We had just wrapped up our spring 2013 Good Morning Girls study – Living and Leading Like Jesus. My husband had injured his ankle and was laid up for 3 weeks. The boys had been sick non-stop – my youngest with the hand, foot and mouth virus – and we were well into a long season of renovations on our home. I simply could not see my way through leading a summer study. I was beyond weary. “I’ll just take the summer off”, I thought. “Why not? I mean, most people are on vacation anyhow. They probably aren’t even planning on participating for the summer. I will rest, regroup and be ready for fall.” And then I heard that sweet, still voice: “There are times when you need to rest for a season, but then there are times when you need to press through the wall.” I knew what that meant. My brother was a runner. I was very familiar with “the wall” of pain a runner faces – accompanied by a decision: stop and forfeit the race or press on to the finish line. So, I decided to press on. I arranged for our translator to translate the materials and I put together the announcement for Facebook. And that’s when a sister from another city signed up! Later that day she suggested that I post the announcement in a Facebook group for Croatian Christian moms and immediately the sign ups began pouring in! By the end of the two-week sign up period, there were 150 women signed up from Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Slovenia – and women in 4 other countries who spoke these languages! I quickly scrambled and found four other women willing to lead a group to split the one large group into 5 smaller, more manageable groups. For them it was a baptism by fire as for all but one of them, this was their first study, and they were leading, as well! We also opened a blog, translated all of the blog posts, and had an active Facebook page as well. All throughout the 8-week study I received testimonies of how the study was changing lives, renewing spiritual relationships, and strengthening their walk with the Lord. Women commented that this was the first study of this kind to come to this part of the world and that the short passages allowed them to dig deeper than ever before into God’s Word.
I think I cried the whole 8 weeks. I was in awe of what the Lord was doing! Not just through me, but through those who were willing to sacrifice their own personal time for a study they had only learned about a few weeks before! By the fall of 2013, we had a full translation team of 7 women and more women were signing up for the new study. By November we had number of unsaved women involved in the study; plus a full graphics team. More and more women wanted to get involved in the study. The hunger I saw in these women to not only study God’s Word, but fellowship with each other and volunteer their precious time to make this study more meaningful for everyone was more than I could have ever dreamed or imagined! But best of all, women from parts of Croatia where there are no gospel-preaching churches or believers nearby had found our Bible study and were being encouraged and strengthened in their faith. It had never occurred to me that the Lord had intended all along to use me as an “uncommon” missionary. I never envisioned myself traveling all over three countries to evangelize and encourage women in the Lord – right in my own living room. No, ministry isn’t anything like I envisioned. It is so much more. When we open our hearts to be used by God however, whenever and wherever He wants, the divine creativity of the Holy Spirit can flow freely through us and we will do things for the Lord we never dreamed! To learn more about leading a Good Morning Girls study and/or translating materials contact me here.