Meet Vicki. Vicki and her husband serve the Lord in Malawi, Africa. I got to have lunch with Vicki today, and it will go down as one of my favorite days at work.
Several times a year our church hosts what is called Discipleshift, where churches from all over the nation bring their leaders to learn about relational discipleship. As a staff, we take turns hosting tables at lunch time for our guests. Attendees choose tables based on areas of ministry, if they are interested in knowing more about how we do ministry in that area. Today was my turn to host the women’s ministry table, and Vicki came to sit with us.
I asked Vicki to tell me about her church in Malawi, and the stories that began to come out of her were remarkable.
Vicki shared with me how she and her husband were both from Zambia. She had been a travel agent, and her husband a tour guide. They were leaders in their local church and getting their five children through school. But God began to stir in her husband’s heart. One day he told Vicki, “God wants us to go minister in Malawi.” Vicki asked how they would support themselves, and he said, “God will provide.”
Tucked in the Christmas story is perhaps one of the best outlines I’ve ever seen for women to follow in encouraging each other.
Elizabeth was old, she had been infertile her whole life, and was the wife of a priest. Six months before Mary is told she is carrying the son of God, Elizabeth’s husband is also greeted by an angel who informs him that his old, barren wife will have a son – a son whose life mission will be to prepare the way for the son of God.
There are so many applications in this story, that I find it very difficult to stay on track. We could talk about Zechariah, and his unbelief. We could talk about Elizabeth’s support of her husband. We could talk about the symbolism of Zechariah’s role, and the prayers they offered…but I’m going to focus on another aspect.
Were you there?
God gave me a gift this weekend. It wasn’t like one thing. It was a package deal. I’ve known for a while that Beth Moore was coming to Spokane, and I REALLY wanted to go. I was introduced to Beth Moore’s ministry about twelve years ago. I was helping lead women’s Bible studies at our church in Arizona, and we began doing Beth Moore studies pretty much in the order they came out.
I had loved God’s Word since I was about sixteen, but I had never really “met” a female Bible study teacher that was so excited about God’s Word. Over the years, in some weird sense, I feel that she has spoken into my life in ways no one else ever has – and I’d never even met her.
Long story short. I knew getting to Living Proof this weekend was going to take a big miracle….actually multiple miracles. But guess what! God is big enough! He arranged everything. He arranged a ticket, friends to go with, multiple details with the kids, an overnight retreat, and the complete and supernatural moving of His Spirit in my life. It was EXACTLY what I needed at this point in my life.
I’ll probably share more about how God spoke to me in the future, but for now, lets just say that I’ve cried all day long, from the first worship song this morning until about five o’clock tonight in a fetal position on my bed, wrapped up in my wonderful husband’s arms.
One of the highlights of the weekend was a brief moment backstage with a small group of women for a picture. I didn’t know that we’d get to actually meet Beth. She came around and hugged all of us. I was in tears (well, I was in tears all day). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dreamed of having a two second word with her and the profound thing I would say in that moment. Guess what? I couldn’t say a word. I just held on to her. It wasn’t a celebrity moment in any sense of the word. It was the best thing I could offer as any hint of love and gratitude I could return to her in a physical sense for all she has given me.
She won’t remember me a year from now. In fact, she probably doesn’t remember me tonight. But I will remember that moment forever. 🙂 Such a precious gift to add flesh and reality to written words that have challenged me most of my years as a woman.
Who would you love to hug like that?