By Eric and Mollie
“ A people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned….For to us a Child is born, to us a son is given.” Isaiah 9
This great light dawned upon Sally two years ago, just before Christmas, as she turned to take hold of the hope found in Jesus Christ. Filled with the Holy Spirit, she became a new creation. Noticeably new! Her aggressive mannerisms became gentle, her face softened, and her eyes began to shine such that many around her asked her why she lived so different. This change opened opportunities to share the new hope within her.
However, this new life has not been without its difficulties. She has been facing persecution at the hands of those closest to her. Her new faith is a threat to her family, their name, their status, perhaps, even their livelihood, because faith and community are intricately and inseparably woven. They fear it ALL unraveling. Because of her faith she has been denied water, food, and money. She is not permitted to talk about Jesus, read her Bible, nor worship freely in or outside of her home. When she is caught doing any of these, her belongings are taken away or burned, her children are beaten, or her own life threatened. Yet, our Almighty God continues to take care of her needs and Jesus often appears to her in visions and dreams telling her to keep telling people about Himself because many are waiting and ready to hear the Good News.
We have hope in Him and hope that He will raise up His church here. A country so dark, so bound by the structures of a legalistic faith, animism, tribalism, poverty, and conflict. Yet, His great light is piercing into the darkness, pushing away lies and confusion, bringing hope and new life. As Sally continues to live out her faith the persecution will likely not end, but we know without a doubt that one day we will worship together before his throne freely and unashamedly. She will stand before Him clothed in His righteousness, filled with peace, never again thirsty nor hungry, free from harm, shame, and tears. In this we have great hope!
But stop for a moment. This isn’t just Sally’s story. Ask yourself now, what darkness lies around me? What emotion binds me from the freedom Jesus desires (fear, doubt, insecurity, greed, lack of forgiveness)? What legalistic structure blinds me or has dominion over me or prevents me from serving out of love? What difficulty binds me to the fear that it will never come right? Invite Jesus into those issues, now. Allow the light to pierce the darkness and shatter the stronghold. He desires so much more for us. He wants all of us to live different. That is our prayer for you and ourselves this Christmas and forward. Come Lord Jesus, come.
Eric and Mollie and their boys have been serving in Chad, Africa for 5 years. Meadowbrook was formative in their journey towards overseas missions work. They love Jesus, desire the sanctifying work of the Truth, and seek to share the Good News in Word and deed.