A Christian reached out and invited a neighbor to a Bible study. They worshiped, studied Scripture, shared challenges, and prayed for one another. In a gathering that mirrors countless others in the Body of Christ, a world changer was birthed, discipled, and sent out to bring in the harvest.
Maya is the neighbor. She is a retired schoolteacher living in Moldova, a country in the Former Soviet Union. For 35 years Maya worked for the Communist regime. As part of her job, she served as an evangelist for atheism. She taught her students that God didn’t exist.
The invitation to the Bible study was unexpected; it wasn’t something she planned on attending. After all, she spent most of her life denying God. Yet, in a country still consumed with the trappings of Communism, she found herself welcomed into the warmth of a believer’s home. From the get-go she was taken by the group’s passion for God. For several weeks she faithfully attended, carefully listening, reading along with others, and even learning the words to a song.
Maya’s heart, hardened by a lifetime of virulent unbelief, began to soften, and the Holy Spirit moved in. One evening at the Bible study she knew it was time. She prayed and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. After years of repression, she could scarcely believe the abundance of forgiveness, acceptance, freedom, and joy — all tied to a personal relationship with God.
Maya was zealous for Jesus and longed to use her gifts to advance the cause of Christ. Her Bible study challenged her to share the Story of Jesus (SOJ) with children in her neighborhood. The Story of Jesus is an evangelistic booklet published by Global Mission at David C Cook and shared in many of the most war-torn, oppressive nations in the world. Hand-drawn by Marvel and DC Comics artist, Sergio Cariello, this tool effectively reaches a visually focused generation with the Gospel. (The photo up top is of a scene from the Moldovan SOJ. The language in Moldova is a sub-dialect of Romanian.)
Since 2011 when the Story of Jesus program began, 30,690,000 copies of the SOJ have been circulated or are ready to be distributed in 67 nations and 41 heart languages. Customized for specific people groups, booklets are shared one on one, and each copy is tied back to a specific church for follow-up and discipleship.
Maya’s natural ability to persuasively teach has transformed into spiritual gift used by Jesus to communicate the Good News. Recently she received a permanent calling: To dedicate the rest of her life to sharing a “final lesson” with her students from her 35 years of teaching. The “lesson” is how they can have peace with God and eternal life. Now using the Story of Jesus, she evangelizes each former student and his or her family.
Maya’s life mission is to share the freedom and hope she’s found in Christ while sitting in the warmth of student’s home. They serve her coffee, tea, goulash and cabbage rolls, and she pours into hearts, as she once poured into minds. She is a world-changer. Please pray for this great mission – and consider contributing to the Story of Jesus cause and to equipping many more Maya’s for Kingdom work.