The Woman at the Well
The woman at the well was a woman who was alone, who would do anything to feel loved by others, even things that were not accepted as common decency but that she thought would fulfill the longing in her heart to be seen.
She was a sinful woman that Jesus cared enough to reach out to, talk to, and see value in—to see her as worthy of His love.
And what did she do after her encounter with Jesus? She ran to tell others about the Man that knew all about her but loved her anyways.
I think we skip over how she dropped her water pitcher and ran to the people she was avoiding by getting water at the hottest time of the day. We skip over the courage it took for her to go to the people who represented judgement to share the freedom that had been extended to her.
What was it that made her such an impactful witness? John 4:39 says: “Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.” I think it was the change in the woman, who went from avoiding people to rushing to them with joy. She was bursting to tell people about her experience, how Jesus had changed her, and they could see the change!
Who needs my story that I’m afraid to tell it to? Who needs your story to know the power of redemption, to know the grace Jesus offers? Who needs to see the change in your life as a witness to what grace can do? Do we need to drop our fear, our pride, our shame, and run to the people we avoid?
Now is the time to RISE UP, to be courageous and share what Jesus has done in our lives, even with the people we want to avoid who represent the parts of us that we’re ashamed of. Like the woman at the well, our stories are powerful, and people need them. Now is the time to RISE UP and maybe even run to the people who have hurt us, to tell them how Jesus offers freedom from pain and shame.
Who in our lives needs to hear our testimonies? Who needs to see the change Jesus has caused in our lives? Rise up, ladies. Tell people about the man who knows every part of you and offers freedom. Tell people about the love and peace they can have. Tell them your story.
Rise Up and Use Your Skill for the Lord
In April 2016, I stepped into the role of Northeastern District Alliance Women director. At the time, I felt like I was in over my head and often wondered, “What did I get myself into?” But I had a desire to serve the Lord, and I did have administrative and leadership skills. I had a heart for missions and a heart for women. I knew the Lord had called me to this ministry, and I could see the many ways He had prepared me, so I trusted that He would fill in the gaps.
Over the course of the past several years, I have sensed God coming alongside me and giving me an ability beyond my natural ones to lead in this district. There have been times when I’m at a loss of how to proceed in something, but as I pray and depend on the Lord, He gives me a new idea and a fresh way to approach a situation.
In Exodus 36:1–2 we read that Moses called all the skilled workers to put their talent and abilities to work on the temple. But they weren’t just dependent upon their natural talent. The text tells us that the Lord gave them wisdom, which is translated skill and understanding, in how to use it in the work of constructing the temple. Verse two says that they were moved to come and do the work by following their calling and that God placed the skill within their heart so they could go above and beyond their natural ability.
He does the same for each of those He calls. When we depend upon our own talent and ability, we often can go far. But when we ask the Lord to enable us to use our God-given talent and skill, He infuses it with His power, and we can do things far greater than we would on our own. As we trust Him to use our gifts wherever He calls, and we are willing vessels in His hands, we can use our abilities and gifts in a way that is above and beyond what we could have done if were operating from a place of self-sufficiency.
If God has placed a call upon you, He will equip you. Be willing, be dependent on Him, be confident that He will provide all you need for the task ahead.
Rise Up Asia Pacific Project Profile
Berakah Way is an intensive, three-month experiential live-in practicum for young adults who desire to enter full-time cross-cultural ministry among least-reached people groups of Indonesia.
A FRESH WAVE OF WORKERS
While the Indonesian Alliance church is mature and strong, her heart for reaching those outside the walls of the church is being challenged. Alliance leaders are calling for a fresh wave of workers who are equipped to minister in creative ways to the many people groups who will never
come into church buildings or attend church events. Eric and Krisy, with their Indonesian colleagues, plan to respond to this need so that the Way of Blessing (Berakah Way) will be experienced as a training ground. Berakah Way students will be recruited from graduating classes in Alliance theological schools across Indonesia and through Alliance district and missions department initiatives. These pre-field candidates will join a missional community near the new national capital where they’ll learn from a variety of experiences in the context of a loving praxis community. Their days will include: personal spiritual disciplines and inductive Bible study; small business start-ups and daily work; study of community development principles, spiritual warfare, inner-healing prayer, personal witness, methods of gathering new believers into house fellowships, tenets of the majority religion, cultural anthropology, and more.
Upon completing three months of study and service, an assessment done together will determine their next place of service. Berakah Way students will then go back to their home churches to garner support and be launched to work among the lost.
HOW TO PRAY:
- Pray for a central location for Berakah Way—simple housing in which to welcome trainees and build community.
- Pray for eager participants who are called to cross- cultural work.
- Pray for personnel for the missional community. Eric and Krisy are praying for teammates both foreign and Indonesian – those who have experience as mentors and practitioners.
- Pray for divinely ordained “key people” within the local culture who will participate as hosts, cultural informants, social connectors, influencers, and gatherers of groups.
- Pray for opportunities for community engagement—sites for trainees to work alongside those of the majority religion (possibilities include local businesses, a reforestation project, training center for job skills, coaching soccer teams, etc.).
Alliance Women has set a goal to raise $10,000 for the Berakah Way Project. These funds will cover the costs for six new workers to be trained to enter full-time, cross- cultural ministry among unreached people groups of Indonesia. Visit www.alliancewomen.org/give to participate.
Rise Up Like Ruth
“And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, ‘Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.’ Naomi said to her, ‘Go ahead, my daughter.’” –Ruth 2:2
The book of Ruth is one of the most beautiful in the Bible because it resembles childhood stories that end with happy endings. As a child, I read this book very often. Ruth’s story begins with the death of a husband. The Bible tells us that Naomi, her husband, and her sons and daughters-in-law lived in Moab. Naomi becomes a widow, and as the years go by, her two children also die. One of her daughters-in-law, Orpha, returned to her own relatives while Ruth stayed by Naomi’s side, determined to be with her.
Facing the loss of her husband and children and falling into poverty made Naomi become a frustrated and bitter woman. However, Ruth, living through the same sad and difficult circumstances as her mother-in-law, did not show a poor character. During her precarious circumstances, Ruth’s beautiful qualities were exposed. Through this book, we can appreciate Ruth for how hardworking, loving, kind, faithful, and courageous she was—like the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31.
Naomi and Ruth left for Bethlehem. Both were widows, poor, without family, and with nothing to favor them. They settled near land belonging to a distant relative, and it is on this land that Ruth goes out to gather grain, according to the Mosaic law. This was God’s method of supplying the needs of the poor and needy. That was the welfare system at that time. Farmers were not to harvest their fields completely so that the poor and needy could pick up the leftover spikes. Thus, their needs were supplied.
They had to go out to the fields to work, and Ruth did it out of love and fidelity to Naomi. Poverty made Ruth act. God’s providence led her to a very fertile and valuable field. When Ruth went to the fields, God supplied her needs. If you are waiting for God to be your Provider, consider that He is probably waiting for you to take the first step to show you how great your need is and how much you need to depend on Him. God uses the bad moments in our lives to guide us to places of blessing.
So, if you find yourself stuck spiritually, emotionally, physically, or financially, do like Ruth—rise up and do your part. Be brave, take the first step, take the initiative. God will do the rest. You will be surprised what God will do. This story has a happy ending. But you know what? Since you were born, God already has your story written, and it also has a happy ending. Give yourself the opportunity to live the life that our Lord has for you! RISE UP!
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” –Isaiah 43: 19