Showing grace as a way of life looks different for all of us. For some, it’s in a secular work place. For others, it’s in the context of ministry. But no matter where we are or what our occupation is, our role as Christians is to bring hope, rest and peace through the gospel with our service wherever we are.
Having this mindset in our daily life connects us to our missionaries overseas. Katherine Long, an OMPC member, is in Bulgaria ministering to women who are being trafficked as sex slaves, but the purpose behind her specific calling is no different from any of ours. The love of Christ compels her and us to love and serve where we are!
Throughout the month of April, we are focusing much of our prayer for Katherine as she works with Daughters of Bulgaria. This organization works to reach prostitutes/sex-trafficked women on the streets and to mobilize believers, churches and Christian organizations throughout Bulgaria to come together to fight this problem. Prostitution is rampant in Bulgaria and girls, and boys, can be frequently seen on street corners or long stretches of highways between cities. In addition, Bulgaria is a “feeder country” for human slavery and sex trafficking for much of Europe and America. Many of those caught in slavery are from Gypsy/Roma communities or are children graduating from orphanages. In addition, young women from small villages come to universities in Western Europe looking for employment are deceived and sold into slavery.
Katherine wears many hats in this ministry and carries a heavy workload like many of us in our jobs here. She is the day program/house coordinator for the Rose Garden Project, which is a place where the women and their children can go for refuge and recovery. One particular relationship that the Lord has brought to Katherine is with “Daughter N.” She is in the program and seeking recovery but often feels discouraged because of setbacks she faces from her previous circumstances.
Katherine encouraged and challenged Daughter N to set goals for herself one day at the program. What does she want to see happen in one month, six months, nine months? Daughter N left that day feeling very frustrated with Katherine and felt Katherine was asking too much of her. The next day their bible study was on value and God’s love for all of us because we are His. Afterwards, she looked at Katherine and said, “You know, yesterday I was frustrated because you asked me to do something that I have never done. To think about the future and to make goals for myself. To do that means that I have to place value on my life and realize that I matter. And not until I met you all did I know that my life mattered to anyone. Because of this team, I not only know that I am worth something, I know that I matter enough to you and to God to have goals and a new future and a new life.” WOW!
God is doing amazing things in and through Katherine. He is teaching her to lean hard into Him to do the impossible and carry a load she feels is too heavy to bear. But He’s also reflecting Christ through her to women who previously had no future or hope.
How is God using you? Where are you bringing beauty, rest, and hope in your sphere of influence? You matter to God. And so does your co-worker, family member, neighbor and all those you come in contact with each day. Pray for eyes to see where the Lord may be leading you to share hope with those around you in the same way Katherine is doing in Bulgaria.
How you can pray for Katherine and the Daughters of Bulgaria:
To learn more about Katherine’s ministry, visit the Daughters of Bulgaria website.
Posted: 4.6.2016 in Missions Share: