Penelope’s Aunt Edith is an evangelist in California who felt like God was calling her to learn DBS. Today’s story is about how choosing to be obedient to share a Bible passage with one other person led Edith to see how God can work mightily through the Discovery structure. Here is Penelope to share all about her Aunt Edith’s story!
Edith Felt Called to Learn about DBS
My aunt Edith is in her seventies and she’s an evangelist to the core. It’s amazing to see how God uses her because she has so many limitations — she’s legally blind, her hearing isn’t great, and she struggles with depression and anxiety. Even so, whether she’s on the bus, at Walmart, or strolling through her neighborhood, she’s always looking for ways to share Jesus with people.
Eventually she heard about DBS and felt like it was something God wanted her to learn about, so she started attending our DMC on Sundays. It was a little overwhelming for her at first because the DBS format is more structured than she’s used to. For Edith, her interactions with people are usually spontaneous, based on what she hears the Lord telling her, so the DBS was something totally different.
Starting a DBS with a Filipino Neighbor Led to Her Own Personal Obedience
Despite her initial uncertainty, Edith decided to give DBS a try starting with Julia, a Filipino woman in the neighborhood where she lives with my parents. When it came time for their first DBS meeting, my aunt was really nervous because she’d never done anything like this before and had no idea what to expect. Mostly, I think she was concerned that the structure of it all would stifle the Holy Spirit’s work.
She confessed that she was nervous to Julia, who promptly reassured her that they would just try it out and see what happens.
When they finished reading Genesis 1 and got to the question of who they could share the story with before they met again, this was untrodden territory for Edith. Even though she had shared with tons of people about Jesus, it was almost always unplanned, so the practice of choosing someone to share with ahead of time was not in her wheelhouse.
In response to the question, Edith told Julia, “I don’t know who I’ll share with yet, but I’d like to share with a neighbor that God leads me to, so I will pray and see who that is.”
A big thing to know about my Aunt Edith is that she is someone who does what she says she’s going to do. When she says she’s going to pray about something, that’s not just a Christian cop out. She prays and then she actually obeys what the Lord shows her.
Gardening with a Neighbor Opened the Door to Share God’s Word
The next day, Edith tells my mom (her sister) that she needs to go share the story with someone in the neighborhood, but she hears God telling her to eat first otherwise she won’t have the energy she needs to do what she should. She has some blood pressure issues.
God also tells her that if her phone rings she shouldn’t answer it because it will distract her from going out and sharing the story. Sure enough, her phone rings, but she lets it go to voicemail.
As soon as she finishes eating, she hears the words, “Go right now. Don’t wait, just go now.” So she does!
She starts walking around the neighborhood, going from house to house praying the whole way. She passes by several homes before she comes upon her neighbor Angela gardening in her front yard.
“Garden with her,” Edith hears the Lord say.
For the next hour, Edith and Angela garden together and pick up leaves from her yard. Meanwhile, Edith hears the Holy Spirit speak. “Don’t you see what you’re doing? You’re helping her garden. You know — just like the story you read.”
Edith excitedly turns to Angela and says, “Hey! I have a story that the Lord wants me to share with you right now.”
She shares the Genesis story and, as soon as she finishes, Angela marvels, “Well isn’t that interesting? You’re helping me garden, which means you’re helping me participate with God in creating beauty!”
What a powerful response to a simple act of obedience!
What Edith Learned from this Experience
This story is all about the importance of hearing God’s voice, abiding in intimacy with Christ and co-laboring with Him by the power of the Spirit.
What Edith thought was going to be this rigid structure that would stifle the Holy Spirit actually helped her depend on God and see Him work mightily! He led her all the way through when she didn’t know what to do, telling her to eat, not to answer her phone, which house to go to, and when to share the story.
As we go and engage, we can talk to God and ask Him to show us what He wants us to do. This is all about joining God in what He wants to accomplish where He wants to work.