I just walked in from outside after having taken the trash and recycling bags to the street and it dawned on me, “Wow, things have really changed.” I was only carrying one black bag that wasn’t quite full and one recycle bag, seemingly empty. A sign of our new life with all the girls gone.
It seems like it wasn’t too long ago that I would sneak out in the wee hours of the early morning, with our huge rubbish bin full and overflowing, extra black bags in hand, the recycle bags waiting until my second trip to the curb. Sometimes I would look for a neighbor’s bin that wasn’t quite full, hoping I could squash my extra bags in and not be noticed. (I wonder if anyone ever saw me. I hope not! I was usually in my pjs.)
It’s one sign that change comes over time. It made me think of my conversation at church recently with Alice (pictured above with her daughter, Roxy). She is a woman who has been at Mountain View from almost the very beginning; the pain and struggles of her life led her to Mountain View and then to the Lord. Let’s just say, we’ve walked her road together. She’s one of the women I have in mind as I plan the Women’s Wellness Seminar for later this year. A Christian woman, facing life’s ongoing battles, dealing with depression, and the effect it has on her life and family.
Yet, as I spoke with Alice I also realized that she now plays the keyboard for our worship team, she serves on the missions committee and is our special events coordinator at Mountain View. She also substitute teaches in our Sunday School. Like us, Alice has less rubbish in her life and the change has happened over time as God has done a work.
Her own sin has been replaced with a godly life of a woman seeking to live for and serve God. There are people and situations that impacted her depression that remain in her life and must be dealt with still. Trials come and go, don’t they? It’s kind of like taking out the trash every week. We live in a crazy and wicked world and we will always face temptations and trials. Alice is learning to be an overcomer! And there’s less “trash” in her life as a result of her growth in Christ.
It’s encouraging for me to see the visual signs of change, transformation and growth. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been a privilege to walk the road with Alice. I’m praying that this women’s seminar will challenge and equip us to more intentionally bear one another’s burdens within the church as well as in the places God has called us to shine His light. And that many, like Alice, will come to Mountain View, be saved and grow.
Please pray with me. This isn’t an area of expertise that I’ve acquired. I’m not especially educated in this area and I cannot do this in my own strength. That’s just not possible. I need you to pray. The date is set for mid October and there’s lots to do before then. Will you begin praying for the women who will come, the women who will share and the follow up of the church that will occur when the seminar is over?
Our women’s ministry group is off to such a great start this year. Please pray for our outreach efforts through a new exercise class we are offering. We’ve seen new faces each week so far. Also, in March we’ll begin a women’s mentoring ministry (thanks to Wendy Kisner from Washington Heights who spoke at our church and got some ladies motivated!).
We really appreciate your prayers and continued support. Love and greetings from Cape Town, South Africa!