By a worker in Southeast Asia — We spend our summers teaching “values classes” — similar to Vacation Bible School — to local kids. In one community, the moms also wanted to learn the stories from the Bible. Of course, we couldn’t say no!

My co-worker who usually would teach with me was out of town, so I turned to Martha. Martha comes from a different religious background and accepted Jesus as her Savior 10 years ago, but her spiritual growth had been very slow.

The community we were in was small – fewer than 500 people — but so deeply divided that it had built three different mosques to serve the various groups.

This community also fears its religious leader. The children cower when he

passes by and have developed myths about him — that he can float off the ground or steal their thoughts.

On the day that we were supposed to teach, as we prepared to walk down to the river area where we meet, Martha sat down. “I don’t feel well,” she said. “I’m just going to stay here.”

I knew Martha felt nervous, so I just said OK and kept getting ready to go.

As we started to leave, I looked behind me — and there was Martha.

Something had changed. We generally start our sessions asking, “What’s something encouraging that’s happened this week?” But Martha started out with, “What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you in your whole life?”

We had been waiting for Martha to share her faith for years — and the time had come. She stayed engaged, telling the Bible stories from creation on. She freely informed the other women that Jesus is the one who answers prayers.

By the end of the week, the moms who took the class allowed us to present them with certificates of completion, despite their fear of the religious leader — a brave step for them, built on Martha’s bold move. 


Be disciples. Make disciples. Let’s do both, together. 

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Banner photo: unsplash-logoArto Marttinen