God is using my outreach to touch the lives of young African women. This past Wednesday, I interacted with four of them. Here are their stories.
Young Lady 1 came to work with me that day, as she has done frequently in the past few weeks. Because of the personal spiritual challenges she faces, she prefers sitting at my side in the office rather than feeling isolated and getting into trouble at home. This also allows me to understand her better for the purposes of offering counsel.
On Tuesday evening, I’d become aware of a lie Young Lady 1 had told me, so on Wednesday morning once things in the office were under control, I sat down to talk with her about it. Unsurprisingly, an underlying habit of deception was exposed. Praise be to God for bringing the ugliness of sin into the powerful light of His gospel. Our conversation, which included Scripture reading and prayer, was duly sobering, and I earnestly pray that God uses it to draw Young Lady 1 into His grace.
No sooner had I finished talking with Young Lady 1 when Young Lady 2 arrived with a big smile, eager to chat with me. I’d invited her for a visit out of concern for her spiritual state, since our current lack of in-person church services removes my usual opportunity to check up on her. She asked for prayer for her father’s health and her difficult school classes. She wanted to know how to show Biblical love to a boy with whom she had refused to be immoral and who subsequently adopted a hateful attitude towards her. We discussed the challenges of following the Lord in an unbelieving family; her desire to someday marry a Godly man and rear her children in a Christian manner; and how she can prepare now to be an excellent wife and mother. Young Lady 1 listened with interest as I responded to Young Lady 2’s question about the minimum age for dating by explaining the advantages of pouring youthful energy into serving God and others rather than into romantic relationships when one isn’t yet ready to marry.
I was still talking with Young Lady 2 when I received a phone call from Young Lady 3. She also is a believer in a non-Christian family, and is currently babysitting her cousins in a town several hours away. She had just received a text message sent by an unknown person using her mother’s phone, saying that her mother was contemplating suicide. Naturally, she was worried for her mother, wanting to know what she should do and whether I could visit her mother on her behalf.
With Young Lady 3’s permission, I consulted with their next-door neighbor who is a leader in our church. This was the first he had heard of the concern, and he suggested that Young Lady 3 follow up by calling her mother’s phone and asking for more information from whomever answered. When I called Young Lady 3 back to relay this advice, she was already in touch with an uncle who said he would investigate the situation. She subsequently exchanged text messages with her mom, who said she is suffering from headaches. Young Lady 3 looks forward to returning home this Thursday and conversing more deeply with her mother.
On Wednesday afternoon I contacted Young Lady 4 to schedule our first meeting for the following week. I’d learned of her on Monday, when a young man in our church came to my office to tell me of the relationship he was developing with her. When they’d met, she was a believer from a different theological background. He’d begun teaching her the doctrines of grace, and she was receptive, but wanted to discuss with a woman certain theological questions in which she felt a man couldn’t fully understand her female perspective. The young man told me that I was the only woman he personally knew to be capable of articulating sound doctrine in such a setting, and he asked if I’d be willing to meet with her. My response, “Of course, that’s what I’m here for!”, was a relief to him, and he quickly put me in contact with Young Lady 4. I look forward to becoming acquainted with her as we explore together the wonders of God’s saving grace.
“We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.” (Col. 1:28-29 NASB)