Alliance News Feed – A Slow Progression to Faith
by Penny Iverson, an Alliance international worker serving in Taiwan
Almost 12 years ago my husband, Tim, and I met Lina, an Indonesian woman married to a Taiwanese man. She is one of more than 400,000 foreign spouses living in Taiwan. Sadly, for many who come to this island through marriage brokers, their hopes of a good life are shattered by the realities they face in their new families. However, Lina is married to a good man and has been blessed in her adopted country.
About five years ago, Lina joined an Indonesian believer from our church to study the Bible with us. Lina was touched by what she was learning, but when I asked her if she was ready to receive Christ, she said, “I am at 50 percent right now—don’t push me!”
As time went on, occasionally I would ask, “Where are you now, Lina?”
She would pause a moment and reply, “I’m at 70 percent, but don’t push me!”
Taking a Stand
One of the biggest obstacles to her full commitment to the faith seemed to be her busy work schedule. Her boss rarely gave her Sundays off, and so Lina’s connection to us and other believers was limited. During the busy seasons, she worked long hours and we never saw her. But when she had a Sunday off, she usually attended church and became more involved.
About a year ago, she finally left her old job. Although the loss of income was a huge financial concern for her family, she felt she had to quit. Another believer in our congregation found a new job for Lina, who was adamant with her boss when she started. “I will work hard, but I will not work on Sundays. I don’t care how busy you are; I will not be here.” Her boss accepted these conditions.
Few believers here are willing to make that kind of stand against working on Sundays so they can go to church, especially when they are part of the working class. They often just barely make ends meet, because good jobs are hard to find where we live. But God has honored Lina’s willingness to commit to Him, and she hasn’t missed a Sunday since.
Courage to Surrender
Around the time Lina quit her job, I asked her again, “Where are you now, Lina?”
“I’m at 100 percent!” she finally responded.
Her connection to the rest of the church Body made a big difference in her life. She now attends prayer meetings every week and all church events.
Lina was fearful to ask her husband how he would feel if she were to be baptized. But last year, the church began praying that God would open the door and give her the courage to do so.
When she did, Lina was surprised by her husband’s response. He had already seen the transformation that resulted from her Christian faith, so her baptism was not a hurdle for him anymore. He has since started attending church events and is getting acquainted with some of the men.
Lina’s baptism this spring was special for us because we witnessed her journey—there was no doubt that she was at 100 percent. She brings joy into our church as she always keeps us smiling. Though she is still young in her faith and knowledge of God’s Word, Lina is eager to learn, willing to serve Him, and shares her faith with many.
Source: Alliance News Feed – A Slow Progression to Faith