Beautiful Things


My husband and I serve in a creative-access country, where our Alliance team partners with a local believer named Maddie* to help expectant migrant moms in crisis situations. Through difficult circumstances in Maddie’s life, Jesus has faithfully revealed Himself to her and reminded her of His love.

Maddie was one of my first English students. While getting to know her, I invited her to our home group. I noticed every time someone prayed with her, tears streamed down her face.

One week at home group, my husband served communion and explained the elements. Maddie’s participation confused us because other unbelievers in the room did not partake. I wasn’t sure if she was a follower of another majority religion—as she claimed—or of Jesus.

After returning to the field following a yearlong home assignment, I reconnected with Maddie and continued our friendship. She began to reveal to me abuses in her life.

End of Her Rope

Back in 2009, Maddie had started a shelter for women in crisis pregnancies. The man with whom she had partnered in the endeavor was apparently using the shelter’s funds for his own gain. Years later, Maddie discovered he was sexually active with some of the women. He also became increasingly abusive toward Maddie.

Like the women pictured here, Maddie was originally from Central Asia and is now reaching expected migrant moms in crisis situations.

Looking for a way out, Maddie disclosed to me her deep pain. We prayed and fasted together, and I continued to share the good news with her. One night I felt compelled to e-mail her the gospel story. I asked the Lord if it was His will that He would give her a vision of Christ.

Earlier that day, Maddie had been to an Orthodox church. The way to ask for prayer in that setting is to write your needs on a piece of paper. The priest picked her paper from a large stack of requests and advised her to print an icon of the Virgin Mary and pray to her.

That night on her balcony Maddie set up the printed icon and a lit candle. There was no draft, yet the first paper burned up. The second paper did too.

Next, Maddie took all the papers she had printed and glued them one to another to make them stiff. Maybe this will help them stand up, she thought.

Maddie fell asleep, but she awoke in the middle of the night. The printed icon had caught fire a third time. In a panic, she snuffed the flame out and chucked the burned papers from her ninth-floor window.

Falling to her knees, she wept. Everything she tried hadn’t worked. Yet at that deep moment of need, Jesus appeared to Maddie. “Why are you crying?” He said. “Why are you looking for Me through an intermediary? Come to Me directly.”

Second Chances

Two days later, Maddie answered my e-mail, and she told me she had made a commitment to Christ in 2004. She had been baptized but walked away from the Lord and attended a university of the majority religion from her country. A medium who stayed in her home told her to renounce her faith in Christ because she had been born into another religion. So Maddie did as the medium said.

Maddie told me she was a sheep that had wandered far from the flock. She didn’t understand that God is a God of second chances. After explaining to her that all hope was not lost, my husband and I helped her to rededicate her life to Jesus. We told her if she wanted to escape this abusive relationship, we would help her.

Through a series of circumstances, Maddie ended up in a shelter in a nearby country. She felt ashamed because she had been the director of a woman’s shelter and now she was living in one. But the person in charge of that place helped Maddie renounce many sins in her life and return to the Lord.

Maddie then lived with relatives in a neighboring country for a year. I helped her register for a few leadership and spiritual growth conferences. At one of them, Maddie received healing prayer and a vision from God.

He took her to His throne room and showed her beautiful things. She felt warm, loved, and comforted there. He was clothed in white, and in one fell swoop, He motioned with His hand and clothed her with what He had on. Then without warning, she dropped into a chasm filled with dark, murky water.

She began to drown. This is the end, Maddie thought. I’m going to die. But with the same speed she dropped into that water, God picked her up. The dirty water on her transformed into beautiful sky-blue flowers. He told her, “Speak; tell your story.”

Looking Forward

Maddie’s return home started a period of intense growth. We invested heavily in her spiritually and discipled her. We came alongside her to dream about opening a new center with God-honoring purposes. Now we’re helping her to fulfill her passion by opening a new nonprofit for pregnant, unwed migrant women.

This temporary residential program will offer support for young moms through mentoring, counseling, teaching, and practical help. Maddie understands these migrant women’s culture and mentality, and we’re able to help by praying for Maddie and the team working with her. Together, we look forward to seeing God’s plan unfold in the lives of many migrant women whom He is calling to Himself as He fulfills His purposes in providing gospel access for and from all peoples.

*Names changed

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