In the winter, the skies here are filled with the smog of coal, but out of the ashes a flower blooms.
Today, it is my utter joy to share what God is doing here among us. Last year our friends gave “Rose” a New Testament. A week later she asked me for an entire Bible, which I gladly gave her along with some gospel videos. Another week passed before we saw her while eating a meal at her sister’s house, where she recounted all of the miracles Jesus performed. She had obviously watched the video. She was shocked that women were the first to find the empty tomb, yet not shocked that the men did not believe the testimony of the women, for that is the world she lives in. I invited her to my house to read Scripture together. A month later, she came and I have been walking through Scripture with her weekly for several months now.
As is often the case, we discovered we were not the first to share the gospel with Rose. Several years ago two local ladies came to our city for work and spent a significant amount of time sharing the gospel, and their lives, with Rose. When they left, they did not have a Bible to leave with her. However, when Rose’s relative called to tell her foreigners were looking for someone to watch their children, she wondered if they might be followers of Jesus and went for an interview. Her two friends, now in another city, encouraged her to spend time with us.
I have been living here a relatively short time and my language skills don’t seem sufficient for the task at hand, but the Holy Spirit has been my ever present help. I sit down with my English Bible, local Bible and dictionary. I am not a crier, but I often cry during our time at the graciousness of God to bring someone hungry to us so soon, and to allow me the pleasure to be a part of feeding her. Last month, we talked about the importance of not only believing in our heart but confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord. I suspect Rose has believed in her heart for some time but she had yet to confess with her mouth. So that day she confessed with her mouth in a prayer to God that she believes she is a wretched sinner, that Jesus is the Son of God and the only way to salvation, and that she trusts Him to show her how to walk in righteousness and truth. She asked for the Holy Spirit to come and be her aid. We have already discussed many biblical truths, including the possibility that she will likely face persecution for her faith, but that the treasure of God and the many blessings He offers are of infinite value.
Tears of joy and gratitude come each week as I sit in awe of the work of the Spirit. Every time you see a flower, I hope you will think of Rose and pray:
– that her faith will grow
– that she will continue to read God’s word regularly
– that the Holy Spirit would give her understanding and increase her faith
– that He would give her boldness to share with others the hope she has received
– that she would continue to hunger and thirst after righteousness.