My favorite thing about working for a mission organization is getting to hear the stories of how Jesus is transforming hearts and lives around the world. As Mission Society missionaries engage in discipleship efforts across the globe, they relate story after story of the ways a personal relationship with Jesus impacted someone’s life.
Here are six stories of ways God’s Holy Spirit is working:
Beth Tatum: Costa Rica
For the past five years, I have served on a ministry team in a local women’s prison in Costa Rica. These women have been through a variety of tragedies and have seen evil face-to-face. Many want to make a change in their lives, and are determined to choose a better path.
However, living in an over-crowded and oppressed environment can harden anyone’s heart. Seeing true transformation in these women would be nearly impossible without the work of the Holy Spirit.
When women first come to our group, they have hardened faces and attitudes full of hate. But, as our team leads Bible studies, mentors them, and teaches about the love of Christ, you can see physical and spiritual transformations take place. Their faces soften, they smile again, and their hearts begin to experience joy.
These women discover that they are not defined by their past, and that the Holy Spirit will guide them as they forge a new path in life. They learn how to accept responsibility for their sins and to move forward as new women in Christ.
Unnamed missionary: India
Our team runs a business in northern India in one of the most populated and impoverished regions in the country. In addition to the extreme physical need, this area is also one of the more unreached areas in the country. We employ people from different faith backgrounds and provide a fair wage, child care, and share the love of Christ with our employees.
A few months ago, a fire broke out and engulfed an entire neighborhood near our business. As soon as we heard about it, several of our employees who live in that community rushed home to help fight the fire. The remaining employees at our office immediately stopped what they were doing and prayed for the homes and the families of their coworkers. They prayed specifically for each person’s house by name and asked that it be spared.
For hours we helped people fight the flames, trying to salvage as much as possible. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, hundreds of people had lost their homes and possessions.
The next morning at work, our employees gathered to recount the prior day’s events. Every single one of our employees’ houses had been saved! In fact, their homes were some of the only ones that were still standing. The women remembered that they had asked Jesus to protect the homes of their coworkers, and He did exactly that! Coming from Hindu, Muslim, and Christian backgrounds, these women witnessed the power of Christ.
Charlie Chastain: Estonia
One of the truly astonishing ways I’m seeing the Holy Spirit work is through “church outsiders.” Many Europeans absolutely fear the institutionalized church, so many American-style church-planting or crusade-type evangelism efforts have failed. These people have shared with us how the church has hurt them in the past.
Most often, these people truly have a desire to know and trust God, but are not ready to live out their faith in a church setting. So my wife and I build friendships with them, disciple them as they grow closer to Christ, and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in each relationship. Although they do not want to join a church, they do want to join Jesus in His mission to the world. Many of them volunteer in women’s shelters in Russia, clothing distribution lines for refugees in Serbia, and food preparation tents for refugees in Greece and France. The Holy Spirit is drawing them to Jesus through serving as He did.
Pam Attaway: Thailand
For months, we have prayed that God would bring hundreds of people in Roi Et, Thailand to know Him as Lord. It is a bold prayer as most Thai are Buddhist and their faith is a part of their culture and traditions.
Each summer, our team in Roi Et takes a group of students to an academic camp in Bangkok for four weeks. This year, 37 students came with us to study the topics of education, family, finance, and careers. As we taught these lessons, we wove in our personal testimonies about the ways in which God had worked in our lives related to these issues. Over and over, the students heard testimonies of God’s faithfulness and how God can guide our steps in each of these areas.
The final Sunday of camp, the pastor gave an invitation for those who were interested in opening their hearts to Jesus. Almost all of our students from Roi Et stood up, claiming their desire to know Jesus! Please join us in prayer for hundreds of believers in Roi Et, and for these 37 students to hear more about the gospel and the good news of Jesus.
Unnamed missionaries: Russia
Anna* grew up in a dysfunctional, alcoholic family and suffered abuse. At the age of 13, she was forced to live on the streets of Moscow. Anna beat the odds and survived life on the streets. She eventually found a job and place to live. Anna even started attending a church and put her faith in Christ. However, depression continued to plague her.
I met Anna in church and started teaching her ballet, as well as studying the Bible with her. Although she has grown in faith, she has a hard time believing God loves her unconditionally, and that she doesn’t have to work to earn His love.
A few weeks ago, Anna dreamed that God spoke to her. In her dream, He told her how much He loved her and gave her a hug. Anna woke up feeling God’s love and presence in her life in a new way! We are paying that this will be a real breakthrough for her. Please pray with us that Anna would own God’s unconditional love for her, and walk in that truth.
Kerry Davidson: Liberia
Here in Liberia, most of life is lived outside of the four walls of the home. Daily tasks such a cooking, laundry, and washing dishes are accomplished in the yard. When we moved to Liberia, we would sit on our front porch and watch fights break out between neighbors. We witnessed everything from yelling to physical fights and even some more violent fights during which police were called.
I began to stand on our porch and pray for Jesus to bring peace to our neighbors, to mend relationships, and to transform hearts. The Holy Spirit moved in our community and we have not witnessed a fight since I started praying. There is no other explanation but God moving among us and bringing His peace.