Following on the success of our Africa Cup ministry, several women in our neighborhood approached Julie to ask about seeing the Jesus Film in the privacy of our home. Julie worked with Mamou, a Christian woman who helps in our house, to arrange a special screening this week. Mamou did a great job advertising the event around our neighborhood. Julie was expecting 3-4 women. She was surprised when 15 women showed up. Everyone was quite excited and watched the film intently.
Soon after the film started, a Jehovah’s Witness came to our door to hand out literature and talk. Julie was originally shaken up by this, but then realized that their door-to-door campaign wasn’t going to be effective because most of the neighbors were sitting in our living room and wouldn’t be home to answer their doors.
The Jesus Film takes a crucial turn when it reaches the scene of the Last Supper. About this time, a majority of the women got up and left. Julie was perplexed and saddened, thinking they didn’t want to see the most important parts of the film. As the movie continued to run, Julie and Mamou talked with a few of the women outside to find out why they were leaving. It turns out they weren’t offended by the film, but by a woman who had just arrived late. Julie had extended a special invitation to this woman whom she was now discovering most of the neighborhood didn’t like. She has a reputation of being a thief and someone who cannot be trusted. We were all too aware of this woman’s dishonesty as she had stolen several hundred dollars of emergency cash from our home several years ago when she worked for us, however we were unaware that our neighbors had also been taken advantage of and she was strongly disliked. Although she immediately lost her job after stealing from us, we extended forgiveness and have worked to maintain an ongoing relationship with her. Julie’s invitation to see the Jesus Film was an example of this. Julie worked at explaining this to the women, but they had difficulty understanding how forgiveness like this is possible. What Julie thought would be a simple one day showing of the Jesus Film has expanded into a complex ministry opportunity.
Please be praying that our neighbors can come to understand the power of God’s forgiveness and the life transformation that is possible through salvation. Be praying specifically that as Julie continues to minister to this one woman who has wronged many people, that she will repent of her sins and seek forgiveness in Jesus. Pray that she will come to understand why Julie is reaching out to her even after what she’s done to us.
Over the past few days, several neighbor ladies have come to our home during day while Julie has been at school asking when they can come back to finish watching the Jesus Film. The fields are ripe for the harvest. Please pray for wisdom and strength for Julie as she embarks on this new ministry journey.