Monday, October 19, 2009

Dear to My Heart...

I received this letter recently from a friend. I've edited it just a little bit for security purposes. Please prayerfully consider partnering with her ministry. As an international student from a closed country, she has a limited amount of contacts to ask to join her ministry. If you are interested, I'll be happy to help you get in touch with her. She is on the left in the picture below.

Everything below is from (Holly):

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jer. 29:13

My name is (Holly). I am from a former Soviet Union country which is predominantly Muslim. Verse above is very dear to my heart, because I believe it describes my life. At school I was taught that there was no god. At home I was taught that the Russian people believed in Jesus as their prophet but we had Muhammad as our true prophet. For me, though, my father was like a god. He provided all that I needed and I depended upon him for my physical and emotional needs. I didn’t need anyone else. However, in my early teen years my world fell apart when my parents got divorced. I realized for the first time that my father was just a sinful man and all that I had trusted in was taken away. I found myself alone and wondering if there really was a God. I knew something was missing in my life, so I devoted myself to Islam to fill the void I felt inside of me.

About this same time I moved to the capital of my country, to study at the University and started living with my aunt. Soon I met with my new neighbors and later found out that they were Christians. They were very kind to me and made me feel accepted and loved. But I rejected what they told me about Jesus being for my people too and I set out to prove to them that Islam was the true religion and the best way to see changes take place in my life. For two years I followed Islam but nothing changed. I tried to act happy and satisfied with life on the outside but inside I was still feeling empty and angry at my father. I wanted to forgive him but I couldn’t. My neighbors continued to love me during this time and include me in some of their Christian meetings. Finally I realized that only Jesus could forgive my sins and bring about real changes in my life.

At this time my neighbors had to leave the country. I was feeling very lonely because I did not know of another Christian of my nationality, and I knew very little about my new faith. My friends and family began to persecute me because of my faith, and my aunt asked me to move out of her house where I was living.

One day I was on my college campus feeling very lonely and beginning to think that maybe I had made a mistake. Maybe all of my problems were caused by my leaving Islam. While I was sitting there having these doubts, an American girl who was just visiting my campus walked up to me. I found out that she was with a group with CCC on a summer mission trip in my country. She began meeting with me to teach me about the Christian life and she also introduced me to a number of other Christians of my nationality. Just when I needed it the most, God provided me with a Christian family. We formed a CCC group on our campus to reach other students for Christ. Jesus Christ had transformed my life, and I knew he could transform others as well.

I came to Austin, TX last year to study. Shortly after I arrived, I heard about the Bridges Children of Abraham conference for Muslim converts like me. It was there that I was challenged to consider that God might want to use me as a full-time Christian worker. I am passionate to reach international students for Christ and humbled that God may chose to use me in this way. My vision is to share the love of Jesus Christ with international students here in the United States. CCC has a ministry that lines up exactly with my vision, Bridges International.

Through Bridges, I can reach students who can take the gospel back to their home country. I am now raising my financial support for an 18 month internship with Bridges international. This internship will provide the necessary ministry skills training as I reach out to international students studying at the University of Texas in Austin. I am excited to learn all I can, so I will be ready and effective when the time comes for me to return as a missionary to my own people.

Since Campus Crusade for Christ has no central funds to support its missionaries, each staff member must raise financial support to fund all of the costs of health care, ministry expenses, taxes, and a salary. I must find a team of donors who can give monthly or annually to support our work. I would like to ask if you would prayerfully consider joining my monthly financial support team with a gift of $50, $75, $100, or whatever amount God would lay on your heart.
Please know that whatever you decide, I appreciate so much just having the opportunity
to share about what God is doing in my heart and through my ministry on campus.
One more time, thank you for prayerfully considering my needs.

In Him,
(Holly)

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