I have the joy and privilege of being in a family that has been a part of our incredible ministry since I was born. I have enjoyed going to fellowship my whole life—since I was a baby! Since that time, I have loved and grown to appreciate what a great honor it is to be a part of The Way International. Thanks to the faithfulness of the many men and women that have come before me, I have reaped the benefits of bountiful resources that our ministry has to offer. The focus on the Word, the Word, and nothing but the Word has so evidently been the driving force of the success of our ministry and the individuals that are a functioning part of it.
Throughout my entire life, I have witnessed how an accurate understanding of the Word can uplift, maintain, and advance the spiritual growth of God’s dedicated children. The time in which I have most clearly seen this growth experienced was during my tenure as a Way Disciple. I know that this growth occurred because I experienced it myself!
The ministry’s yearly theme during my Way Disciple tenure was Living God’s Love. I believe that this theme had a direct correlation and impact on the success that our team found in the six months that followed. During that time, I was able to make the Word my own like never before.
In our very first week, our team went to the local mall to go witnessing. Up to this point, witnessing had not been a strength for me. I mostly smiled and supported my teammates by praying for them and for the people that we met. Finally, toward the end of our time at this mall, one of my coordinators realized that I hadn’t spoken to anyone! She lovingly encouraged me to share one scripture with the very next person that I saw.
I was inside of a store and found myself right in front of a cashier. She was by herself, appearing to be busy and not looking like she wanted to be bothered. As I began to doubt, that same team coordinator popped right up and said, “Excuse me, ma’am, but my friend here has something to share with you.”
Now was the time (whether it felt like it or not), so I loudly recited the first verse that came to my mind. “III John 2 states, ‘Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.’”
There was a slight pause, and the cashier looked down to think about what I said. “Wow, I hadn’t heard that verse before. Thanks for sharing it with me!”
I was immediately relieved and encouraged that this woman was so receptive and hungry for the Word, even though I had originally assumed that I would just be a bother to her.
Over the next five months, the woman came to fellowships, study nights, and many more activities! She was lovingly undershepherded by the whole team. Later on, she signed up for our Foundational Class. When she completed the class, she shared at the final session. She poured her heart out and told us that she had prayed to God that someone would help her see God’s will for her life. She commented on how much we loved each other and how we interacted with one another like a family. She said that she had felt very lonely for years and all that she wanted was friends to grow with. Because of the Word she learned and the fellowship of the household, she felt accepted and a part of God’s family.
The Word of God that I have learned has made a profound and incredible impact on my life, one that continues to impact my walk to this day. One section of scripture that impacted me the most was Ephesians 4:1-3:
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
I witnessed firsthand that by answering God’s call to serve with meekness and by allowing His agapē love to be the driving force, I could successfully seek to keep and maintain the unity of our team and the hearts we won to God’s matchless Word, just like that cashier.
To this very day, I have seen great victories as a result of God’s people “endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” I look forward to continuing as a part of this wonderful and unified ministry for the rest of my life, helping others experience the same growth that I did, for another seventy-five years and onward!