In my spiritual journey with Jesus, God has brought so many changes into my life and so many adventures and exciting new things. Sometimes He will start it by bringing a book into my life to read even some years before the change happens.One example is a book I read in 1990 called Tortured for Christ. It is a book about Rev. Wurmbrand who was a pastor in Romania while Romania was a strict communist country. Rev. Wurmbrand was imprisoned and tortured for his faith. He got out of Romania and finally ended up in America. When I read that book, I knew I had to go to Romania. I did not know why, but I knew I had to go. I ended up going 7 times through my church. It was through my trips to Romania that God led me to become an English teacher and work with Refugees and Immigrants at my church.
Another example-One time several years ago I read some books by Billy Graham. When I read those books, I thought I need to meet him. I admired how he conducted his ministry and life with integrity and NO scandals. While I was a student in Minneapolis, I got a job at Billy Graham headquarters which was in Minneapolis at the time. Of course he was hardly ever there due to travels, but one day there was a Christmas chapel for the employees. I had the opportunity to meet the man I admired so much. God worked through the experiences of reading his books and working as a janitor at Billy Graham Headquarters to lead me into living a life of caring for and reaching out to people who are less fortunate. That was before God led me to work with refugees and immigrants.
In the summer of 2008 I saw a book on the shelf at Barnes and Noble Bookstore titled Left to Tell. It is a book about a woman, Immaculée Ilibagiza, who survived the Rwandan holocaust in 1994 by hiding in a small bathroom with 6 other women for three months. The book caught my eye because of my work with refugees. I had just come to the realization that I would not be going to Romania, but that I would stay here and continue my work here. However, I did not feel joy in the realization. It took me over a week to read Left to Tell. It is not a long book, but the message is very powerful about a young woman who grew closer to God hiding in a bathroom while a genocide was happening, so I would read and then ponder what I had read. After I read the book, I thought I hope to meet her someday. I also began to feel more joy in my realization that I would stay here and continue my work here. In November this year I went to a retreat listen to her speak. Her books Left to Tell and Led by Faith have had a profound impact on me spiritually and personally.The retreat also had a profound impact on me.
So now I am waiting to see what God has planned for me in 2012. I wonder if I will go to Rwanda 🙂 Perhaps God will bring more people from French speaking Africa into my life. Whatever it is, it will be another exciting adventure. Following Christ is an adventure and a lifelong journey.