Thirsty for change
A story of a woman who is thirsting for the truth, as shared with me from a fellow overseas worker. May the Lord continue to draw her to Himself, that she would one day believe in Him with her whole heart!
I first met B several years ago, when I gave her an invitation to some workshops that a visiting church were going to do. Later the same morning I saw her for a second time, and invited her for coffee. She asked me if I believed in Mohammed, and I responded that I believed in Jesus, who would return to judge us all. She hadn´t been able to sleep well for a long time, and had suffered from depression since her son had been born several years before. There in the café I was able to pray with her in her heart language, and we both agreed that God had brought us together.
There have been many seasons since then. She has signed up for classes in our center, but due to her depression, she usually gave up, because she found the noise and the group numbers overwhelming. Her son has been in our summer club and despite his challenging behavior, he felt loved and accepted by the team members. There have been house visits and prayers over the years, by various team members.
In the fall we invited her to the home of another team member, and I mentioned the story I´d told in class that morning, one of the most challenging ones for them; the Pharisee and the tax collector. I asked her why she thought Jesus said that the tax collector returned home justified before God, and not the man who fasted and gave money and said he hadn´t sinned. It was difficult! She tried to make all kinds of allowances. Perhaps the Pharisee was forgiven too; perhaps he´d done some other terrible sin; perhaps the tax collector had fasted and given money too. We listened to a recording of the story too, and each time I stopped before Jesus gave the explanation. So many Muslims also trust in their own good acts, and they naturally want to identify with the Pharisee in the story. In the end I asked if the Pharisee was a sinner,... and then whether she herself was a sinner. ¨No.... Well, maybe a little.¨ It was hard to keep a straight face, but I said that I was a sinner, as was our hostess, and even her baby daughter. And that we need to recognize our sinfulness before God. Much later in the conversation it was beautiful to see the Holy Spirit convict her, as she brought the conversation back around to her own situation and confessed a sinful area of her life to us.
Since then there have been more seasons. She reached a point of desperate thirst, willing to do anything for a change in her life. And then drew back as her mother warned her to keep away from us. Then she had a terrible demonic experience in her home country over Christmas and as a consequence avoided us all. But in the end she returned to us, because she´s sensed the Emmanuel amongst the team. And now, with her husband´s blessing, we are watching the Mary Magdalene film together and she is astounded by Jesus.
It´s a long journey, but she´s referred back to our conversation about sinfulness and pride, and we know that God goes before us.