Standing Strong Through the Storm - Sunday, October 13, 2013

THE BODY OF CHRIST AT WORK

…so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:5

Training for Christian women in Pakistan, where poverty and illiteracy abound, has proven to reflect the character of the body of Christ.

A student says, “It’s important for me to be here so I can learn to read and write. Then I can read the Bible for myself, which is the most important thing for me. I want the Gospel to spread throughout our country. Now I study hard and I can write my name. I intend to stand before the people and read the Bible by myself so that other people may be encouraged to learn to read and write in the same way.

One teacher named Gladys says, “I have a gift for sewing, cutting, and embroidery. The other gift God has given me is to share with other people and tell them about Jesus. That is the opportunity I have and that is what I am doing here. When I began here, I said to them, ‘I am not educated. I can’t teach anyone.’ But then the Lord said to me, ‘This is My work. I will use you.’

“We do face discrimination because we live in the midst of people who don’t want us to move forward, people who keep trying to push us down so that we will always be in slavery. But the women testify to what God has done for them in their lives. From the time they first come here, I can see God changing their lives because the way they speak changes and they talk about the love they’ve been shown and how that has affected their lives. If someday a mother’s children are Christian because I taught her, I would be so happy because I would know that God had done His work through me.

Another teacher reports, “I first came to the center to learn sewing skills. But my father took me out of the center. He sent me to work for a Muslim family who lived in Turkey. The family said that I should give up my faith because it was no good. I told them that God had blessed me through this faith, and that I could not find such a blessing anywhere else, and that my faith meant everything to me.

“Then one time, when their daughter was ill, they taunted me and said I better pray for her and see what Jesus would do. So I did pray for her, and she was healed. They knew I had prayed to my God for her and so they exclaimed, ‘Glory to God! Surely your Jesus does answer prayers.’

Before I left them, I testified to them, and they said that my prayers work, but I told them, ‘It’s not my prayers. It is the Lord who causes us to pray and it is the Lord who heals.’ And they had to admit that it was true, and that my God truly does work.”

Another student concludes, “The Church is the body of Christ. We have to help each other to share the love of Jesus as He has shown us.”

RESPONSE: Today I will share my giftedness with others and help build up the body of Christ.

PRAYER: Pray for the Open Doors training sessions around the world—especially among poor and illiterate Christian women.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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