Jewel Gruer, a missionary with E3 partners, has been on more than 200 mission trips that have taken her to the continents of Asia, Africa, Europe, South and Central America and most recently the Middle East. Guer was born into a loving family and at a very young age she committed her life to Christ. Her first attempt at evangelism turned sour as she tried to witness to her uncle by asking him to receive the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ or face eternal damnation in hell. She vividly remembers her mother picking her up by her tiny arms, taking her to the bathroom, and sternly warning her about sharing her faith. I When I met Gruer for the first time, I was instantly touched by her warm, pleasant and fiery spirit. Her passion for winning souls was evident as she eagerly shared her love for the lost and her concerns with the social injustices around the world.
Hudson Taylor, a great missionary to China, who founded over 205 mission stations with 1,205,000 converts, said that â€œGod isnâ€™t looking for people of great faith but for individuals ready to follow Him.â€ Gruer is one of such individuals who drops everything to be used as an instrument to further the gospel. When God called her to the mission field after her 54th birthday, rather than grumble about aging or retirement, she saw a rare opportunity, grabbed and ran with it.
At that point in time, she was a wife and mother to two grown up children. Her late husband suggested that she should join the mission trip in her church to Romania. At first, she was apprehensive because she was not great with finding Bible scriptures even though she could quote some verses. Secondly, she felt she could not play any musical instrument whatsoever and in addition to this, she was not great with linguistics. Like Moses, she felt insufficient and incapable of going to a foreign land to teach people about Jesus.
In the midst of taking up the challenge, an escapist mentality riddled with unwarranted excuses for what the Lord was calling her to do in the mission field battled in her mind. Feeling vulnerable and insufficient, she confided in her daughter about her insecurities. Her daughter, a matured believer, encouraged her with Proverbs 3:5 â€œTrust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.â€ It was after this meeting with her daughter that Gruer decided to trust that God, who was calling her to leave her comfort zone for the unknown, will never leave or forsake her.
God has demonstrated clearly in his word that He chooses people not necessarily because of their capability but because of their availability. As Guer chose to avail herself to do the will of the Father, He used her to minister through puppets during her first mission trip to Romania. She knew the Lord was definitely with her when she led thirty Romanians to Christ. This was how a new found passion to reach out to the lost was birthed in her heart and there was no turning back from this point on.
Funding for her first mission trip to Romania, came after she and her husband refinanced their house. For her next mission trip, she found â€œGlobal Mission Fellowshipâ€ an organization that supported missionaries. She began working with them, so she could make another mission trip to Romania. Fortunately, she ran into another missionary who encouraged her to take a mission trip to Mexico before heading to Romania. Consumed with the passion for the lost, she made the trip and once again, experienced the outpouring power of the Holy Spirit as she reached out and drew many lost souls into the kingdom of the Lord.
Shortly afterwards, her husband of many years passed on to glory. In her state of grief, she needed to plunge into something she loved doing. That was how she found herself on the way to a mission trip in Uganda. She felt the urgency of reaching out to people instead of wallowing in grief. Although some people opposed the frequency of her trips after the death of her husband, Guer saw it as fulfilling the call of God on her life.
Being a missionary to several continents has widened her world view and respect for the â€œMaker of all things.â€ She summarizes her interactions with different people, cultures as â€œAt core, all human beings are the same, they all want the same basic needs.â€
She also reveals how she usually prepares lessons to share with people during her trips, and how on many occasions, she has to adjust to the leading of the Holy Spirit. For some years now, her focus has been mainly geared towards women that are usually considered as a lower caste in most cultures. Guer says that the hardest and most secretive of these women end up disclosing their pain and fear to her either while they are working on crafts, or cooking and sorting grains together. â€œIt is during moments like this that I come in and encourage these women with the word of Godâ€ adds Gruer.
In her ministry to women all over the world, she uses different methods to emphasize to the women that they are daughters of the king. From washing their feet to bringing beautiful bridal dresses for brides to be, she captures the hearts of these women without fail. During her recent trip to Egypt, she passed hand made crowns to Moslem women in Egypt to remind them that their identity is in having a relationship with Jesus.
C.T. Studd another great missionary said, â€œSome wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run rescue mission within a yard of hell.â€ Examining Jewelâ€™s life makes this quote more of a reality as she has reached out to the lost in war-torn countries, countries ravaged with AIDS, and countries experiencing religious persecution. Her confidence truly rests in Godâ€™s ability to protect and keep her in all situations.
Although Gruer is seventy years old this year, her age does not deter her passion of winning souls for the kingdom of God. She is expecting more mission trips in the future.
Let us pray for Jewel Gruer that the Lord will continue to empower her and remember her sacrifices on the mission field. Pray that she will not lack in any area of her life, in Jesus' name. Let us commit her future trips in the hands of the Lord and pray for journey mercies and Godâ€™s speed to every place she goes, in Jesusâ€™ name.