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Dearest Friends,

A Hard Place

Sometimes, the Father asks us to stand in a hard place. Yesterday was such a day for Kelsey and I. We were given an incredible opportunity to share with a group of Muslim ladies. Their husbands had committed heinous crimes. These ladies were not victims. At the least, they knew what was being done and at the worst, they were complicit in what was done. I do not know their feelings about the evils they witnessed or knew about. I only know that God put them in front of us so that they could hear about the forgiveness they so desperately needed.
I have spoken many times in prisons around the world to men and women who were convicted of terrible crimes. I had never struggled with the decision to share with them. Now, something was wrong.

Just before I was to go into the meeting, I was suddenly overwhelmed by great grief for what they had been a part of. I had seen the news reports of the terrible things that they had done to children and so many others. I have other dear friends who had suffered because of this group.

I suddenly realized that I was struggling with unforgiveness . I was shocked. I have easily forgiven so many in my life. I forgave the teachers who abused me as a little girl because of Jesus in me. I forgave others in my childhood who hurt me…. and so many more. Again, this was only possible because of Jesus.But now… suddenly… I was struggling. I wondered if I could speak to them.

Praise God that Kelsey was there. She reminded me that we love children so we can not comprehend such evil. She told me that they had hearts of stone. And then it came to me… no one should have to live with a heart of stone. I found myself overwhelmed by a new thought. I desperately wanted them to know the forgiveness I had been given… the forgiveness that made me tenderhearted. I wanted them to know Jesus! I wanted them to have hope and peace.

I shared my testimony, scripture, and a Bible story. They listened very well. Three of the ladies were crying. One verbally agreed with me. They loved the story of Jesus calming the storm. When I finished, they asked for more stories. They wanted to know if I could keep speaking.

I believe the Father was planting in their hearts a hunger for someone they had never heard about before. I believe they were discovering Jesus. I beg you to pray for them. I have never met ladies who struck me as so desperate for the peace and forgiveness that only Jesus gives. Please keep praying for us.

In Jesus, Linda, Kelsey and Dear Friends