So here’s the gist of what happened this past Wednesday:
Rhonda has a friend “Nancy” who meets with her occasionally and has expressed interest in gathering people to study the Bible. A week and a half ago, Nancy brought “Saul”, who Tucker used to meet with a lot. Saul had heard Nancy was changed when Rhonda prayed for her to receive the Holy Spirit, and Saul wanted the same thing. Rhonda prayed for him as well, and they agreed they wanted to meet the following week (this past Wednesday) and bring others to study the Bible.
Wednesday five people came, plus Rhonda and I. Rhonda noted that Saul was a completely different person from the guy she had prayed for a week before. He brought his sister, “Lily”, who is having a tough time. Saul is worried for Lily and wants her to encounter God. Nancy’s husband “Henry” came (they’re believers), as did “Beth”, a 19-year-old girl Nancy knows. Nancy was the common link in the group–she knew everyone there. Saul and Lily didn’t know Beth, who didn’t know any of us besides Nancy.
The meeting included reading passages Rhonda suggested from the Bible, lots of sharing and mutual encouragement, spontaneous sharing of passages by others, and prayer. Here were some of the really neat dynamics in the meeting:
- Lily started the meeting in lots of brokenness, crying as she shared her struggles. She was greatly ministered to through prayer and encouragement by several people at the meeting. She was humble, transparent, and hungry for God in sharing her struggles.
- Beth seemed like a wall for the first half of the meeting. She finally started sharing a bit, and then the dam broke. The tears poured as she confessed some huge struggles and messes in her life and how she’s not sure God can even be real. The group reached out to her wonderfully. They were loving, accepting, and very encouraging. Henry had told Lily that her sorrow was going to turn to happiness. We witnessed this happen as Lily took Beth’s hand, shared intimate details of her own life where she had been through similar struggles, encouraged Beth, and offered her friendship and help. It was so neat to see. Others in the group prayed for Beth, prophesied over her, and shared Scripture with her. By the end of the meeting, you could see hope in Beth’s eyes. Lily said that even though she had never met Beth before, she now felt like they had know each other all their lives.
- The group (with no prompting from us) expressed their desire to keep meeting together. Wednesday’s meeting was at Rhonda’s clinic, but they said they thought it would be nice to meet in someone’s house. Nancy offered her house for Sunday’s meeting.
- The group wants to meet as much as they can. They’re currently planning to meet Sundays at Nancy and Henry’s house and Wednesdays at Rhonda’s clinic.
- They talked about how many people in our town need to know God and agreed they should make a point to always be inviting more people to the meetings. Someone said matter-of-factly, “This group is going to grow a lot.”
Rhonda did a little bit of facilitating, but everything in the meeting was driven by the group. They’re a hungry bunch. This is very exciting for us, because is it not our desire to be running things ourselves. We want to help facilitate a disciple-making movement by empowering local leaders.
This afternoon we’ll meet at Nancy’s house. I’m excited to see where things go from here! Please join us in praying that Henry, Nancy, Saul, Lily, and Beth come to know God in a greater way and reach many others for Christ.