Stories from Our Missionaries

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Tuesday nights are my favorite.

It’s Bible study night. We are assembled in my home studying John with a group of ladies who are quite diverse. There is a new believer, a Muslim, a former Muslim, a single-divorced woman, and a single woman who is a believer, but living in shame of being single at 35 in a culture where women of her age should be married with children.

Daunting.

We have dinner prior to Bible study. These women are accustomed to serving everyone in their homes, often not sitting for the meal with their family. When they come, I get to serve them. I’m older than most…which helps when I tell them they can’t help with dishes!

At first, this was hard for these women. Now they come in, sit, drink tea, eat, talk, laugh, and enjoy one another. I am able to marvel at how God has brought this quirky group together. Their unabashed laughter and freedom they find during this time warms my heart.

Every week it seems to come down to the same question. Do we need what Jesus has to offer? One of the women has the same thing to say each week, “God is good and we need to live perfect lives, because He has been good to us.”

My question is always the same. Can we do that? Can we live a life worthy of the Holiness of God?

She knows we can’t, but believes we can keep trying and I agree. We have been called to “live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10).  But can we do this without Jesus?

They say it takes sharing the Gospel with a Muslim 100 times before they make a decision for Christ. One night, after this same conversation, she understood. Yes, we are to live holy lives. No, we can’t do it without Jesus. She made the decision to trust who Jesus says He is and can do what He says He can do. We prayed together and celebrated her decision.

God uses us in different ways in different people’s lives. I may not get to see all of these people come to a saving relationship with Jesus, but my role is to plant seeds for as long as God allows.

God doesn’t need us in order to build His Kingdom; He chooses to use us. I’m grateful for His call on my life to be with these women here in the Balkans. I’m grateful for their friendship and that I get to watch as they learn to live in community with each other, loving one another, and caring for one another. I’m grateful for those who have prayed and supported the work that has been done here; you are a blessing to me and to those whom you may never meet until Heaven.

 

-Maureen