Cayla, SP staff in San Jose, and the young women’s Bible study surround Gloria with truth and encouragement as she finds freedom from fear to make tough choices.
Discipleship sometimes means making hard decisions.
Prior to joining our church community, Gloria* made a series of not-so-good decisions that landed her with a warrant for her arrest. She lived as a fugitive in fear of deportation, not knowing when the law would catch up with her. Then one day she was stopped for a minor traffic violation, and the police located the warrant. She was given a court date and told by her lawyer that she would likely be sent to prison the day she appeared.
Gloria knew then that she needed guidance. She didn't want to keep living in fear, estranged from her family and being influenced by people who weren't good for her. She reached out to my co-worker Annika and started attending our Bible study. She asked for prayer and for help and in turn found a community that wanted to love her.
Then came the hard decision: should she attend the court hearing or continue to run from her mistakes? With a lot of prayer and a lot of courage, Gloria decided to appear in court. The Lord was faithful! Her sentence was decreased from nine months to three months, and she was not sent to prison right away.
In our Bible study, we were learning about the life of Jesus. At one point, Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it" (Matthew 16:24).
For Gloria, this was a very real call. She was faced with the decision to save her life or to lose it. I can proudly say today that Gloria made the brave decision to choose righteousness in the face of fear. And the Lord has blessed her for it.
In the last three months, Gloria has been faithfully attending our Bible study and has begun a discipleship relationship with Annika. We have joyfully witnessed her grow in her faith, ask great questions, and pray out loud for the first time. Transformation is so beautiful!
*Names have been changed to protect privacy