lord’s harvest in everyday life? Beverley Heidenreich, a member at Trinity Lutheran Church Pasadena in South Australia, shares a recent personal experience.

‘Oh mum, you need your eyebrows threaded’, my exasperated daughter moaned. Forewarned, I headed to a local beautician. It’s one of those little shops in a mall with pictures of beautiful young women on the outside while inside a collection of ageing women in various states of repair reclines on chairs.

This is how my evangelism story began the other day. The staff who attend to my eyebrows are like the beautiful women in the pictures – Indian girls from Hindu families. We always have a good natter.

Today, Irene and Nicky are sorting me out. I have built a rapport with Irene. She has talked about wanting a baby and today is positively ‘popping’, so we share the joy of her ‘bump’.


The girls know I help run a prayer group for my church. They are Hindu but don’t see this as odd as they have praying mothers. So, amid our laughter, I suggested we pray for the baby. I checked if it was okay to pray in Jesus’ name, and they were happy. Placing my hands on the bump, I said, ‘I can feel a foot’, to which Irene laughed, ‘Oh no, that’s my mobile!’

I prayed a simple blessing over the baby and that it would grow to know God and be healthy, strong and full of joy.

Next, Irene asked, ‘Which church do you go to?’, so I told her about my Lutheran church. ‘Oh’, she said, ‘I also work as a carer, and I go to a Lutheran church in Glynde [South Australia] with my client on Sundays. My favourite song is “Jesus loves me”, and when I went to the church recently that was the first song they sang.’ So, we promptly sang ‘Jesus loves me’ there in the beauty parlour, followed by some more laughter.


I felt it was time to take the conversation further, so I said, ‘Do you know why you heard that song, Irene?’. ‘No’, she replied, a little more serious now. ‘It’s because God’s Holy Spirit knows you and is moving over you and calling you.’

They were thoughtful and quiet.

While I paid my bill one of the girls announced, ‘If you go to St Luke’s church and pray, it’s good luck, and your prayers will be answered’. This gave me a chance to explain that Christian prayer is not like praying to Hindu gods because you are praying to your Father in heaven who loves you and wants to know you personally. God hears your prayers, and you don’t need to make a wish.

My prayer then is that God’s Spirit will continue to work in Irene and her colleagues. Praise be to him.

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