Disillusioned and Seeking

Frustrated by Restrictions

I had just finished a fitness class with several local women. As we prepared to leave, they began putting on their long dresses and hijabs. One of the ladies, Sarah*, exclaimed, “Christians are so lucky! They don’t have to wear the hijab when it’s so hot outside.”

She then began to complain about the many restrictions in her culture. I empathized with her and agreed that it sure seemed like a lot of rules and regulations.

All of the sudden Sarah burst out and said, “I hate our religion! I hate how unfair it is to women. I hate all the rules. I hate the hypocrisy!” I was taken aback and quickly looked over at her friend, Ruth*, who I knew to be more devout. Ruth didn’t seem shocked by her friend’s outburst.

Sarah continued,  “Ruth doesn’t feel the same way as me.”

“I’m OK with our religion, but, you know, I’m not super strict about it” Ruth said.

I said a quick prayer for guidance before replying, “Even though this is really difficult for you right now, you are in a good place. I am happy that you are honest enough with yourself to be open about your doubts and frustrations. Your honesty will help you get to the next step in your spiritual  journey.”

“Do you really think so?” Sarah asked. “Yes, I do,” I said.

The subject was changed and soon the ladies were on their way home. Although the conversation was brief, I felt that it was enough for that exchange. God had revealed to me a young woman who had become disillusioned with her religion; I prayed that Sarah would soon be ready to hear the good news.

Curious about opportunities

A couple of months  later, Sarah and Ruth expressed again an interest in studying the Bible. They had previously participated in a Bible study with other team members. And they had also regularly attended a small class with a few of my teammates that involved stretching,  Scripture meditation,  and Christian music. Over the next several weeks, the gospel was clearly communicated.

Sarah and Ruth are now comfortable with having regular conversations about their doubts in the majority religion here; both have begun to earnestly study the gospel. Yet they are extremely afraid because of the serious repercussions they will face if any family member suspects their interest in Christianity.

Please continue  to pray for Sarah and Ruth. And pray for funds to furnish a wellness center that will provide a welcoming, safe place for women to gather and be refreshed.  For more resources on the project visit www.alliancewomen.org/resources.

Alliance Women has a goal to raise $13,500 for this wellness center. For information on how to give to this project, visit www.alliancewomen.org/give.

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*Name changed

an Alliance worker

an Alliance worker

Contributed by Alliance worker in Papua Indonesia.

One Response to “Disillusioned and Seeking”

  1. Our Alliance Women’s group just sent in some funds for this project. We are excited to be a little part of helping. For some reason your story really opened up my eyes a bit more to how difficult it is for these women to make this drastic change. I always knew it was hard for all of them, but this seemed to hit home to me more b/c of the simplicity of the way you had to deal with them and be sensitive to them. “Baby steps.” I will pray for the courage they need to make the most important “big” step in their lives.

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