Imagine hearing something for the first time in your life and it makes such an impact on you that it changes you completely. Imagine feeling empty inside, no hope for tomorrow, then you hear a passage of scripture that opens your eyes and your heart and gives you an assurance and a whole new positive outlook on life like you’ve never heard or felt before.
That is what the ladies at the bible study expressed when they heard and read for the first time the Proverbs 31 passage. I was not at that particular bible study, I had another engagement, but I suggested that the women talk about the type of business they could envision themselves in. A respectable business that would honor God, something in which they could be proud of themselves in what they do. A few of the ladies in the bible study group were former sex workers.
As the leader read the passages of scripture in Nyanja (a native Zambian language) and English, with bibles you helped to supply, and described the Proverbs 31 woman, she said the ladies interrupted her to ask questions. She had never seen this level of animation and interaction before, the women were so excited they could hardly wait for her to stop reading and join in with discussion.
Some of the women have sold their bodies for a drink, for food, for rent money. But when they learned of the dignified, hardworking woman in Proverbs 31 they were thrilled that a woman could make that kind of difference in her own life and family.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow, as it judges the thoughts and purposes of the heart.”
I can imagine when they heard the scripture how it cut through the years of disappointment, through layers of guilt, sin and shame. The Word of God sliced through the negative words and gave them a hope that only the Word can give. As those chains of negativity and hopelessness fell on that day I can only imagine that the women started to dream, not only for themselves but for their children also.
The following week I spoke to the women concerning the Proverbs 31 passage and all I could see were smiles and grins on their faces. I asked them what was it about this passage of scripture that made them so happy. One of them remarked “the Proverbs 31 woman did not rely on her charm, but on God.” Another said what she enjoyed was that the woman in Proverbs 31 was strong and that “she would wake up early, and give everyone responsibilities.” Another said that whatever missing piece we have we can only find it in God.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support as together we break the chains of spiritual, emotional and financial poverty in His name.
Blessings, Sarah West