And in today’s story, the key to a successful neighborhood Bible study is an old, sunken in couch.
Just as we promised here is Part 2 of Nancy Samra's story. Part 1 was posted Monday, December 5th.
Scene 3: My husband built the houses we lived in. At this point in time, we had a brand new home but my husband was changing businesses, requiring us to live on a strict budget. As a result, the living room couches were in desperate need of replacement but were not going to be replaced. I was upset with God because, after all, since I was willing to open up my home for Him the least He could do was provide nice furniture. I thought for sure it would happen when one of our friends sat down on the couch and sunk down so low we had to help her up. Now my husband would see the need for new couches. But all he did was turn the couch upside down and pound a board across the bottom.
We were having a neighborhood Bible study with couples. Some of the attendees had a couple on their street they wanted to bring. Although the wife was willing, the husband was not. I will never forget his first evening. The two men came into my home literally dragging this third guy in. Oh, oh, I thought to myself.
Not only did this man stay for the evening, he and his wife continued to come back time after time. One of those times he prayed to receive Christ. We were all overjoyed. When I asked him why he came back when he was so resistant, he told me that walking up to my house was threatening but when he came into my living room that first night, my furniture reminded him of his childhood home.
Lesson learned: Physical appearance or size does not matter. Willingly open your home with whatever God has provided for you and He will do the rest.
SCENE 4: I was hosting a weekly neighborhood women’s Bible study at my home. On one particular morning, the phone kept ringing with the all kinds of reason why each lady would not be there that morning. Finally, it came down to only one lady who was able to attend.
I told my husband that I was going cancel this week's study and we would pick it up next week. My husband told me that I could not do that. When I asked him why he replied that if I were to cancel on the woman who could come, I was telling her she wasn't important.
Needless to say, I took his advice and let her come, explaining after she got there that it was just going to be the two of us. She asked all kinds of questions that day. She did not know the Lord and was too embarrassed to ask these questions in front of the group. She prayed to receive Christ and later on so did her husband and two sons. Eventually, they joined our church and began serving the Lord in all sorts of ways.
Lesson learned: Numbers do not matter. God is a personal God who is interested in individuals. Success is never based on how many people are in attendance.
SCENE 5: Fast forward to today. I am a mentor mom for my daughter’s neighborhood Bible study. I got grand-mothered in when we were temporarily living with my daughter and her family while we looked for a place to live. We were living in a brand new condo when my husband was diagnosed with dementia. I saw the handwriting on the wall and knew that if I was going to care for him at home, I
was going to need my children's help and I needed to make it convenient for them. Well, our condo sold before we found a house.
I attended while I lived with her but told myself I was too old and needed not to be there when I moved out of her home. I had heard about a book called, Giddy Up Eunice, and read it just before I was going to tell everyone that I wouldn't be back to Bible study. It was all about the need for the older women to mentor the younger ones. It was God convicting me not to leave the group, not to buy into Satan's lies concerning age. I stayed on and have seen much fruit from my time with these young women.
Lesson learned: Age is not a barrier to service, especially old age. In fact, my son says I am at the prime of my serving years.
One of the fringe benefits of having Bible studies in our home is the impact on my children. All their growing up years this is what my children saw. As a result, they figured this what you are supposed to do and I never said otherwise. All of them have had Bible studies in their homes and joy of all joys, my granddaughter had a Bible study this summer with eight of her high school friends, some of whom do not attend church.
As I look back, I see how I’ve been wooed with a grace I don’t deserve. I’ve experienced love like I could never imagine. It’s the quiet whisper of a breeze, the powerful pull of the ocean’s tide, thunder across the skies, deep rumbling laughter. It’s beautiful, it’s scary, it’s wondrous.
It’s understanding that God’s character is predictable but His activities are unpredictable. I have learned that instead of just accepting His unpredictability, I can actually appreciate and embrace it because HE IS an AMAZING GOD!
Haven't you enjoyed reading Nancy's story? Would you take a minute and respond and let her know how she encouraged you?
As you set your thoughts on the new year think of the lesson's Nancy has shared with us. Am I willing to trust the Lord with opening my home? How do I evaluate success in reaching out to my neighbors? Am I willing to fail? Am I worried about my age, my ability, my knowledge?