My faith journey has definitely been that — a journey of changes, growth, new passions and challenges.
Most people close to me in this journey know two things about the past five or so years: I love serving the people of Nicaragua, and I am ever listening for the Holy Spirit’s direction, even if it might be something out of my comfort zone, take more courage than I have or be something I really don’t want to do.
Quite often, however, I breeze by that nudge from the Holy Spirit because I am not really paying attention.
But three years ago when in Nicaragua I met Janet — a beautiful, soft-spoken young woman — and God told me to give her a book, I did so.
Janet was working that summer at the compound where I stay when I go to Nicaragua. She was learning to speak English and I was learning to speak Spanish. She was also learning about Jesus and had many questions for me when we would meet early every morning for a cup of coffee before we started our days.
In our halting new languages, we would try to communicate about the blessings of being a believer.
I had taken along a daily devotional book, “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young, written in Spanish. The writing is based on scripture, as if Jesus were speaking to the reader, and it has done much for my relationship with Christ and the peace and joy that go with that.
I showed it to Janet, and we talked about what it said every day. But on my last day God clearly told me to give it to her. Her eyes filled with tears as she read my inscription to her on the front page. She clasped the book tightly and hugged me. She was thrilled.
Three months ago, while in Nicaragua, I finally saw Janet once again. I was busy, helping to give a party for our female staff members and wives of staff members.
As guests filed in through our gate, in walked Janet. She happened to be stopping by to visit a friend, and we invited her to stay for the festivities. We played games, worshipped, ate plenty of sweets and distributed gift bags at the end of the party.
We had brought with us many of the “Jesus Calling” devotional books, written in Spanish, and each woman got one. As the ladies prepared to leave, Janet came up to me with a huge grin on her face. She told me she wanted to show me something.
Opening her large purse, she rummaged around and pulled out a dilapidated, falling-apart small book.
“Do you remember?” she said quietly. She opened to the front page where I had written her name and the date and whom it was from. She said, “Now I have a new one! Susan, I read this every day.”
Then she added, “It has changed my life and the life of my family.”
Small thing. But I listened and I did it. Huge outcome. And I am grateful I did not breeze by this one.
Susan Kelley, one of The Star’s Faith Walk writers, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.