Ministry Out of The Box

On Fire After the healing service my brother was never hospitalized again. My family did not continue attending church, but my parents drove me to services every Sunday and Wednesday. I went from troubled teen to on fire with the love of Christ. There was no earthly explanation for the change. It was simply a miracle that everyone I knew noticed. One Sunday, my pastor preached a sermon using Psalm 2:8:

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I REMEMBER BEING WARNED
WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL
NOT TO PLAY WITH MATCHES.
Thankfully, I never did. I do remember the joy of
birthday parties and the scramble to find a book of
matches to light the candles. Why did my parents
look in the junk drawer last? Little did I know as a
child about the kind of fire that could be lit in your
heart when you make Jesus your Savior.

My parents thought a Christian
school would be a good idea for a
troubled teen like me.

When I was fourteen years old I started the ninth
grade in a private Christian school. I wasn’t a
Christian, and I had zero interest in believing the
Bible. My parents thought a Christian school would
be a good idea for a troubled teen like me. They
hoped it would help me meet a different crowd of
people and make better decisions.

On a Mission To Ruin My Life
By the time I was 13, I had already run away
from home. I skipped school frequently and
experimented with drugs occasionally. Clearly, I
wasn’t on a good path, but you couldn’t convince

me of that. I thought my teachers, counselors and
parents were on a mission to cramp my style and
ruin my life.
The days seemed long at my small Christian
school. I deemed chapel as boring and the dress
code a fashion disaster. The students were friendly
enough, but I had nothing in common with them.

Unfazed by My Tough Exterior
One student, Leslie, went out of her way to connect
with me. She seemed unfazed by my tough
exterior. One day, she handed me a cute card in
which she had written, “I am praying for you.” I appreciated
the card, but I turned around and complained
to fellow classmates that I didn’t want to be
bothered by that Jesus stuff.
I’m not sure why, but when Leslie invited me to a
movie night at her church I said yes. I remember
the movie touched my heart. When it was over, the
pastor asked us to bow our heads and raise our
hands if we wanted prayer. I lifted my hand. When
the pastor asked all who raised their hands to
come forward, I did not budge.
Weeks later. my family was invited to church by
a friend of my mom’s. This time my whole family,
including my Muslim grandfather, his second wife
and their four children, attended as well.

“I started my prayer box when I was 14. My dad was
an atheist and my grandfather, a Muslim, I prayed and
shared Christ every opportunity I had.”

— Monica to Leading Hearts

The church was hosting a healing service. My
younger brother has Down Syndrome and was
hospitalized frequently for other health related ailments.
Out of love for my brother, we all attended
the service. I hadn’t been to church often, and this
particular service seemed unusual. People were
clapping, singing loudly and raising their hands in
the air. I had never seen this before and feared
they might be crazy.
Later in the service they prayed for my brother.
Shortly after the prayer for healing, they extended
a call for all who wanted to accept Christ as Savior.

Much to my surprise and chagrin, I felt a nudge,
the same nudge I experienced at Leslie’s church.
I fought it for a bit and then stood up and walked
down the aisle. With tears streaming down my face
I knelt at the altar and gave my heart to Christ.

On Fire
After the healing service my brother was never
hospitalized again. My family did not continue attending
church, but my parents drove me to services
every Sunday and Wednesday. I went from
troubled teen to on fire with the love of Christ.
There was no earthly explanation for the change. It
was simply a miracle that everyone I knew noticed.
One Sunday, my pastor preached a sermon using
Psalm 2:8:

Ask of me, and I shall give thee the
heathen for thine inheritance, and the
uttermost parts of the earth for thy
possession (KJV).

Ask of me, and I shall give thee the
heathen for thine inheritance, and the
uttermost parts of the earth for thy
possession loose leaf paper. Then I started writing the names
of my family and friends under the Scripture verse.
I prayed over the names daily. Then my list got
so long I put it in a box for safekeeping. Over the
years, I started calling the box my prayer box.

My Muslim Grandfather Accepted
Christ
It’s been more than 40 years since I heard that sermon
and started my prayer box. I’ve seen most of
my family, including my Muslim grandfather, come
to Christ. I continue to pray for the others. When I
reflect on God’s goodness to a rebellious and stubborn
teenager, I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
Our Father’s love expressed through His only Son,
Jesus Christ, is more than amazing.

I Found Her on Facebook
A few years ago, I taped a television show about
evangelism and persecution. When we filmed that
show, I couldn’t stop thinking about Leslie. She
was the first one to witness to me. Where would I
be without Leslie’s boldness?
More than 40 years had passed, but I wanted to
find her and say thank you. I was ecstatic when I
found her on Facebook. I messaged her and expressed
my appreciation and apologized for my poor behavior. She was very gracious in her response.
She and I keep in touch now. We pray
for one another and encourage each other to stay
bold and share Christ every opportunity we get.

Rewrite Your Family History
We can all rewrite the history of our families with
the power of prayer. We can light our world with
the power of Christ by daring to share His love
without undue concern over the response. It’s never
wise to play with matches. It’s very wise to allow
the love of Christ to ignite a flame in your heart that
burns so brightly it extinguishes the darkness.

Sorting It Out
Are you allowing the love of Christ to ignite a fire in
your life? If not, how could you change that?
Do you have any family members or friends who
don’t know Christ yet? If yes, are you praying for
them regularly? If yes, are you looking for opportunities
to share Christ with them?
Do you fear, or have you experienced, persecution?
What has that been like for you?
Would having a prayer box or something similar
help you remember to pray for your family/friends
that aren’t saved yet?
MONICA’S LESSONS FROM THE JUNK DRAWER: PART ONE
LH