How He Leads Me through the Darkness
I knew nothing. I was just beginning to speak Urdu. I didn't know how to dress, where to shop, or the value of the local currency in my wallet. Out on the streets it was just a “man's world.” They all ran businesses and stood on crowded sidewalks chatting over chai. Women were only seen coming and going to destinations. It was a big accomplishment if I could get another woman to smile at me, let alone find ones hungering for God. I was completely in the dark. I had been trained in DMM but was finding it difficult to implement.
Susana, working her successful chai stand with her husband, was the only one I found to connect with. I must have smiled five times at her before she returned the gift. The street had hardened her, the sun baked her skin and her wrinkles made her look fifteen years older than me, instead of just a few.
Pray and Keep Vigilant Watch
I would pray for Susana before visiting her chai stand: “Would you soften her? Please lead me, give clues you are working in her heart, give me discernment.” It took a while before I could read body language that hinted at someone's character in this culture. Lots of prayer and watching became my new norm. A variety of experiences trained my eyes to see: meals at Susana’s home, visiting her sister, taking a taxi with her family to meet her clan, going to the fall “fair.” Through all this I started to learn. I learned how an honorable woman lives. I also learned to study people. How did they treat others? What conversations indicate softness toward spiritual truth?
I noticed that Susana always invited me over when she needed a ride to work. She let me pay every time. She thought of ideas that included my paying for things. She became jealous when I spent time with her sister. She stirred up trouble between the families when I was there. God let me glimpse her heart. It wasn't soft toward Him, it was out to get whatever it could to make life “better.”
I consider this one of the most difficult pieces of pursuing DMM: knowing when to move on to search for others whom God is preparing as Persons of Peace, while still loving those with whom we have acquaintance.
How can I give to others what I have not received?
Before you go out to look for People of Peace you need to hunger and receive living bread and water yourself. How can you give to others what you yourself have not received? Pray for your heart to be humble and open to whatever God has for you in this time. Pray for your focus people, that He would be drawing and wooing them to Himself. Ask the Holy Spirit for visual clues of what that Person of Peace might look like. I understand: that idea first struck my Western practical mind as somewhat crazy when I first heard it. But when we ask, God hears and answers. Why not ask for more help in weeding through the people to get to the ones who are searching for him? God knows the limits on your time; He made you with all your limitations. He is present to help.
Walk and Pray
One day I took three local partners prayer walking in the neighborhood behind my house. We spent some time praying beforehand. God showed me the color purple. Shortly into our walk we met Moham. I smiled; she smiled, and then motioned us over to talk to her. She asked what we were doing. I said that God had asked us to come out and pray for people on the street, then I asked if she needed prayer for anything. She said yes, her brother wanted to kick her and her son out on the street and she was worried for her future as a widow. She had no one to protect her. We covered our heads in accordance with the custom in that region, lifted our hands and came to God with her needs. I opened my eyes and realized she was wearing a bright purple salwar kameez! As Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive.” Our next step was to ask her to meet with her household in a Discovery Group so we could learn together God’s heart for each of us.
We need to ask God at each turn which way to go. Take the time to listen to the Spirit’s lead and then follow that lead. God uses our thoughts, interests and instincts to guide us. It is a process to discern how to trust Him in this. The enemy wants to put doubt and insecurity in our hearts that God would lead us so specifically, but we have to learn to rebuke that doubt and have confidence in God's guidance.
We need to constantly remember that God is preparing the hearts of those who want to be found. We go, in the power of the Holy Spirit, living a lifestyle of looking for these POPs in any situation, at any moment, in each encounter with others. Are they interested in spiritual truth? Invite them to discuss spiritual truth with their household or group of friends. These are basic patterns of what it is to look for Persons of Peace, offer the stories of the Prophets from the Old and New Testaments in a Discovery Group.