"Listen to God," I said. "When you listen, God will speak. He speaks in dreams, and through other people, and in the Bible." This is the message I was teaching to the women yesterday, as we read the story of Joseph and his dreams. But I can't do all the talking, I thought, so... "Kim Nu, you listen to God! What does God say to you?" Shy and sweet, the gentle Burmese woman smiled and said, "God say he love me." "Yes, God says he loves you!" I replied as affirmation and subtle grammatical correction. "And Reyna, tell me, what does God say to you?" With the quiet strength I've come to love and admire, my Mexican friend said, "He says when hard time comes, I am with you. Be ready... be strong." As I listen to these messages from God to international Christian women, I smile at the thought of the Holy Spirit, who is fluent in every language, speaking truth to those who want to listen and obey.
During tea break, one of the ladies - a private student of mine who is not yet a follower of Jesus - asked me, "Do you teach other Bible classes?" Yes, I told her about Sunday school, and asked if she was interested in learning from the Bible. "Yes, I am very interested now," she replied thoughtfully. So we agreed to study the Bible together during our private classes. "I think I need to read the Bible. I think if I close my eyes and open the book and then read, it will give me the answers I need." While I don't think that's the best Bible study strategy, I did agree with her that the Bible has many answers for all of us. She asked if we had Bibles here at I-House, so I told her we did and showed her the shelf where we keep them.
During second session, my friend Katie was helping the women study English in the computer lab, and she noticed that this woman was sitting quietly in the corner, reading a Bible! Katie went to her and asked what she was reading. She was looking at 1 Peter 1, and wanted to understand more about "the living hope." So Katie shared with her the gospel from that passage.
After the women all left for the day, my friend Margie came to me, bubbling over with joy and excitement. "I don't know what you taught today in your class," she said, "but this woman asked me to help her understand 1 Peter! She said it was very beautiful, and she wanted to know more and that she wanted to 'be pure.' I talked with her a while, and she took the Bible home with her."
This woman is very thirsty! She is looking for answers, and praise the Lord - she's looking to Him to give the answers to her! I don't know if she used her "open the book and read" strategy, but if she did, God led her to that very passage. It makes me wonder if that's how it happened for the Ethiopian eunich in the chariot, too... The truth stands: if a person seeks the truth and chooses to listen to God, He will speak, He will make his message known to them. Pray for this woman, as she looks for answers and listens to God.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened..." - A faithful promise from Jesus, in Matthew 7:7-8