God has done so much this week. I probably shouldn’t be surprised when He does so much, I guess I am just in awe. It is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that the God who created the galaxies has mercy enough to move in this little place–in our little lives. God is the God of the sooo BIG and the God of the sooo small.
I few weeks ago I shared about Marcia, who is from Oitao Preto and is now living at our base. Her past is intense, filled with drugs, abuse, and homosexuality. But God has been moving in incredible ways, and she has left this life. Ever since Marcia left Oitao Preto people have been trying to get her to come back to her old life. Especially, a ex-girlfriend whom she hadn’t heard from in years but now has an obsession with Marcia. Marcia even changed her phone number but this girl got the number from other friends and has been calling Marcia.
Saturday, Marcia broke the news to us. Our girls discipleship started out normally. We began going around in a circle sharing how each one was doing. Paula was tired and wanted prayer for her school, Juliana was good but having a hard time getting her parents to understand her call to missions, Thalita was tired as well but really excited to have God speak to her more about Mozambique, and Marcia was thinking about leaving. WAIT!!! Marcia was thinking about LEAVING!!
My first thought was: my Portuguese must be really bad…. because I think she said she was going to meet someone on Monday and might be moving out. I looked around to see how the other girls were reacting–maybe I just misunderstood. But their shocked and concerned faces confirmed it; Marcia had said that she was thinking about leaving.
Our normal flow immediately halted. We began asking questions–why?? Marcia didn’t want to say, but we pressed her, and she said she didn’t know if she wanted to give up her old life completely. She didn’t know if it was worth it. She really loved her old life and was thinking about going back.
Of course, we responded that Jesus is worth it!! But she was unconvinced. She simply said “pray for me, I want God to speak to me.”
I continued on with discipleship trying to be appear calm, because I could tell she really didn’t want a big deal made–but it was a big deal. At the end of discipleship we prayed. I cried and prayed, and hoped that she wouldn’t notice me crying. I felt like I was begging God. “Please come, please come with your power, destroy every lie that has taken up residence in her heart, and come in power.”
After prayer Marcia was a bit misty eyed, but firmly said “we will see.”
I left discipleship kind of panicky. I wanted to tell my leaders, I wanted to get everyone praying. That night Marcia, Thalita and I made dinner. Marcia got several phone calls and I heard her saying “yeah, I will meet you on Monday”. I thought, “it’s her ex-girlfriend!” That night Paula had a long talk with her and confirmed what I had been afraid of: Marcia’s ex-girlfriend wanted Marcia to come away with her. In fact, she wanted Marcia to move to Brasilia with her.
All day Sunday, I was praying. Desperately praying, and probably a little distracted as I went to the children’s program on the beach, visited my friend Nayana, and babysat Claudia’s kids. When I got back to the base, I looked for Marcia but she had gone with Paula to church. “That’s good God, do something there” I prayed.
When they arrived back I cornered Marcia in the kitchen. “Marcia how are you doing, what are you thinking about leaving?”
“I’m not leaving! I am going to be baptized on Tuesday!”
“Explain! Explain!” I practically shouted “What happened? God talked to you?”
“Yes!!” she said. After Paula had talked to her on Saturday Marcia felt really sad cried herself to sleep. Then she had a dream that she was being chased by pigeons, and she woke up really afraid and started crying out to God to help her. She said she felt His presence come and give her peace. The next day Herb and Lorelei (my leaders) had a long talk with her–and this time she was listening more because she had encountered God just the night before. At the end of this talk she had decided that she was going to stay, and pray about getting baptized. Then she went to church with Paula and met two Pastors who are now married but had once been gay and lesbian. They shared how God had healed them and they wanted to counsel and support Marcia. After this, Marcia felt in her heart a desire to be baptized!
“WOW” is all I could say “wow wow wow and glory to God, look what He has done!”
So today she was baptized! It was beautiful–her mom and neighbor’s who have known Marcia her entire life came to witness it and pray over her. She went into the ocean knowing that she was forever dying to her old life and coming up into a new life–living to glorify Jesus! She chose Jesus because He is worth it!
We read Romans 6:1-10
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the deadthrough the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.”
Marica is Free!! Praise God, He really has allowed are old selves to die with Him and has given us new Life! When we prayed after she kept crying and thanking God for he new Joy He has given her.
Here are some Photos:
Marica, her neighbors, and her mom before the baptism
Marcia crying and thanking all of us for being there.
Marcia with her mom after the baptism–New Life!!
Thank you all for praying for Marcia!!! Our God really did come in Power!! He is faithful, and is the only one who can save us!