The room was filled with women. They sat wall to wall on benches with no backs. A slight breeze blew through the windows that surrounded the room but the air was dry and hot.
They came to hear the woman from America speak. Many walked a long way to get there. They are not wimpy women who run from difficulty. These are women who have buried husbands and children. Who cook their meals over an open flame. They carry their water on large pots on their heads as they walk back and forth to the well. They endure the dry unbearable heat without air conditioning, and they find a way to keep their homes dry during the rainy season.
These are the women I had the great privilege of speaking to in Zambia.
On this day, we sang and we opened the Word together. They had come for a message of hope and truth. Many in the room were widows who knew the incredible struggle of surviving life without a husband to provide. These women knew sorrow and pain and were in need of answers.
We started in the Garden of Eden as we painted the story of God and mankind. Man has it made with God as a friend and the Earth as a paradise. With one poor choice, sin enters and ruins everything in sight. Fellowship with God is broken and the Earth is cursed along with mankind. But God was not finished yet. He had already made a way of hope and escape from this dire situation — the Son of Man would come and crush the head of that serpent and all would be right once more.
Story after story in Scripture paints the picture of Jesus as the hope of the world. I selected a story that I thought would speak to their hearts. Naomi and Ruth were widows, one was young the other old but they both knew the pain of loss. They understood what it was like to have no one to provide for them. Even the the most basic necessities of life: food, water, and shelter were difficult to attain. But Boaz enters the picture as the kinsman redeemer. He is the one who can buy it all back and make it all right again.
Oh how I wish you could have seen their faces as I told the story of these amazing women from the Old Testament. They wept with Naomi and cheered for Boaz. They rejoiced when they learned that they too had a Kinsman Redeemer and his name was Jesus.
One older lady shared her testimony at the end of day. She told about the days where she wondered how her family would survive after her husband died. But she watched God provide each step of the way and she knew it had to be Him. She hugged my neck and told me that she was so glad to know the story of Naomi. Now she would go and tell other women about how much God loves to redeem what is broken. (It just doesn’t get much better than that moment).
Many women accepted the gift of redemption that day. Some had never heard the story and were amazed at the love of God for them. It was an incredible day of special moments.
As we ended the day we sang a song of praise and worship to the God who cares about widows and women in crisis, and the brokenhearted. Come and See What the Lord has Done was the title of the song and the women’s voices soared as they sang and rejoiced, He has done great things for me!