“How are you doing?” I asked, feeling a bit guilty because I didn’t know the answer. It had been too long since we were together, and I had been absorbed with other things.
The reply came: “I’m like a bomb!” (this is an expression which is kind of like saying, I’m doing explosively well!) I laughed, greatly relieved.
“I have news for you,” she said, and I could tell it was good. “When are you next coming to the office?”
Within the hour I was driving the empty streets to our office. There are some advantages to quarantines –and no traffic in this sprawling city of 20 million people is definitely one of them! As I drove, I prayed for her: “Lord, breathe hunger for You into Sara. Stoke the embers of her heart and let her burn for You!”
Sara* and one other employee have been keeping our office going while the other 50 people work from home. Her workload is greatly reduced because her job is to clean the office and serve tea (we keep her coming in because she cannot do that from home!)
In mid-March when quarantine began, at her request, I gave her a pretty intense Bible study to work through. She took it upon herself to finish her cleaning quickly so that she could spend time in God’s Word at the office. Only God could orchestrate her circumstances and open this kind of opportunity for her! The last 3 months have been like a mini Bible school for Sara. Like a sponge, she has soaked up everything I’ve given her, including watching six (6!) movies about the life of Christ—and some of them repeatedly!
I rode the elevator up to the fourth floor of our office and stepped out into the empty corridor. The office, usually buzzing with people, was eerily quiet. I climbed the stairs up to the terrace, where we have a little kitchen and seating area, and where I expected to find Sara. Minutes later she walked in, and soon I asked her about her news.
“Well, you know how I’ve been telling my husband about Jesus,” she began, “last night he told me that he is more open to this faith than any other! He’s so close to believing in Jesus!”
I was truly thrilled to hear this. We’ve been praying for her husband. Join us again now:
Lord, thank You for working in Sara’s husband! Please keep working in him until victory is Yours and his heart is captured by Jesus! We ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make him intelligent and discerning in knowing You personally, his eyes focused and clear, so that he can see exactly what it is You are calling him to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life You have for Your followers, oh, the utter extravagance of Your work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength! (Eph. 1:17-19 MSG). For Your glory in the nations– and in Jesus’ name, amen.
“But that’s not my news,” Sara continued. “You see, I want everyone in my whole family and sphere of relationships to hear what’s happened to me. I’ve woken up! I’ve found peace! I know He’s with me, I feel His presence; my whole life has been turned upside down!”
The look on her face was radiant. I sensed the Spirit of God on her, and I imagine Him laughing with delight, as if He is saying, “Yeah, that’s what I come to give: radiance and joy!! Isn’t it awesome?” Truly, it is. Is there anything more awesome than seeing this kind of transformation in someone’s life?
Sara continued: “So I called up my cousin. She told me she felt peace just listening to me and asked me to send the verses I shared with her! I urged her to start praying in Jesus’ name. I sent her the movies and verses I’ve been reading. She is very interested.
Next I called my aunt, who is an atheist (from a Muslim background) and I shared how I’ve found peace. I feel in my heart that God will bring her to faith! I’m praying for her every day.
Next, I called another cousin, named Tess*. I started to tell her my story—and she stopped me…” Sara paused. Then she recounted a miracle that only God could orchestrate. She explained that after her cousin’s husband divorced her, in desperation, Tess went to visit a nearby Christian fellowship. And there she gave her life to Christ! “I know all about the peace and joy you’re talking about, Sara!” Tess shared; “I believe in Him, too!” Sara was shocked—and extremely encouraged. The two of them talked for ages about their new-found faith, about Christ-followers and the wonder of it all. Now her and her cousin together are praying for and sharing with their family!
Only God! Let me put this miracle in perspective. What are the chances of one of Sara’s relatives being a Christian in this country? There are almost 6,000 Christians, out of a population of 80,000,000 people. Therefore the likelihood of one of Sara’s relatives in another city coming to faith is 0.000075%, unless, of course, there is a God-arranged MIRACLE!
Thank You, Father God, for what You are doing in Sara and her family! Thank You that she is being faithful with the Good News entrusted to her! We pray that You will build her up in this most holy faith by helping her to pray in the Holy Spirit, stay right in the center of Your love, and keep her arms open and outstretched. You are able to keep Sara on her feet, standing tall in Your presence, fresh and celebrating. To You be all the glory, majesty, strength and rule before all time, and now, and to the end of time. Yes! (Jude 1:20-21, 22-24 MSG).
Thank You that Sara is willing and able to teach others as well. May the same Good News that came to Sara keep going out all over the world and be changing lives everywhere, just as it changed Sara’s that very first day she heard it and understood about God’s great kindness to sinners (Col. 1:6 TLB). In Jesus’ name, amen.
*names have been changed