Encouragement from Above

A Facebook Friend, A Powerful Testimony, A New Brother in Christ

Recently, I have suffered some very hard blows.  These attacks really hit me where I live, and were difficult to take because they came from dear, trusted friends.  And they caused one of my closest friends to suffer, which is even harder to take than my own suffering.  Initially, I saw only the people involved.  I reacted as I usually do, with my Texas-style bluntness—speaking the truth without tact.  But after prayer, I began to discern the enemy who had used these friends against my friend and me.  Can those relationships be restored?

That was my question to God Tuesday morning.  Immediately, I got several encouraging messages through e-mail and on Facebook.  These friends and their messages so encouraged me that I began to believe that these relationships can, indeed, be restored.

One person who encouraged me greatly is Angelica, a missionary who lives very close to Milan.  I was so moved by her kind words that I felt an immediate and deep desire to meet her in person.  She was very enthusiastic about the prospect of meeting me, too.  So I started making plans to go visit Angelica immediately.

No sooner did I make that decision, than I heard from another friend, Casey, who lives in a small city in Tuscany.  Casey invited me to come hear Tony Anthony speak at a church in Modena that evening.  Since Angelica’s town is halfway to Modena, and since Casey told me that we had accommodations for the night, I said yes.

Tony’s testimony is powerful and very moving, and I encourage you to follow that link to his website.  On the train to Modena, Casey met an African man from Ivory Coast.  She talked to him about Jesus, and invited him to come hear Tony speak, too.  And he did.  He asked Jesus into his heart!  That’s what it’s all about: sharing the Gospel!

Between trains, I’d only had a moment to hug and greet Angelica on Tuesday, but Casey and I returned to Angelica’s home for a proper visit yesterday.  We had that immediate intimacy—a meeting of the hearts—that only comes from sisterhood in Christ.  We laughed, we cried, we prayed, we praised God.  We had a marvelous visit.  Now that I know how close she is, I can go visit her whenever I’m home in Milan.

Anyway, God used all of these things to encourage me after the difficulties and disappointments of recent events.  But more than encourage me, God has strengthened me to believe that the relationships can and will be restored—if I can let Him speak more tactfully through me.  Please pray for me to speak the truth in love, but also with delicacy and tact that can mend bruised relationships.  God is good!

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