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This story comes from Jenny, a seasoned Church Planting Movement practitioner who has seen thousands of people come to know the Lord and has seen the start of several hundred movements. She shares this story of simply listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying.
“Last week I discovered my elevator card wasn’t working, an uncommon and concerning enigma. I knew I needed to go down to the management office to ask why it wasn’t working and felt the Lord’s prompting to share a story with the office manager, Rita while I was there. I had shared with her a couple times before, just simple verses or whatever Shema statement came to mind in the moment. I hadn’t met with any resistance but also couldn’t tell if there was any real interest there. So, I went down the 10 flights of stairs to ground level and then walked over to the building next door and up two more flights of stairs to the management office.
Rita was there as always, with a big smile on her face and a warm welcome. We took a couple minutes to sort out my elevator card issue and then sat down to chat for a few minutes. I asked about where she lived and she said that she and her son were living with her mom, not too far away. She went on to share about her difficult decision of whether to divorce her controlling husband or to give the separation more time.
I shared with her what had been my prayer verse for the preceding week: “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’”(Psalm 32:8) I told her that I would be praying this for her and she seemed really grateful. She continued to share, especially about how painful it was being cast out by her husband and how she felt that she always had to put up a brave front for her son and others and not let people know her pain and fears about single-parenting.
Immediately it struck me what story I needed to share – just that morning, a friend had suggested I read the story of Hagar, in relation to something totally different that we had been discussing. I had meditated and prayed about that story for over an hour that morning before I decided to go down and deal with my elevator card. As I shared the story of Hagar – a woman with a small child, cast out by her husband, alone and afraid in the desert, but seen by God, taken care of by God, Rita began to cry. I told her, “God sees you, Rita, He sees your pain and your fears for your son, and He will help you.” She thanked me several times for the story and the encouragement. Please pray for me as I go back in the weeks to come to visit with Rita again and share with her about God’s love and His infinite mercy for her.”
Yeng is a Khmer (most Khmers are Buddhist) who comes from a big family. Her husband, Pouch, is blind; her 97 years old mother-in-law and three grandsons all live with her. Yeng works hard to provide for the needs of her family. Every day she sells green leaves at the market to support her family. It is not much, but with the money that she earns from selling these leaves, she is able to provide meals for her family.
Recently, while Yeng was at the market a lady, who is also really poor, came by to visit. Yeng kindly shared some of her vegetables with her visitor. After the visitor left, the seller who sits near Yeng asked her why she would give food away for free like she had. She asked, “Are you a Christian?”
Immediately, Yeng said: “Yes, I believe in Jesus”. To which the seller replied: “you are like Jesus. You have a good heart; you are loving and kind to people”.
Yeng saw this statement as a great opportunity to share about what Jesus had done on the cross for all mankind. At the end of the conversation, the seller said: “I believe in Jesus too, but I don’t have a heart like yours. I’m so busy with my work, that sometimes I don’t feel close to God. My family does not believe in Jesus yet, and often they pray to our ancestors, and sometimes I do that too.”
“No, you cannot worship ancestors; they are not God you need to worship the ONE and TRUE God who is our Lord Jesus Christ only”, said Yeng. The chatted a little more and Yeng invited the seller to the house church that meets in her home. The seller promised that she would come when she had time. Pray for Yeng, that she would continue in her bold witness for the Lord and that she would remain an example of His love and kindness. Pray for Yeng’s friend, that she will seek Yeng out for more conversations about God.