Discipling through Unexpected Opportunities
“A couple of months ago I was looking on Facebook Marketplace for some furniture for my apartment and found a set of shoe cabinets I liked for my entryway. I contacted the seller and arranged to pick them up. When I arrived, I was speaking my very poor German and she said, ‘Are you American?’ I said, ‘Yes!’ and she said, ‘So am I!’
“We laughed at the coincidence of meeting a fellow American while buying something off of Facebook Marketplace in Germany. I left with my shoe cabinets and couldn’t shake the feeling that I was supposed to contact her and get to know her better.”
Following the nudging of the Holy Spirit, Sarah* reached out.
“We got together a couple of times and she shared with me a little bit about her life. A few weeks went by and I felt prompted again to reach out and see how she was doing. She responded that she’d been struggling with depression and was facing a lot of really hard things with no one to talk to. I offered to meet with her, so we met for coffee the next day. She then proceeded to pour out terrible thing after terrible thing that she’s experienced in her life. I was praying that God would use me as His vessel to speak Truth and He gave me words of hope and comfort to share with her. She was grateful to have someone listen to her and not brush her feelings aside and tell her to get over it as her other friends had done.
“I shared about my faith in God and I invited her to go to church with me (which happens to be just down the street from where she lives). She excitedly agreed to come before I could even finish asking her the question! Later that evening, she messaged me to say thanks for listening and that she already feels better and has more hope.”
Since then, Jean* has been coming to church when able and God has opened the door through the Gem worker, Sarah, to start a discover Bible study with her. Life circumstances and Jean’s work schedule have made consistently meeting hard.
“On the morning of our first Bible study,” Sarah shared, “she was unable to sleep and struggled with anxiety.” The next week, her work schedule changed at the last minute prohibiting her to come. “I knew it was spiritual warfare,” said Sarah.
Finally, they were able to start the Bible study. But a new problem arose.
“I don’t have a Bible,” Jean said. Sarah helped her get a Bible app and printed off the scripture they planned to study together. Later on, one of Sarah’s supporters gave the money to be able to buy a German-English Bible and Sarah gifted it to Jean.
“She’s so open,” shared Sarah. “But life circumstances seem to keep shutting the door.” Yet through it all, Sarah has been faithful to keep pursuing Jean and praying for her.
“All we can do is plant the seeds and be open to what the Lord might be leading us to say.”
It’s not about running to the finish line of having her accept Jesus; it’s a patient process. And by prayer and persistence, Sarah is seeing Jean drawn closer to the peace and joy she sees in scripture and the beauty of God’s people.
Will you pray with us for Sarah to keep faithfully loving and sharing Christ with Jean and for Jesus to draw Jean to the love and kindness of Christ she’s seen in Sarah and her church?
About the authors: Grant and Naomi are storytellers with Greater Europe Mission and serve in Birmingham, England.