Sunday, November 9, 2008

Growing Deeper with Moms In-Depth

Developing authentic friendships with Moms, through small group Bible study and Prayer By Jenni Halseth

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength… and love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

Two years ago I invited some women in our community to join me in a Bible Study. My original hope was to find five interested Moms, but to my amazement twelve signed up. As I got to know these women I was excited to learn that several had never before had the opportunity to study the Bible. Some were not involved with a church. The Moms who attended church were from five different local churches, bringing a true interdenominational flavor to our group.


There have been times in my life when I felt “strong enough” to be an “effective leader”. This was not one of those times…! I was in the middle of a number of challenging personal health issues (miscarriages, heart problems, etc.) and yet somehow the Lord saw fit to give me this inspiring opportunity to serve. Often, I am aware of how little I have to offer, but (of course!) God remains so obviously bigger than my weaknesses! He is so faithful to show up and move in powerful ways. Moms are genuinely deepening their commitment to Christ, true friendships are being built, and families are being changed. Not only have I seen Moms grow incredibly in their own faith journey, but the Lord continually uses these women to bless me in countless ways. My biggest prayer request has been that somehow I will be in tune with the Lord enough to not get in the way of all that He may be wanting to do.

Last year we had new people join and this year our group has grown to 25 Moms. Numbers are not important, but each changed life is. Once again the Lord continues to bring new Moms who have little previous exposure to Christianity or the Bible. Words cannot express how incredible it is to be able to witness the Lord bringing women to Himself, and some for the first time ever.

We now call ourselves “Moms In-Depth”, and have split into two small groups instead of one. Five of the Moms faithfully serve with me on the Servant Leadership Team, to keep us all afloat. I am totally thankful to be mentored as I serve - by a dear and wise friend named Marion. In order to care for the 50+ children involved, we have nine staff working in our children’s ministry called “MIDZ KIDZ.” MIDZ KIDZ is an answer to prayer as the children’s program has grown from a struggling childcare scenario into a blossoming Children’s Ministry. Caring for our 50+ children is such a vital challenge as we organize, organize, organize – and as we search for qualified staff, and the money to pay them! (Should you ever sense a leading to financially support the Moms In-Depth ministry directly, please make checks payable to North Brook Fellowship - our local North Branch, MN church.)

Over time, Matt and I have felt compelled to share with you this testimony of how the Lord is at work in the lives of these Moms. We hope you understand how much we appreciate your role in this. Your prayers and financial support allow us to not only serve full-time with Reign Ministries, but also to serve in our local community, as the Lord leads. Many of you are so faithful in your prayers; for our ministry with students, for our international mission trips, for our personal walks with Christ, and for our family. Here is one more area we appreciate your prayer support; for continued wisdom with my role in the lives of these Moms. For several, the Lord is bringing His healing into (the sometimes messy) backgrounds of brokenness.

I love seeing God change women’s hearts and lives through prayer and exposure to His Word. I love being a stay-at-home Mom with Nathan, Abby and Joshua. And I love that my husband is so receptive to the Lord’s clear and continual call to serve in long-term ministry with International Missions and Students. Yes, I admit that I may whine a little about living in a tent with lots of huge ants for several weeks at training camp…! But despite the challenges J God has given me a strong desire to support my husband in his ministry calling.

I know my commitment is first of all to my Savior, and then to my husband and children. Please join me in praying for wisdom beyond that. Many of us Moms seem to have a similar prayer request. Lord, show me how to keep my priorities your priorities. Grant me wisdom and discernment to balance all the valid possible things you may be calling me to invest in (and yes – that does include diapers, dishes and laundry :-)!

In Christ,