Four days in January, Nine sermons, Sixty souls, Sixteen visitors. The Community Worship Center of Pullman, WA, feels a deep desire to reach the university community surrounding their church. This past January, I had the privilege of conducting an abbreviated evangelistic series (nine topics), entitled The Awakening, in a neutral venue. The concept was simple. In her encounter with Jesus, Mary Magdalene had experienced in her heart the awakening of something that would change the rest of her life. Whatever it was she saw, we set our hearts to encounter that same. We looked at such topics as the Sabbath, Death, The Final Fate of the Wicked, and the question of Why Do Evil Things Happen if God is Good? We contrasted what the Christian church of the Middle Ages taught concerning these topics with what Jesus taught concerning them during His ministry here on Earth. The comparison was striking. The four days culminated in an encounter with Calvary that moved us all.
One story stands out above the rest. Sabbath morning, a dear sister we had met in a restaurant that week showed up to the meetings. The subject was Why Do Evil Things Happen if God is Good? Without mentioning the details, at the close of the service, she had a meltdown. We discovered that she herself had been abused as a 12-year-old girl and had been harboring it since (50+ years). That morning was the first time someone from a church had ever addressed what happened to her in a way that made sense. She began to cry uncontrollably, and I along with three of the other leaders of the church quickly began to pray. We lifted this dear sister up before Jesus, praying that He would work a miracle, that she could be freed, and that, in the light of God’s great forgiveness for her sins, she might have forgiveness awakened in her heart toward those who had sinned against her. The result: Our dear sister walked away that day a new creature in Christ Jesus. For the first time in her life, she was free. With tears streaming down her cheeks, she was free. She came to the remaining meetings in the series, and before I left, she had already been warmly drawn into one of the church’s weekly Bible studies. Truly, a miracle had taken place before our eyes. One of God’s children had come home. She had been brought out of darkness into His marvelous light.