Guided by Jesus

During the war in Kosovo, Belkize* worked as a teacher in a village just outside her hometown. One day, as she approached the village on her way to work, she noticed it was very quiet—not even the dogs were barking.

As she continued toward the school, one of her students called out to her from his front stoop, “Teacher, something has happened in the village. Go home!” Belkize assured the boy that the village seemed peaceful and she continued the short distance to the school. When she arrived, the school was locked, so she turned to head home.

Eventually, Belkize reached a bridge and noticed about a dozen Serb soldiers loitering beneath it. She was gripped with fear knowing they might harass or assault her. In that moment she inwardly cried out, “Jesus, please hold my hand and guide me!”

Miracle on the Bridge

As she began to cross, the Serb soldiers suddenly came up onto the bridge, but Belkize continued to move forward, her hand clenched in front of her as if being led across. She had difficulty weaving her way through the group of men, occasionally bumping into them, but she continued on amazed that the soldiers never reacted to her.

A bus approached on the road beyond the bridge, and noticing the young woman in such a precarious position, the driver waited for her. Belkize eventually broke free from the group of soldiers and ran to the bus.

As she boarded all the passengers cheered, wanting to know how she had gotten past the soldiers without being harassed. Belkize replied, “There are only two answers I can think of, either God made me invisible or He made them blind!” Everyone on the bus agreed God had performed a miracle on the bridge that day.

Healing through Understanding

In 2019, now a pastor’s wife, Belkize felt led to start Healing Unseen Wounds, a project to assist survivors of wartime rape. After watching a television interview about the plight of Kosovo’s wartime rape survivors, Belkize contacted the women’s center director who appeared on the program, offering some humanitarian aid the church has recently received.

During their initial meeting it was clear that there was potential to partner further, and a fruitful relationship developed. In less than a year, Healing Unseen Wounds has helped five families in the Drenica region with micro-enterprise investment and over 30 women with trauma therapy, but there is so much more to be done. To support this project and others chosen by Alliance Women, give here.

Belkize often thinks of God’s faithfulness to her that day on the bridge, particularly when she hears the stories of women who were brutalized during the war. She says, “Everything God does has a purpose. I believe He allowed that situation to happen to me so I can understand the rape survivors more and love and care for them well, because I could have very easily been one of
them.”

*name changed

Teach Me, Lord, to Wait

“Dear Lord, You know my pain, You know how desperate I am for You to heal me.  I ask You to help me and teach me to wait on You.  I know your timing is perfect and I will wait on You to do your miracle in me.”  This was my son’s prayer one night as he faced a chronic illness two years ago.  I was humbled by that prayer.  Tears ran down my face, not only because of the sweetness of his prayer, but also because at that moment my child trusted in a God Who could do immeasurably more than what we can imagine – but I didn’t.

My son had understood something I had, for a while, forgotten:  to trust and wait. I was tired of hearing my child moaning in pain all day. I was tired of having to watch what he ate, tired of having to spend two hours at the grocery store reading every product label yet not able to find much food that would not harm him more.  I had to go on medical leave and homeschool him.  I had detached myself from a set routine and I didn’t like it.  Our whole family dynamics had changed and I was becoming desperate.  I had asked many times for a “right now” miracle to ease my desperation.  I wanted everything to go back to the way it was.  But that night I understood the source of my despair. It made sense and it hurt.  A 10-year old’s humble prayer had reminded me that I was not in control of the situation.  I wanted it done in my time and not God’s, and I was ashamed.

Waiting on the Lord can test our faith. I realized that not wanting to wait meant I was not recognizing Him as the source of all authority.

In one of her blogs, Sylvia Gunther puts it like this: As we wait, God is revealing His perfections, His impeccable ability to be in charge of every detail. His timing is split-second. He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omni-caring. He works all and in all. He gives confirmations of His ever-present-ness. He gives us assurances of His real power over the enemy that is not seen. His Holy Spirit focuses us. We want proof, but faith is the substance (not the evidence) of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). The Holy Spirit says, “I am giving you the substance of faith.” He gives the grace to await His purposes until the precise moment when He gives evidence that He was working all along. Without this faith, it is impossible to please Him, for all who come to God must believe that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him (Heb. 11:6).

In Scripture I was reminded how to wait on the Lord:

Quietly and Patiently: “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him.” (Psalm 37:7); “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Romans 8:25)

I was reminded to wait only on Him: “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” (Psalm 62:5)

I decided to wait on the Lord like my son, and, like Abraham, who “…after waiting patiently, … received what was promised (Hebrews 6:15).”  When I finally became obedient and waited, I was able to experience God’s power and grace through my son’s illness and eventual healing.

May we all learn to wait quietly and patiently on Him for His perfect timing and answers to our prayers!