Monday, October 18, 2010
The women’s gathering we heard about earlier in the week had been rescheduled to today. Pastor JD’s wife, Ruth, told Deb and me that there would be singing, testimonies, and prayer, but that she would also like each of us to speak to the women from God’s Word for about an hour each. After questioning to make sure I heard her correctly, I thought “Yikes!” I hadn’t come to India planning on speaking to the women of the church. I was thankful not only to have more had time to prepare and pray, but also that I brought some notes with me (from the True Woman’s Conference) for my own personal use.
Initially, I thought “What could I possibly speak to these dear women about?” Our lives and experiences seemed so different I wondered how I could encourage and challenge them at all. But as I spent time throughout the week in prayer about this opportunity, I came to the realization that the curse on Eve as a result of the fall was for all women. That means that the desire to control our husbands is universal. Also, the instructions in Titus 2 to love our husbands, and in 1Peter 3 to submit to our husband, even if they are disobedient to the Word indicate that this is something all women need to hear.
I shared with them that despite the fact that we lived a half a world away from each other, that our hearts and our struggles are much the same. I told them of some common struggles for women in America and asked them if they could relate. So as it turned out:
• Wanting to keep up with our neighbors (coveting what others have)
• What about me? (searching for appreciation)
• Feelings of Inadequacy
• Being people pleasers (instead of focusing on pleasing God)
• Struggling with respect, support and love for our husbands
These were things that they absolutely could relate to, as well. So we worked our way through Titus 2:3-5 and briefly looked at 1Peter 3, emphasizing that we do not need to be fearful of the outcome if we are obedient to God’s Word. As I put myself in their shoes, I gained a new appreciation for the need to learn to love a husband that was chosen for you, and perhaps he was not who you would have chosen for yourself. Nonetheless, it is commanded of us, and God will give you grace as you seek to honor Him.
It was such an immense blessing to be used by God to encourage these women! It was definitely a highlight of the trip for me. Yet there was an even greater blessing that day. During the time of testimony, Camille stood and gave her testimony of coming to Christ earlier that week. You see, Camille was the woman who had been delivered from the demon exactly a week before outside of the pastor’s conference! Yes, Camille had believed in Jesus and was trusting in Him for her salvation! She told of her temptation to think that she could quietly follow Him on her own. Yet, she said she was compelled to attend the women’s meeting that morning and realized that she needed the help and support of the church. She was willing to make her faith a public declaration as she aligned herself with this gathering of believers! Please pray for Camille and all of the others who are daily counting the cost of declaring their belief in Jesus.
This would be our last night in India. Hannah (JD and Ruth’s 15 year old daughter) asked if I could spend the night at their house with the girls instead of going back to the hotel. So, I got to attend a sleepover, and of course, we talked way too long into the night. Hannah wanted to know all of the important things, like did my daughter have a cell phone… and what color it was. I did, however, learn that Hannah hopes to be a doctor and help the Dhalit people in the villages who cannot afford medical care. So as her dad serves these people with respect to their spiritual needs, Hannah hopes to help them with their physical needs. May God bless her efforts!
By Sherri Stocker