Rose* watched Gracia travel one such journey, spread over the course of many years. Gracia is an immigrant, born in a country dominated by a religion whose main emphasis is salvation through works. Rose and Gracia met at work and over time, formed a friendship.
Rose has used GoodSeed materials for many years, so whenever GoodSeed published a new book, she made it a habit to offer it to her co-workers. Thus Rose gave Gracia both The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus, as well as a copy of The Lamb. When Gracia’s daughter took a great liking to The Lamb, Gracia raved about the book and bought additional copies for other family members. But even with all this exposure to the gospel, she held firmly to her own belief system and would not seriously consider another way of thinking.
Eventually, Rose quit her job and moved and she and Gracia didn’t see each other for the next three years. Though it seemed the Lord had removed Rose from a place of influence in Gracia’s life, Rose continued to pray for Gracia.
And the Lord worked faithfully throughout this time. He brought people into Gracia’s life and they prompted Gracia to reconsider her belief system more carefully. She came to a point of placing her faith in what Jesus did on the cross. But as time went on, she struggled to fully leave behind many of her old religious practices and beliefs.
Meanwhile, Rose and her husband were travelling a lot as part of their work. They’d come home for a short period of time, before taking off to another place. On one of the rare Sundays home, Rose was surprised to see Gracia walk through the church doors. The two women had a long visit. Gracia shared her spiritual journey of the past few years. She related that while she understood and believed the gospel, she hadn’t wanted to give up attending her old church even though she knew some of their practices didn’t line up with the gospel.
Gracia said she had bargained with God, hoping she could stay in that church and just choose not to practice the beliefs she now knew were wrong. After much struggle, she finally decided she needed to try a different church. She remembered the name of Rose’s church and decided to try it. She told God, “If I go to Rose’s church and if Rose is there, I’ll continue to attend.”
How thankful Rose was that God was in control of their lives and she was home on the Sunday that Gracia chose to visit. As the two women got reacquainted, Rose realized that some of Gracia’s mixed beliefs could be addressed by studying the book By This Name. Rose led a study for Gracia as part of her baptism preparation. The book’s explanation was a real help. As she neared the end, Gracia announced, “After I’m baptized, I want to teach this course to others.”
Rose is so grateful to see the Lord’s faithful work in Gracia’s life. She’s even more excited to see Gracia desiring to reach out to others with the message that she herself now understands so clearly.
(* All names changed as per GoodSeed policy.)