When the Bible comes to life in a whole new way
Over the past 2.5 years I have been working for a non-profit that provides support and a safe home for survivors of domestic sex trafficking. For the last few months, about twice a month I would go to the home and lead our participants in a devotional. We called it Mondays with Marissa. Last week, I led my last session of devotions with the participants at Wings of Refuge, as I have been transitioning out of this role so that I can focus fully on preparing for France.
It was fitting, as we’ve been going through Play With Fire by Bianca Olthoff and today’s session was about the Holy Spirit. It was all about taking steps of faith, empowered and enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit. I couldn’t help but to think, “Of course this is the topic today…theme of my life lately.”
One participant was familiar and comfortable with this topic and to another it was all somewhat new and uncharted territory. Both stages make me happy to see, because we are all growing and learning constantly in our faith journeys.
But on this day, the stories within scripture came alive like never before.
At one point, we were talking about the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years, and mid-sentence I was interrupted…
Her: “Wait, why did it take so long to get there?”
Me: “Well, technically it should have only taken about 11 days to reach the Promised Land, but because of their disobedience, an entire generation went without ever seeing it.”
Her: “What do you mean, their disobedience?”
Me: “Well, after leaving Egypt, Moses sent 12 men to go scope out the Promised Land, to see if they could take it, because there were giants there that they would have to defeat in order to take the land…”
Her: “Wait, wait, wait…hold on a second. GIANTS?!”
Me, laughing: “Yes. Not like, Jack and the Beanstalk giants, but like, really large people. Think Goliath, being 10 ft. tall. After checking out the land, the majority of the men were too afraid, so they decided against listening to what God told them to do.”
Her: “I have never heard of this! I need to read this story.”
Me: “It’s all right there!” I responded, pointing at the Bible she was holding in her lap.
I was all giddy after our time of devotions together. To see someone who is so new to being a believer, with no real access to the gospel until more recently, discovering the excitement and wonder within the pages of the Bible, I couldn’t help but to think, “This is what it’s all about, and this is why I’m going.” To bring the light of the gospel to those who haven’t heard. The stories we take for granted, being told of them over and over again since childhood, are stories that many have not yet heard.
What’s your favorite story in the Bible? What verses have impacted your life beyond what you could describe?
Imagine that you never had access to those stories or verses?
As I prepare for this next season, I am reflecting upon this basic question. It motivates and propels me. I would challenge you to ask yourself this question, and then one more…
“What am I willing to do about it?”
Together, we can bring the gospel to those living without hope.
Grace & Peace,
If you’d like to partner with my ministry in going to France to work with women in red light districts, and with refugees, you can give online here!