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February

Women's Ministry

In late January at our “Daughters of the King” gathering I shared my story on singleness. This was the first time I’ve shared in a public setting the road of singleness that I’ve been on for 20 years while still having the desire for marriage.

How did this come about? Well, in November we had the women in our church evaluate how this ministry was meeting their personal needs and based on numerous responses it was apparent that an evening focused on relationships was in order. So, both I and Katy, a married woman, shared our stories… mine on living with the unmet desire of marriage and hers on what it was like to have an interest in boys during college years, what her engagement period was like, as well as what God has taught her through marriage over the past 6 years.

Afterwards we broke down into small groups of 3 or 4 to allow for everyone to express their hearts desires regarding relationships and to reflect on what resonated or stirred them from our stories. If you would like to read about what I shared you can click here.

Romy's Story

As a follow up to last month’s prayer request concerning my life group with Romy, I thought it would be nice for you to know a little bit more about her story and to pray for her specifically. When I asked Romy if she would be willing to share some things with all of you and receive prayer, her response was,

“What a blessing! Please forward my deep gratitude to the saints for praying for me”.

In 2000 Romy moved from China to the Netherlands to pursue her Masters Degree, although it wasn’t her first choice of where to study economics in English. At first, she wanted to move to the United States but her visa was rejected. The United Kingdom was her next choice but it was too expensive, so she ended up in the Netherlands.

Throughout her growing years Romy had wanted to know what was written in the Bible, but never found the proper time to search. At different stages of her stay in the Netherlands she had Christian friends, and yet she did not find a distinct difference between these friends and those who were Non-Christians, which may have been because the friendships were not long enough. In the mean time, she developed the idea, based on what she felt about Christianity from reading Russian and English novels in Chinese before going abroad, that Christianity played an important role in Western ideology, just as Confucianism had in China.

At the completion of her Masters in Economics she decided to continue her education by pursuing a PhD and consequently remained in the Netherlands and moved to Amsterdam in 2002 to attend the Vrije Universiteit (Free University).

Romy came to know Jesus through her ex-boyfriend, who was a Christian. After they met in August 2004 he desperately wanted her to have a relationship with God. The first time she ever prayed to God she experienced an elevated feeling before even finishing her prayer. This totally amazed her and at that moment she realized God did exist. Gradually she got to know more about Jesus and received Him as her Lord and Savior. Five months later, in May 2005, she found a local church and was baptized. Later that summer Romy broke up with her ex-boyfriend, but her faith grew stronger.

For about a year and a half Romy has been attending Zolder50. And, I am thrilled to be growing in faith alongside her… sharing our journeys together.


Photo: Linda and Romy, January 2007

From her heart to yours:

“When Linda asked me to write a small story about God's deeds in my life, I realize I actually have so much to tell! I pray a lot everyday and so many prayers have been answered that I don't even have time to write all of them down, although I'd love to.  I will share the most important thing Jesus has done for me since becoming a Christian.

I have suffered from lower back pain and RSI (repetitive strain injury) for more than 3 years. I started praying for healing after I came to faith. Although I prayed for more than an hour almost everyday in the past two years, the pain only slowly went away. It was such a difficult period. Most mornings before I went to work, I told Jesus that I did not want to go because I had fear of the pain. But I always ended up going, with the fear largely removed, although I was still exhausted by the end of the day. This went on and on with the situation improving little by little until now God has almost healed me. Nowadays I can work 8 hours a day without significant pain and do not need to go to bed as early due to tiredness.

I finally understand why it took so long - not because God was slow in healing me, but because my condition was so bad! God could have healed me overnight, but He choose not to because of my worrying character, a bad life style (not eating well and living a life without regularity), and personal ambitions which led me into this situation. I believe my health would not fully recover until all of these areas were uprooted from my life. God carried out an "integrated" treatment for me, because His ultimate goal was to heal me completely! I love Him for His true love for me!

God has turned this suffering into a blessing, in the sense that my relationship with Him has gotten so much closer. Without the daily prayer sessions, I wouldn't have formed a habit of praying for many other areas, which makes me amazed and excited that God can help me in literally every single aspect of my life! His ideas and thoughts are super brilliant!

Specific Prayer Requests for Romy:

  • Salvation for her family – “All my family are members of the Chinese Communist Party, which does not allow its members to have any belief except in the party itself. All of my family, which includes my father, mother, sister, brother-in-law, and 4-year-old niece, believes there is no God in the world and that they have to rely on themselves to live their lives. I see them struggling with a variety of problems that are so difficult to solve (e.g. common problems for the entire human race). Please pray that Jesus removes the obstacles (for example, fear) that the Party has imposed on their way of knowing the truth. Also, pray that they are led to see the absolute necessity of receiving Jesus as their Savior. This is the most urgent thing in their lives.”
  • Complete recovery of her health
  • For God to reveal His will for her future - she desires clear direction as she approaches the end of her PhD

Personal

An update on the Dutch course: 3 weeks ago I was invited for an intake and took an exam to determine my level of Dutch. Just today (February 20th) I received a phone call to inform me that based on my exam score I should be placed in level 2 (level 1 is the most beginning and I believe level 4-5 means fluency in Dutch). Unfortunately, next week (the last week in February) the school is on a one-week holiday and then the first 2 weeks of March I will be traveling to the U.S. for vacation time with my family.

So, needless to say, getting started in language acquisition hasn’t been the smoothest process. In conversing with the woman from the language school, I questioned my placement into level 2. I restated that my main goal in taking courses was to become a Dutch speaker, however, 99 percent of the exam was written, which enabled me to use a variety of acquired skills to do well, evidently. But, having the ability to silently read something is VERY different than speaking or understanding someone speaking Dutch. Therefore, I requested being placed in the course that would offer me the greatest possibility of succeeding in learning how to speak the language, which of course is level 1…. a good place to start!

Prayer Requests:

  • To be able to adjust my schedule to include almost 16 hours (over 4 days) of language courses plus homework. And, for an ability to do well.
  • For safety while traveling (you never know what kind of late winter/early spring storms can pop up in the Midwest), quality time connecting with my sisters, sister-in-law and oldest niece on a weekend trip in Chicago, refreshment and relaxation with family, some good hiking in Arizona (and hopefully sunshine and warmth!), and a great overall time enjoying my parents, siblings, nieces and nephew.

 

Thank you for your involvement in my life and missions through your prayers and faithful financial giving.

God bless you,

Linda
linda.kitchen@gcmweb.org