Updated: May 3, 2021
After years of discipleship, spiritual warfare, gradual decisions for Christ, and Discovery Bible Studies, Joleene to baptized 3 of her neighbors in August 2020! Their public commitment to Christ lit within them a desire to share the Good News with others. They’ve even seen a second generation DBS!
Starting Discovery Bible Studies While attending a neighborhood ladies’ Bunco night, a few women mentioned that they’d be open to doing a Bible study with me. I had heard about Discovery Bible Studies and thought that would be the perfect way to read scripture with these new friends of mine. So I reached out to CDM to learn more about the process.
My neighbors and I began to meet in each other’s homes and started reading the Bible from Creation and worked our way through key passages. When we were in Leviticus, one lady was taken aback by all the animal sacrifices. Another woman mentioned that there was a connection between the sacrifices and the cross. So the first lady asked to know all about that connection.
I was then able to story my way through the Gospel with them and two of them said yes to following Jesus that day! We’ve continued to meet for over a year and it has been amazing to see all that God has done!
Persevering Amid Spiritual Warfare The journey with these ladies through Biblical stories from creation to Christ was lengthy but fruitful. They received Christ at different points, one even after the story of the sacrificial system laid out in Leviticus!
However, the decision to follow Christ brought immense spiritual warfare, keeping them from baptism. Finally, one of the ladies had a pool built in her backyard and I knew this was the moment to make the invitation again. I asked my Disciple Making Community prayer group to pray for confirmation when I asked them the following day. To my amazement, they all expressed a desire to be baptized when I called each of them the next day!
Despite the victorious moment, the Devil toiled to interfere in the Baptism. Prior to the baptism, one of the ladies confided in me about spiritual warfare. She explained the onset of inexplicable anxiety and panic attacks the previous evening and asked for prayer.
I told her, “The enemy knows that God has you and will use you to spread love to your family. He is unhappy and wants to interfere in the plans that God has for you.” In the name of God, I prayed over her and baptized her!
The Spread of DBS After baptism, I asked one of my neighbors when Jesus became her Lord and Savior. She explained that reading a story of baptism in the Bible led her to accept Jesus into her life. I inquired further, “Why do you want to be baptized?” She responded, “I want to publicly proclaim that I am a follower of Jesus and I want to make Him my Lord and Savior for the rest of my life!”
Finally, I asked, “What is your hope for the future?”
My neighbor responded, “I wanted to grow in my relationship with Christ, grow my prayer life, and share the Gospel with people!”
As my neighbors were baptized, I noticed the new fire laid on their spirits to share Jesus. Seeing their moms’ baptisms, some of the ladies’ children expressed a desire to follow after their moms and get baptized as well! Since then, one lady’s two daughters started a DBS with their mom as a second generation DBS! I coach her through the DBS process and support her as she facilitates the DBS!
Walking alongside these ladies as I discipled them and watching them take the step of baptism was one of the most exciting experiences of my life! Please continue to pray for this community as the Gospel spreads to the families of these new believers.
Lessons Learned from Joleene’s Story Spiritual warfare is to be expected when someone commits to the Lord. Throughout Joleene’s story, she describes how spiritual warfare held back growth among her neighbors!
Perseverance and consistency are integral to discipleship. Joleene remained diligent in her dedication to her neighbors despite spiritual warfare and long years of waiting. God used her faithfulness to strengthen her neighbors’ resolve to take the leap and become baptized!