unglamorous redemption

At the name of Jesus she fainted.

Elise and I have had a young Senegalese woman watch the twins while we’ve been in language study. Over the past year we’ve had incredible Christ-centered, life-seeking conversations with her. Each word brought us closer to her, every word brought her closer to Jesus.

Her father recently returned from the village with a new host of idols and enchanted amulets. In the past she has resisted these broken-down magics but, as the light and darkness battled over her soul, she consented to his demands. When she came back to work we noticed a difference, she was working as if she were under a cloud. She became more and more distant, more and more muted, more and more lost to us.

One day her face looked pale as her back sagged against a wall. I called to Elise to come and pray for her. Elise placed her hand on Mariam’s* shoulder and began to pray. She said the name of Jesus and Miriam collapsed into her lap.

Looking at her pale face we knew we needed to find a clinic for her and have someone look at her. We called Elaine, a trained nurse (she and Rick are our neighbors and fellow Potomac missionaries). Elaine examined her and then we began to pray for Mariam. As we prayed her body began to revolt, convulsing as spirits waged battle in her small frame. Rick, using his many years of ministry in West Africa and practiced French asked her if she was wearing any charms. With the help of Elise and Elaine she removed the witchcraft from around her waist and arms. We prayed over her to deliverance.

With a weak yet free voice she called out to Jesus as her Savior. She gave her life to Jesus next to the door of the broom closet. In our home we witnessed a Senegalese woman from an unreached people group cry out to Jesus for salvation. Feebly we walked with her into the drive way as she struck a match and burned those bondage bracelets. Then we loaded into our Speed the Light vehicle and drove this sister in Christ home. We took her home to her family, but in a very real way, we introduced them to a reborn daughter of God.

Often we focus on the victorious end, the majesty of summer, the vibrant warmth of harvest, but life is not only summer. Before the summer harvest was the planting in spring. And before the spring was the cold of winter. With each new believer there is story, a journey through the seasons. We bathe the battle in the glory of the victory because the battle isn’t glamorous. The journey from sin to the cross is not beautiful, it’s warped and scarred because even Christ’s journey to the cross was unglamorous, beaten, broken. But once we arrive at the cross, we find our twisted trek has now become a unique testimony of unglamorous redemption. Beautiful, real restoration. At the name of Jesus we collapse into His wonderful atonement.