God Story
Overcoming doubts and fears

The two women could not have been more opposite. Katrin* came from a secular background, worked in the medical field, and had never read the Bible, while Damaris had been raised in a strong Christian environment. Katrin exuded confidence while Damaris suffered from crippling shyness. Yet both women found themselves attending the bilingual women’s Bible study group of 50 women. Jessie, a Greater Europe Mission worker in Western Europe, co-led the group along with a team of discussion group leaders.

 

Wrestling with Scripture

Katrin grappled openly with difficult-to-understand concepts and Old Testament stories, yet she kept coming back, drawn to the love of Jesus shown to her through the women in the class. She did not consider herself to be a Christian, but she enjoyed the sense of community the class offered. Jessie and the other women in the class encouraged her to continue prayerfully wrestling with Scripture and to consider the claims of Jesus.

 

Lack of self-confidence

Damaris, on the other hand, had trusted Christ in childhood. She had years of Bible study and spiritual growth behind her. However, a devastating lack of self-confidence kept her sitting in the back row, fearful of failure, never speaking up. Jessie could see that perfectionism had a stranglehold on Damaris. She was musically gifted, yet her talents remained unused as she practically hid herself behind the other women in the group.

Knowing Damaris could play the piano and guitar, Jessie persuaded her to help lead worship at the Bible study. At first, Damaris refused to play anywhere near the microphone, not wanting anyone to hear if by chance she hit a wrong key or strummed a wrong chord. In her discussion group, although she had many insightful things to say, she remained silent, fearful of saying the “wrong” thing. Still, she showed up faithfully to the Bible study every week.

 

Changed by God

As time went by, something began to change in Damaris. She recognised that the women genuinely enjoyed her accompaniment to their singing. Daring to speak up now and then, she could see her insights affecting the other women positively. As she interacted with the women, Damaris increasingly began to share with them how she was growing in her faith and how God was answering her prayers.

Meanwhile, Katrin kept shaking her head as she studied the Bible. She was openly skeptical whenever another woman in the class claimed the Holy Spirit had spoken to her or taught her something.

Then one day, after eight years of attending the Bible study, Katrin sensed the Holy Spirit speaking to her. She felt the Lord calling her to a deeper commitment.  “I want to get baptised,” she told Jessie. “I finally understand how much I need Jesus.”

These two women, each with her own unique personality and challenges, are being changed by God through a long-standing ministry.

 

Spiritual growth!

“There is a tendency [for believers here] to believe they must be thoroughly trained and qualified in order to speak out about Scripture. They can have an ‘I don’t want to overstep my qualifications’ mentality. But in this class community, through discipleship, we are all learning to share more openly with each other and thus spur each other on to spiritual growth.”

*Names and some details have been changed for privacy.
(The original article was shortened. Read full article.)

 Source: Greater Europe Mission

 

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