Stories of daily life: disciples to “make disciples” in the hand of a great God.

April 2019

I was waiting for a new roommate in my Uni residence. You’re never really ready enough to welcome the newcomer, because you have no idea who it could be. I wanted to to be ready. In the face of uncertainty, as Christians, God calls us to trust him and to bring our doubts, fears and desires to him in prayer, knowing that He himself will provide what is better for us, in his own time. Initially, my requests were mostly related to practical aspects of living together: “Someone polite, neat, and, if possible, Italian, please!”

But the more I spent time with God, the more I realized that He was changing my desires; my requests were no longer the same and my thoughts were aligning with His. I had prioritized things that were of little importance. What God was calling me to do was show who He is with my life, to talk about hope in Christ Jesus with my new roommate, with the desire to one day read the Bible with her, at our house! I knew God would send the right person at the right time. As for me, I rediscovered the value and the power of prayer, and the great privilege of being able to enjoy special relationship with God.

But to really understand the greatness of our God, and why this story is His story, we need to take a step back…

During the two weeks of waiting and praying, something rather strange happened. One Saturday morning I was reading the book of Acts, when I heard some lovely music. I knew that melody, it was a Christian song! For a moment I really thought I was wrong, but then I saw an Asian girl with a guitar in her hand, singing and praising God in front of the university residence. I was so excited that I want straight down to the square and, without even knowing her name, I started singing along with her. I met a dear sister in Christ (G. from Berlin) who organizes bible studies at her house every Friday, and that that day was handing out flyers near the University to invite students. We began to hang out regularly and shared our passion for Jesus.

Three days later I met A. my new roommate… from Mongolia! She didn’t speak Italian, and it wasn’t going to be easy to communicate (she only knew a little English), let alone talk to her about Jesus! I didn’t see how I could share the gospel with her, I trusted God and his faithfulness. I prayed that He would give me opportunities to share at least my story, and how he had changed my life, but I didn’t have many opportunities for dialogue. God challenged me to put my complete trust in him, to be able to do it without words but, with my life, to show His love, His joy, His peace, His grace and His forgiveness. A. this perceived it, I wasn’t aware of it yet but God was already working in her heart.

Easter

It is clear to me that God had prepared a special time with A. even though I had imagined a different kind of day. I invited her to go to the park for a walk after a quick lunch, and I brought my ukelele with me. We sat on a bench and I started spontaneously praising God with some songs and explaining what they meant. We spent two blessed hours there, and God gave me the joy of sharing who Jesus is for me, and the opportunity to explain the gospel message in simple words.
“For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
God had already answered in an incredible way to my prayers, wait until you hear what she asked me!

“What if we started reading the Bible together?”

I could not have imagined that after only two weeks we would already have the first bible study at our home!

May

We had our first bible study in English. A.’s desire to know Jesus was encouraging, but it was not easy for her to understand the text. Even though I had the proof that even wordless God can perform miracles, I felt the urgency that she really understand the good news of Jesus and it would really be great to know a believer who spoke her language with which could have talk and ask all her questions.

Here the story gets interesting: remember G. the Asian girl I met a few weeks before? Well, what I didn’t mention is that his mom is Mongolian. G. knows 9 languages, including Mongolian!

And that’s not all, During the second biblical study with A., I told her about G. and she very spontaneously asked me if it was the same G. that organizes bible studies on Fridays, that had given her a flyer a few weeks, which she had gladly accepted because she was interested in knowing Jesus. You can imagine my reaction! I was amazed at how much God had orchestrated everything perfectly. I realized that this was His work, that I was only an instrument in his hands, and that gave me joy, peace and an incredible sense of freedom. I surrendered control of everything to him.

It was not easy to schedule a meeting between G. and A. For three weeks, our plans kept being cancelled! But God had already shown me his faithfulness and again invited me to trust him, there’s nothing more reassuring!

June

Friday the 14th: the day of the long-awaited meeting, G., A., me and my ukulele, completely immersed in the green surroundings of the park. As soon as they met with great joy and enthusiasm they started talking in Mongolian, while I, not being able to understand anything, sang and thanked God for what my eyes were seeing. G. opened her Bible and began reading and commenting on verses of the letter to the Romans:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” (Romans 10: 9-11)

After a while G. asked me to join them in prayer because A. wanted to meet Jesus personally and start a new path with him. I could barely hold back the tears – it was the greatest joy of my life.

In two months God performed incredible miracles and showed his power: nothing is impossible for him! The wonder was to see how in the hands of a great God every Christian is equipped to proclaim the message of the Gospel to people of every nation and language, because He has already given us everything in Christ Jesus.

As his disciples He calls us to “make disciples” and I am aware that A. is only at the beginning of her journey with God; my prayer is that she can fall in love with Jesus more and more, get to know him through the Bible and decide to follow him with all her heart. We continue to pray for God’s work in her life!

As for me, I praise God for the privilege of being beside her in this journey that, despite small daily challenges, is full of great blessings because “there is more joy in giving than in receiving.”

Alessandra Malta
(GBU Firenze)

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