Many would call it chance, coincidence, maybe even fate. But my team and I recognize it as the voice of the Holy Spirit.
The owner nearly cried with joy at our unexpected interest in her shop.
We were visiting one of the hundreds of tourist areas on the small island of Bali. There, we had made friends with the Indonesian ladies who own little, tourist shops. They flagged us into their shops, where we were updated on their lives while having the newest sarong pattern shoved into our hands and a bargaining price to go with it.
When we were done with our visits we planned to walk straight down the street until we arrived at a big resort. Suddenly, my leader stopped, hesitated for only a moment, then turned left. She lead us down a dirt road that would have otherwise been nonexistent to me. From the looks of it, it seemed to also be unnoticed by the rest of the island. Soon, we stumbled along three hidden tourist shops. The last two were closed, but the first was being cared for by a beautiful Indonesian women around the age of forty.
That little shop was what supported her life. We would soon find out it also would be where she receive life.
We stopped to take a look, and the owner let nearly cried with joy at our unexpected interest in her shop. I knew the moment she spoke that there was something special about her. Ibu Dewi’s presence brought an aroma of homeliness and motherly affection. She must have felt a similar way towards us, for she opened up to us immediately. She told us of her children and her life. As we were nearing our time to go I asked if we could pray for her in the name of Jesus. Being Hindu and believing strongly in prayer of any sorts, she eagerly accepted. We asked if she had specific prayer requests. Her eyes were rimmed with tears as she told us of her struggles with her husband’s worsening diabetes and current unemployment. Dewi’s little shop was what provided food for her table and tuition for her children’s future. That little shop was what supported her life. We would soon find out it also would be where she receive life.
Her dream had taken the form of reality.
It would be nearing two weeks before we saw her again. When we did, she eagerly welcomed us into her shop. We sat in a circle on the floor in the back. We prayed for her and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit shared the gospel and a parable with her. All the while, Ibu Dewi seemed extremely overjoyed and astonished by our presence. This was a result of a dream she had the night before where we had come to her shop and sat in that exact formation. When she had woken, Dewi could only wish it had been true. But now, her dream had taken the form of reality. She told us when we were in her shop speaking to her, she felt new life. I focused on keeping a calm smile as my entire body roared with excited at what God was doing.
The next day would be our second to last day in Bali and the last time we would see Dewi. Our leaders gave us twenty minutes to say our goodbyes. Two hours later we had shared several testimonies, answered many questions, given away one bible, and prayed one salvation prayer. Two hours later Ibu Dewi was not only a loving motherly figure, she was our sister in Christ.
All we did was show her love, we treated her the way we knew Jesus would have treated her.
God works in processes, He works in relationship. As exciting as the event of Dewi being saved was, the process that God used to get her there was even more amazing. Before we had been a part of her life, God was working. Dewi and her husband for years had been watching the Jesus story television show. Dewi had admired the character Mary and was enticed by her beautiful spirit. Her husband always requested that they play Christmas songs that spoke of Jesus. He could not explain why, but these were his favorite.
God then used us. He started with a relationship. All we did was show her love, we treated her the way we knew Jesus would have treated her. Dewi had never been cared about by random tourist in this way. She began to love us like we were her own daughters. God was able to use us and our position in her life. Even when we went weeks without seeing her, He prompted us to diligently pray for her. He was able to speak through us to say things that He knew she needed to hear at that moment, to answer questions that He had been cultivating in her soul for years. As a team, we had the privilege of not only being a part of the event, but watching the process play out. He used us to provide a bible so that she could continue to learn and God could continue the process of discipleship in her.