[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 1:4
This Thursday we came to the prison and gathered inside like every other week. After an exciting time of praise and worship in the tiny hot room, with sweat pouring down my face, I sat down on the mat next to Angela. Shortly after, she stood to share her testimony. She spoke with boldness and excitement, as she has done many times in the past few years, recounting the work that God has done in her life. She sat down and I put a hand on her shoulder, reminding her that I’m so proud of her and letting her know that she did an excellent job. After Angela’s testimony, Sharon got up to share the Bible teaching from the book of John. First she read the passage and then she dissected it and explained what the verses mean in our lives. I sat there looking up at this woman who was my student not so long ago; this woman who couldn’t read and never went to school; who was a young widow who thought she would never get a second chance or amount to very much. I sat there in awe of the work that God has done in her life. Not only can she read now, but she can teach with clarity and authority. She told me afterwards that she was afraid, but no one could have ever guessed that. She looked intently into the eyes of the prisoners as they stared back at her, sharing the love and hope of Christ with them. We saw Jesus, not Sharon, standing before us.
I have had the privilege of teaching these women how to read and study the Bible, not because I am great but because God is great. I have watched them grow up in their faith. Even though Angela is about 20 years my senior and Sharon is just a couple of years younger than me, I feel like they are my spiritual children. I feel like a proud mother beaming with delight that her children are succeeding. I couldn’t have been more proud this Thursday, and at the same time more humbled. That small room filled with faces longing for hope, these women full of the power of God, this place that has become my home.. so many thoughts swirled through my heart and mind that it took a lot of restraint to hold back the tears of joy. Sometimes life here is challenging, and sometimes you disciple people just to learn that they never were interested in anything except for what they thought they could get financially. There are bad days and frustrating times; but then, there are the Angelas and Sharons. They are the loud reminders that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. If no one else ever gets it, it will be enough that these two women are radically impacted by the Lord and serving Him with their gifts.
There is no greater joy than knowing God can take broken people like me, Angela, and Sharon; He can take us and use us to reach other broken people. We stand together as the Lord stitches us back together and uses us to reach more men, women and children whose hearts cry out for Truth and Purpose. This is what discipleship means. This is why we are here. What could possibly be better?
(PS- Sharon and Angela’s stories will both be featured in my new book that I’m writing. Stay tuned to hear more of their incredible stories and how God has miraculously intervened on their behalf! To read some of my stories and insights into missions, check out “For the Joy Set Before Us” which is available at amazon and other online stores: For the Joy on Amazon )
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[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.ericambasan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/IMG_0088.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hi, my name is Erica and I am a God-called missionary for Northern Uganda. It is my passion and life-calling to bring God’s word to the people of the world. Each and every one of us can do our part in spreading God’s word to people in need of Jesus’ healing touch and hope. Trying to figure out if God has called you to the mission field? Do you want to learn more about what it’s like to be a missionary? Check out my book, For the Joy Set Before Us – Insights Into the Missionary Journey today.[/author_info] [/author]