God has far exceeded my dreams!
A story from Chris, mother of an ABWE missionary...
I've prayed ever since I took The Roots of Faith training in 2012 for the opportunity to use this wonderful material here, in our church in Kewanee, Indiana. I've prayed for the opportunity to have 1 or 2 ladies that I could teach it to, like my daughter (an ABWE missionary) does and see them come to the Lord, and hear their faith stories. I'm still envisioning that day, but in the meantime God is doing a great work! It is beyond my dreams!
When my daughter was home recently, she left one of the Good Soil brochures for me to give to our pastor. A few weeks later, I gave it to him and he started looking through it quickly and said, "Is there anything in here on evangelism?"
"Yes, right here! The Story of Hope!" He looked at the page in the brochure, looked over at me and said, "Will you teach it?"
Wow! I'd prayed long enough about it, I gulped...and said, "YES!"
Pastor Dan was amazed at how beautiful The Story of Hope visuals are. The work of ABWE striving for excellence makes a big impact. What a great "first impression" before even opening the book.
So the result is that Pastor Dan preached a 5-week series on how to reach out to folks and share your faith-story with them. Following the sermon series, a Wednesday night Bible study was started using The Story of Hope. At his suggestion, and my agreement, rather than using it to reach unchurched folks, we are using it initially with our congregation. We called the study, "A Refresher for Christians".
We are saying only a little right now about our church family sharing this with others. The premise here is, after they use this study guide themselves, they will be much more ready to consider the possibility of sharing it with others. The Lord has orchestrated this beautifully. I am co-teaching the materials with one of the men who is a leader in our church and loves to study the Bible. We take turns presenting the events, with the other adding comments, visual illustrations, etc. This is working very well.
We have 18 people each week, from a total list of 27 who have come to one or more of the sessions. Considering our average church attendance is 120-150 people, we are very pleased with the number coming to The Story of Hope. People are becoming better acquainted with each other as the ages range from 40's to 80's. We are studying two events each week and we have a lot of fun together!
I am blessed to have mentoring from my daughter, also. A year ago she took time every week to tutor me in how she has used The Story of Hope with her ladies. I was privileged to apply that for a month last year and had the opportunity to "get my feet wet".
I'm thankful for the Good Soil resources... The Story of Hope, The Roots of Faith Old Testament and The Roots of Faith New Testament. What a vast amount of resources!!! I'm still praying for 1 or 2 ladies that I can lead the study with. In the meantime, God has far exceeded my dreams, having this many people who are coming out and enjoy learning. We believe God is opening more possibilities for sharing His Word!