Crick and Mindy Porier are missionaries to Estonia. They work primarily with youth, building them up and challenging them to be leaders in the church. Crick is also a very talented photographer, and he’s used this gift as an outreach tool. When we were talking a few weeks ago, he shared this story about a photography trip –
Crick and a local Christian were leading a trip for young photography enthusiasts to capture the Northern lights.
In the middle of winter, they piled into an unheated bus with all their equipment to make the 18 hour drive from Estonia to Northern Norway. Estonians are wary of outsiders and find it safest to keep to themselves. Crick went on this trip so he could use this common interest to break the ice and build relationship with these young people, but after nearly two freezing days on the bus, still no one would talk to him. He looked at the young man in the seat next to him, and began to regret this trip all together.
He pulled out his phone and began reading his Bible, praying as he did, that God would somehow use him still. As they approached the Norwegian border, he read from 1 Peter 3:15, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”.
Crick pondered this as they handed their stack of passports to the border officials. Amidst the pile of red Estonian passports was a lone navy blue passport. The officials pulled Crick aside, concerned that he was with these Estonians because he was transporting drugs, despite his claims to be a pastor. After some questioning and searches, they finally released Crick to go on his way.
He went to rejoin his group and suddenly everyone wanted to talk to him. “What happened?” “What’d they ask?’ “Were you nervous?” “What did you say?” Recalling his earlier reading, Crick told the story, making sure to explain why he was in Estonia and what he believes. Since that trip, a few students have accepted Christ, and several others are ready to go again – this time, much more open to their American friend.