This past month we connected with a young VCU student who, for the sake of confidentiality, we will call “Sasha.” Sasha is from a Catholic and Eastern Orthodox background. I would describe her as having a “casual respect for God, Jesus and the Bible,” but as having no understanding of who Christ is, or the message of the Bible! She connected with Monica at the VCU Gym and then we had her over for an evening, which turned into an 8-hour conversation!
We ate dinner, and Sasha immediately began asking us about what we believe as “followers of Jesus.” The conversation was an excellent opportunity for us to start to plant seeds about what it means to live by faith and to have a genuine relationship with Christ. After dinner, I went to a meeting and when I came back a few hours later, Sasha was STILL THERE with Monica and she had opened up about so many difficulties in her life and then she opened up to both of us asking for advice concerning her difficulties. So we shared some biblical counsel with her, and then the conversation went back to what it means to be a true follower of Jesus (and, surprisingly enough, SHE is the one who brought the conversation back to that issue too!).
We see her a few times a week at the campus (just interacted with her again last night!). Please be praying for Sasha as she has heard the gospel and is rethinking her own stance towards Christ. Please pray that she will come to a conviction concerning her need to submit and surrender her life to Christ, pray that we will have wisdom, discernment, humility and boldness in our interactions with her!
God is moving, it is SOOOO exciting! The doors are opening! Pray for MORE doors for the gospel to open up, and pray for those who are hearing the gospel, that they may put their faith in Him and that His love may SHINE into their lives!
One of the things I love about Jeremy and Monica’s approach is the way they offer hospitality to strangers. When they open the door of their home, they literally open doors of communication and understanding. And I don’t get the feeling they’re being disingenuous about it—they’re not pretending to be nice in order to convert people to Christianity. They genuinely love people, all kinds of people, even (or perhaps especially) people who don’t know Jesus.
I think we need to talk about this more on our year-long, every-member mission trip. How can we practice the kind of radical hospitality that welcomes people into our homes, into our churches, and into our lives? How can we share with them the hope that is in us, not simply so we can carve another notch on the spines of our Bibles, but because these are people God loves, and because he calls us to love them, too?