Sarah is intelligent, soft-spoken, and kind. She has a gentle laugh and a way about her that makes you feel at ease in a moment. But honestly, I was nervous to talk to her. She lives in a part of the world where it’s illegal to share her faith. As I was preparing for our conversation, I thought, “What persecution have I faced for following Jesus? Nothing that comes close to losing my life or family. I wonder what this conversation will be like?”
Sarah’s not her real name, by the way. I changed it to protect her identity. If her family found out she follows Jesus, she could face grave danger. Even though practicing her faith puts her at risk every single day, Sarah still serves on the Prayer Team at Church Online.
Me (Jess): Why did you decide to serve on our Prayer Team?
Sarah: I remember the day this happened. I had a message from God one morning during my prayer time. He told me, something is going to happen today and you need to go ahead and do it. … He told me about it in the morning and that night I found the Prayer Team. It was so powerful I’ll never forget it. That was one-and-a-half years ago.
J: Why is serving in this way worth the risk for you?
S: I just trust that God is going to protect me. I know that he has the best for me in mind. I know that my family loves me so much, but at times I’m sad that they don’t believe in the same God. It basically comes down to trust. It doesn’t mean I’m always cool about all of it, sometimes I’m really sad about it. But I trust Him.
J: What has changed in your life since you’ve been serving?
S: I like to write instead of talking, so it helped to pray for people by writing. Then it helped to take a step and have courage to pray for people face to face. Serving on this team is mainly how I came to grow; it’s been through this ministry.
J: You’ve been part of the Life.Church Online community for a long time. How did you find us?
S: I used to listen to sermons from Pastor Craig a lot. I was curious what church he led and then I found the Life.Church website and Church Online.
J: You’ve also been a follower of Jesus for a long time, but you didn’t always have a community of believers around you. What did you do before you knew other believers?
S: Before getting engaged or serving, I used to create my own church with God. I would listen to worship songs at home and listen to sermons. I was able to do these things alone. I would pray for friends, family members. This is the basic hope for people in my circumstances.
J: Is it hard for you when someone with more religious freedom thinks it’s boring or feels it’s inconvenient to serve?
S: I just think it’s such a big, amazing gift. They can see people and hang out with them. They can pray for them, they can say it all out loud with no pressure, without being scared. I always think how I want to have that.
I asked Sarah to share one of her favorite stories from serving on the Prayer Team. She was helping a woman grieving from a broken relationship, and the way she responded was incredible:
I want to encourage you by saying that you have chosen the right way to mend your life, you have chosen praying, and really, prayer changes everything. A couple of months ago I experienced some hardships and deep pain and nothing made me get out of that pain but praying. And now I can declare and know that really prayer changes things, I lived this and I am sure when we are going to pray about your issues, everything will change to the best and I am sure that you are going to experience this.
After my call with Sarah, I prayed for a long time. I thanked God that Sarah is part of our church willing to do anything short of sin to reach people who don’t know Christ. I prayed that God would always find me willing to serve. That our church would be overwhelmed with people praying, “God, send me.” Are you ready to take the next step to serve? Click the button below to get started.