As I’ve worked at Revive Our Hearts for the past decade, I’ve often wondered what the standard “shelf-life” for a ministry is. At what point does a ministry tend to grow stale and “expire”?
All I know is since I came here over ten years ago, this ministry has never been “static” or “stale.” In fact, it continues to grow, and grow, and grow—far beyond our little team’s wildest imaginations or abilities.
We’re hearing these days from every corner of the globe. Passionately fiery women are convinced that Revive Our Hearts is needed in their language, in their country, for their women, and they’re willing to sweat and sacrifice and do whatever it takes to make this happen. Here’s one such story from Kubamitwe, a remove village in Uganda Africa. Enjoy!
A Whole New World
If you wanted to pop in on Danielle Hurley, it would take you approximately twenty hours to get to her house—by plane, not including layovers! As you can imagine, this missionary wife and mother of six could easily feel isolated.
But thanks to technology, Revive Our Hearts is able to drop by Danielle’s kitchen every few weeks. “It opened a whole new world for me,” she told us when she discovered our online programs.
Worth the Wait
Danielle spends her days serving those in Kubamitwe, a remote village in Uganda, Africa, so she needs to be filled with God’s Word in order to continue pouring out to others. That’s why every few weeks she travels two hours from her small village to the capital to get the only Internet connection in the area—and even that’s slow!
It takes her about twenty minutes to download the Revive Our Hearts podcast in that little coffee shop, but it’s well worth the wait for Danielle.
She returns home with a couple of podcasts, and as she’s making dinner in the middle of the jungle, she listens to Nancy. “There has been many a day I have tears streaming down my face,” she told us, “because I’m feeling so ministered to by a godly woman who now is in my kitchen in the jungle. It’s an amazing gift.”
Spreading the Message
But what’s really amazing is that Danielle hasn’t kept that gift to herself; she’s been busy sharing it with others.
She and a team of elders’ wives are studying True Woman 101 together on Tuesdays, and then on Wednesdays each leader is taking the material to one of six surrounding villages in Uganda.
Danielle released each limited copy of True Woman 101 to these leaders on the condition that they would faithfully teach the material to their village Bible study each week. To ensure a thorough comprehension of all the material, they divided the eight-week study into forty weeks and translated each day’s homework into their local language, Luganda.
And . . . it’s spreading even further than that!
Just last month, Danielle taught True Woman 101 to over 400 young women at a National Youth Conference, and she has been given the opportunity to teach it to over 600 women at a National Women’s Conference this December.
Because of You
Thanks to your support, we can offer Revive Our Hearts programs and transcripts for Danielle to download all the way over in Uganda, for such a time as this. If you could drop by Danielle’s home, she would thank you for “the fellowship of women to listen to in my kitchen.” Somehow, I think the women she invests in each week would thank you wholeheartedly as well.
“It’s inevitable that our hearts will be revived,” Danielle says, “because that’s what the Word does, and that’s what the ministry of Revive Our Hearts is built on.”
God has provided new opportunities to speak to women around the world over the Internet.
Women around the world are being transformed through God’s Word for the first time. Would you help Revive Our Hearts take advantage of these opportunities for worldwide reach?
Now is the time to strengthen and encourage those on the front lines who are sharing the gospel with every nation on earth! Your gift by midnight tonight will not only do just that, but it will also be matched. Give now.
This post is a bit different than usual as I wrote it for Revive Our Hearts, but I still wanted to share this great story with you. It’s even more meaningful to me ’cause I’ve had the privilege of being in Cindy’s home, attending this same True Woman Conference, and seeing her and her husband just last month.
Cindy Cabrera couldn’t see herself in the traditional roles of mother and homemaker. Her father had drilled into her that children were an impediment to professional development and financial independence would serve as her ticket out of a bad marriage.
By age twenty-one, Cindy had earned a dental degree and began working at a prestigious dental practice. Ten years later she did marry a man—and even had a baby—but she didn’t let them interfere with her work.
Cindy always said she didn’t have what it took to be a mom, so she left her son with a nanny and headed back to work a month after giving birth. Cindy was the leader of the home and the main provider. The pressure, however, was getting to her.
She got pregnant a second time, then a third time. Finally the increasing pressure in their marriage, the power struggles at home, and the long hours managing the practice drove Cindy—and her husband—in desperation to church.
A Defining Moment
While there, Cindy heard about a spiritual conference in America. She had attended dental conferences in the States, so she signed up immediately, not knowing that this True Woman Conference would prove to be the defining moment of her life.
As Mary Kassian delivered her message “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby,” God destroyed everything Cindy had believed about her life in one fell swoop and gave her a brand-new life—His life.
She returned home realizing it was time to make some drastic changes. And she did. But it wasn’t easy. Several months later, after also being saved, her husband confessed his sin of infidelity. The Lord sustained Cindy through that trial through all He had done in her at the True Woman Conference. It was painful, but as a result, God has blessed Cindy and her family massively.
A 180-Degree Turn
A few years ago Cindy and her husband released their nannies, which is unheard of in their country. More recently, God has given Cindy the privilege of teaching her children at home, and she loves the daily opportunities to disciple them.
This year at the first international True Woman Conference, Cindy was able to share her story with the 2,300 attendees. She spoke from the stage:
I always said I didn’t have what it took to be a mom, and really, I was right. I don’t have what it takes, because what it takes is the grace of the Lord Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit working in my life.
Cindy will tell you that God has used Revive Our Hearts to change her life 180 degrees. Everything in her life looks different than it did six years ago:
The Lord changed my life at that True Woman Conference, and I give thanks to Him, because He redeemed me from a way of life that was so empty.
Yesterday I shared three takeaways from the book The Gospel for Muslims by Thabiti Anyabwile. It’s a thin book (yay for books that don’t overwhelm!) with two sections. The first section covers the basics of the gospel and how Muslims’ beliefs compare, and the second is filled with practical tips for how to share the gospel with Muslims (chapter titles like “Be Filled with the Spirit,” “Trust the Bible,” “Be Hospitable,” and more).
I didn’t realize until I picked up the book that Thabiti converted to Christianity as a sophomore in college. Get a copy for yourself to learn why he became convinced that Islam couldn’t be true and how God finally drew him to Himself. It’s intriguing!
Thanks to one of Thabiti’s practical suggestions, I’m going to be baking all week. I invited the woman in the hijab from across the street over for tea, and she said yes! Thabiti shares that only women have the opportunity to reach Muslim women for Christ (they can’t interact with men), and he suggests spoiling them like crazy when they come for tea. So I’m planning to do just that.
I have a bad habit of collecting good books on my shelves, in my attic . . . all around me, really—without ever reading lots of them. I’m always prepared, though, as you never know when one might come in handy.
The Gospel for Muslims by Thabiti Anyabwile is one of those books. It has always intrigued me (and not looked too thick and daunting!), but it took a move to a new city for me to find the motivation to pull it from its cardboard box and prioritize it above other books.
When I moved into our new home, I was thrilled to learn a Muslim woman lives directly across from us on one side . . . and another Muslim family lives directly across from us on the other side. (This is pretty exciting for a girl who grew up surrounded by cornfields!)
So I started digging into Thabiti’s book in earnest, especially because I’ve been praying for an opportunity to connect with the woman in the hijab across the street and that God’s light would penetrate her darkness.
You may not be surrounded by Muslim neighbors, but maybe you go to school with a Muslim or work with one—or will one day. So I want to share three takeaways I’ve gotten from this book so far that I think will help you, too:
1. It’s okay to feel afraid to share the gospel with Muslims.
Even Thabiti, who had experience doing so, shares of a time he was scared to death heading into another public debate with a Muslim. Here’s the thing: We don’t have to conjure boldness up from deep within us. Boldness comes from being filled with the Spirit of God. “In the book of Acts,” Thabiti shares, “the activity most frequently associated with the Spirit’s filling is speaking with boldness.” Here are just a couple examples:
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31).
Don’t keep silent when you are afraid. Pray that the Holy Spirit would fill you and give you the boldness you don’t have in order to be a witness for Him.
2. You have everything you need to share the gospel with Muslims.
You are equipped, even if you don’t feel like you are. The same message that saved you—the gospel—is the message that can profoundly transform your Muslim neighbors and friends. Seriously. Thabiti got me with this zinger on page thirteen: “In my experience, Christians know the gospel. They simply lack confidence in its power.” Ouch.
Share the gospel with Muslims. You don’t have to share it perfectly, without stumbling. You’re not responsible for whether they believe it; it’s simply your job to share with them the good news of Christ’s perfect life, death, and resurrection on their behalf.
3. Don’t try to minimize truths about God that you know your Muslim neighbor or friend won’t like.
For example, Muslims do not believe in the Trinity. The chief confession of Islam is, “There is only one God, and Muhammad is his messenger,” so they have a problem with one God in three persons. But rather than seeking to downplay this truth, Thabiti encourages us to “go there.” Why?
For one reason, we don’t get to create a God we understand. God says His “name” (singular) is “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). Also, Thabiti explains, “We must cling to the Trinity because apart from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, there is no possibility of eternal salvation. . . . The Father chose us (Eph. 1:4–6), the Son offered the only sacrifice without blemish that is able to purify us and satisfy the Father (Eph. 1:7), and the Spirit seals us and produces in us new birth” (Eph. 1:14).
Share who God is without feeling the need to apologize or “cover” for Him. God is not an idea; He is a Person—be true to who He is and what He shares to be true.
I’d love to hear. Do you know any Muslims?
Come back tomorrow to hear a bit more about The Gospel for Muslims and for a chance to win a copy!
Trevor and I chose to write our own wedding vows. Listen in as we share them with each other (he goes first, and then I do my best not to bawl my way through mine).
Now that you’ve watched them, I thought you might like to hear the “story behind the vows.” Why’d I choose these words rather than others?
I’m glad you asked. Let’s take it line by line:
Trevor Jon, I can’t imagine another imperfect man more perfect for me.
Some vows I’ve heard set a man so high he’s bound to crash and fall. I wanted to begin by remembering that no one—other than God—is perfect. Down with too-high expectations for Trevor; and, at the same time, up with appreciation for him! I’m amazed at how beautifully he complements me. Only God could have arranged such a match.
Thank you, thank you for choosing me. It will be my greatest honor to seek to bless you every day for the rest of our short lives this side of eternity.
Some vows I’ve heard set a man so high he’s bound to crash and fall. I wanted to begin by remembering that no one—other than God—is perfect.
It’s not every day a guy asks you to marry him. May I never get over the wonder that he chose me.
With God’s help, I will seek to be satisfied in His love each day before I seek comfort in your love. After Him, I will prioritize our relationship above all other relationships.
As the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl, I know full well that my default position is to fashion Trevor
into a “little g” god. The only way I will keep from doing this is by keeping the “Big G” God first. I need to prioritize Trevor without idolizing Trevor.
By God’s power, I will have eyes for you and you alone, and I will do whatever it takes to remain exclusively faithful to you—both physically and emotionally.
Like I said, this has been a problem area for me in the past, and I’m not naïve enough to think I’ll never struggle with wandering eyes and a wandering heart again. Over a decade of working in women’s ministry has taught me that emotional affairs are just as wrong and dangerous as physical affairs. I am committed to guarding my eyes, which will help me guard my heart ( Prov. 4:23–25).
By God’s power, I will joyfully submit to your leadership—as unto Him—in all areas of life.
I purposefully paired “joyfully” and “submit” together as most people (including myself for many years!) have a prickly, incorrect view of submission. If Jesus—”for the joy set before him“—submitted to His Father when it meant humiliating, excruciating death, how can I not joyfully submit to the Father’s beautiful design for a husband and his wife?
By God’s grace, I will always seek to outdo you in showing honor . . .
This comes from Romans 12:10, which was our theme verse while we were dating. In fact, I wrote a post about it here (though at the time I didn’t let readers know I was the girl I was writing about).
. . . and I will respect you in the way I talk about you with others.
Far too often my words have torn down rather than built up. I especially need to be on guard while hanging out with other women, as we so easily fall into this subtle, slippery sin.
With God’s help, I will daily choose contentment and gratitude over complaining and bitterness, and I will do everything in my power to never take you for granted.
With God’s help, I will hold no part of myself back from you—and at the same time, I will do everything I can not to overwhelm you.
Brutally open, honest communication is amazingly hard for me. Trevor has been helping me grow in this area. At the same time, I want to be wise about what and when and how much I share with him. I could easily overwhelm anyone!
And because of His immense grace toward me, I promise to never, ever divorce you, regardless of the circumstances.
By God’s power, I intend to do everything I can to give the world a right impression of God’s faithful, steadfast love toward His people.
Divorce has become so “normal” in our world, but it flies in the face of everything marriage ultimately points to. Marriage is a “great mystery” that gives the world a tiny picture of God’s never-giving up, covenant love for His bride. By God’s power, I intend to do everything I can to give the world a right impression of God’s faithful, steadfast love toward His people.
How about you? If you were getting married soon, what would be important for you to include in your vows?
PS: At our second wedding reception, we were asked why we chose the vows we chose. This is what we had to say: