From the time my children were very small, they begged me to tell stories. No matter what story I conjured up, nor how improbable the events in my stories, Katie, Josiah and Stephen were enraptured. My stories rarely had much of a plot. They went nowhere. They were created spontaneously. But my kids clung to every word. Why?
Because that’s how God created them.
God has so much that He wants to communicate to us about himself. He wants us to know his heart, his love, his passions, his holiness and his beauty. He wants us to catch powerful glimpses of his engagement with his creation and the future he is creating for us. How does God choose to communicate with us?
For the most part, he simply tells stories.
All of us have a story, and God wants us to share that story with others. Are you ever nervous about witnessing to others? Just tell stories. People love stories. After all, they’re just like big kids. Their world stands still when someone is telling a story. That’s how God created them. All of us who are followers of Jesus (the greatest story teller of all.) should hone the art of sharing a story.
Many of the students in our schools here in Indonesia have stories. Over the next few days, I want to share with you a few of their stories that have been translated into English. These stories are very simple and yet profound. Each one reveals the motif of God’s grace and intervention. They each portray a shade of his undeniable love.
Here’s the first one.
My friends call me Ayu. I am from a Christian family, and I am the first child and have four brothers. I have gone to church since I was a child. I went to Sunday school, youth group and had lot activities at church. I was involved in Christian activities, but I never had a relationship with God.
When I was a junior in High School, I became pregnant by one of my cousins and had to quit school. I felt that my life had been destroyed, and all my dreams were shattered. I was responsible for what I had done. I thought about having an abortion, so that I could continue my life, but my parents didn’t like that. After a long conversation with my family, and because of my aunt’s recommendation, my parents sent me to a dormitory called “Gembala baik” (good shepherd) in Jakarta. God gave me a place to stay; it is a place for teenagers who are pregnant without being married.
When I was there, I was so afraid of other people’s reactions, and what they would think about me. But, this place was so different: they loved me, received me, and cared about me. This was new for me, because I had never felt that way before. This was the first time I felt, knew, and understood about God’s love, and learned more about Jesus. I lived there for a few months. They gave me hope, and helped me to prepare myself to be a mom. I learned a lot of skills until my baby was born. Praise the Lord that my parents forgave me. My parents even took my son and adopted him to become their son and my little brother.
After that, I applied to the Mustard Seed school in Kalimantan and was accepted to continue my education. When I came to the Mustard Seed school, I was a little bit afraid, because I didn’t have money to pay the tuition, and I was worried. Would they receive me and provide a scholarship? I was overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude when I heard that they had a sponsor for me, so I could study there. The process to continue my education at the Mustard Seed High School was challenging, but I pressed forward. Praise the Lord that I was able to graduate.
From the challenges and wrong choices I have made, I have truly discovered the meaning of God’s love. I will sometimes fail, but I will never give up. I want to continue to chase my dream. I have chosen to follow God. My heart wants to tell everyone around me about His love and His kindness, and let them know that they can have a future.
Since I was child, I dreamed of pursuing my education all the way to getting a Master’s Degree and travel outside of Indonesia. But now my dream has changed. I don’t want to work just to have a job and be secure, but be more focused on God and dedicate my life to Him only. I want the world to know how great our God is and how He changes lives. I have failed and I know the feeling of giving up, of believing that there is no future. I am alive again; there is a hope and a future for me, yeah! Praise the Lord that He recovered my life. When I surrender and trust in Him, He saves and makes me free. So, I want people know who Jesus is, so that they can be free too!