This is an article from the January-February 2016 issue: Women Engaged in Church-Planting Movements Among UPGs

Spirit Led In Our Unique Role as Female Practitioners

Spirit Led In Our Unique Role as Female Practitioners

We had hiked several miles on windy paths through rural communities of clustered houses and bright green rice paddies. So we stopped to rest at a local “coffee shop” on the side of the road. This “coffee shop” was a wooden bench in front of a simple kitchen with open windows. We were on a three-day hiking trip in our focus area of seven million people, asking the Holy Spirit to direct us to people of peace.[1] Up to this point, we had met many friendly people, but seemingly none that the Lord was drawing to Himself in this conservative majority Muslim area. Prompted by the Spirit (or perhaps my impatience), I blurted aloud “Is there anyone sick in this community who needs prayer?” After a long pause, an older man said, “Yes, there is a woman up the hill who just had a miscarriage.”

We traveled the short distance up the hill and found a young woman with her head covered in the traditional manner. She was sitting with her mother in a bamboo-walled house with wood floors. After hearing a bit of the woman’s history, I explained I was a follower of Jesus, and asked if I could pray for healing in His name. The family was quite responsive as I prayed for healing and comfort, gently touching the young woman’s shoulder. After this visit, we stayed in contact, but over time I realized that though she was open to prayer, this woman was not ready to study the scripture in her home alongside her family.

One hallmark of DMM (Disciple-Making Movements) is identifying a person willing to gather others in their household or sphere of influence to study scripture.[ii] They then gather to explore passages from the Bible together and discover its message as the source for all belief and practice. The Scriptures lay a foundation for bringing transformation. While exploring new communities in our focus area, I personally have not yet identified a person of peace who has opened a group to Bible Study. However, we use this method of study in our own house fellowship while sitting on grass mats with our local believing colleagues. The Holy Spirit always gives insight, and challenges us to practically apply the text during the following week until our next gathering.

 As I, along with my husband and our local colleagues, continue to sow broadly toward finding those in whom the Lord is at work, I apply the truth of John 15:4: “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

We sow broadly by taking trips into our focus area like the one described earlier in this article. In rural communities near our home, opportunities arise with many of the female farmers to pray in Jesus’ name or testify of His power.

As an obstetrical nurse by training, and known as a Jesus follower, my offers to pray in Jesus’ name are consistently welcomed for safe deliveries, increased breast milk production, or healing of infants’ with fevers. What a privilege it is to partner with God, alert to what He is doing by His Spirit in the lives of these women.

We also interact with local people in our rural area via agro-business, promoting nutritional edible plants, relating with local health practitioners, and having a presence in our community.

As I am alive to Christ, resting in Him, making my home in Him, the Holy Spirit is at work. The Spirit guides me, and I am alert to those women in whom He is at work. As a female cross-cultural practitioner in an unreached context, I have a unique role in partnering with God to see His kingdom extended in these least-reached areas. Although I have yet to see a Church Planting Movement first hand, the Lord has formed house fellowships among our focus Unreached People Group. The challenge before us is to remain expectant, while faithfully abiding in Christ. As women, we have a unique contribution and privilege to partner with Him in seeing every nation, tribe and tongue become true worshippers o

[1] Man of peace is a term used in Luke 10:6.  David Watson 2008 “The person of peace is the one God has prepared to receive the gospel for the first time into a community.” Church Planting Essentials-Find the Person of Peace. 2015, February 26

[ii]  “Fruitful faith communities use the Bible as the central source for life, growth and mission. In a culture where many books are viewed as holy, a fruitful faith community views and uses the Bible as the central source for their understanding of God and how to live their life as followers of Jesus” From Seed to Fruit: Global Trends, Fruitful Practices, and Emerging Issues Among Muslims, Dudley Woodberry, ed. Pasadena: William Carey Library, 2008,165.



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