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 I did not grow up in a Christian home nor was I exposed to Christianity much, except attending a local youth group with a few of my friends, but that was purely for the great food they served!   When my husband and I had our first child, we decided it was “time to grow up and get serious about life,” and go to church. Neither of us were born again, but we wanted our son to have a “normal” life that neither of us had growing up.  So, we tried out a Baptist church in town. The people there were nice and they welcomed us with open arms.  For the first few years, I sat in those pews with deaf ears to the Word of God.  I did not know any of the hymns nor did I know how to find the books of the Bible. It was quite embarrassing for me at that time because everyone around me seemed to have their act together, or so I thought they did!  I really felt like I did not fit in after a while. I felt like an outcast. I did not have a great Christian upbringing as most of church members had.  I had lived a life consumed with drunkenness, some drug use, fornication with my husband before marriage and *gasp* I wore pants to church. At that time in my life, I really felt that there was no way I could live the Christian life and be received by God until I cleaned up my act.

Thankfully, in God’s perfect timing, our church started a Titus 2 Ministry. I eagerly signed up because I wanted to have an older lady in my life to show me how I could live the Christian life.  At first, I was a bit intimidated by the woman the Lord placed in my life, but soon, we developed a wonderful relationship that still lives on today. Cindy would come to my house once a week, sometimes more, and guided me in the Scriptures showing me how I could be a woman who pleased the Lord, and how the Gospel could radically change me.  As I look back now to those moments 10 years ago, I realize that my friend Cindy was obedient to the command of the Great Commission. She became an example that I wanted to imitate because of the way the Lord used her to change me.  Cindy could have come to my home and taught me baking and sewing (not that those are wrong, but sometimes we minimize Titus 2 to just those things), but she didn’t.  She knew I needed the Gospel and wanted to introduce me to Jesus Christ. God, in His goodness and sovereignty, saved me and brought me into His family using my friend Cindy and the Word of God to transform me.

The relationship I had with Cindy was a like the story in Acts 8:26-31 with Philip and the Ethiopian. Like the Ethiopian, I admitted to my friend that I could not understand the Scriptures, so I needed someone to guide me. Cindy approached me and sat in “my chariot” and read me God’s Word each time we met. Through the Holy Spirit guiding me and convicting me, I started to slowly understand and get excited about the Gospel. My feelings of being an outcast were shattered by the Good News that Christ died for people like me; a sinner.  I am pretty sure the Ethiopian felt that same excitement because due to his physical defect and race, he was considered unfit according to the Mosaic Law to approach God.  This must have been a wonderful thing to witness in the New Testament times because it meant that salvation was for the Gentiles, not just the Jews.  

How many women sit in our pews feeling like this?  Many women will come to your church with sinful pasts, drug addiction, kids out of wedlock, or a real physical problem that leaves them feeling like the Ethiopian; an outcast unworthy of approaching God.  Just like my friend Cindy, we need to be obedient and run to the “Ethiopians “in our churches.  We need to be like Philip, who was obedient when the Spirit of the Lord said to him, “Go over and join his chariot.”  Was Philip’s response, “No Lord, I am too busy,” or “I don’t want to get into a relationship, it’s too time consuming and I just have so much going on right now,” or “I’m not a people person,” ?  No, Philip didn’t have some of the excuses we frequently use; the Scriptures say “He ran to him!”   These verses should move us and convict us in our own life to be obedient to the Great Commission and to get involved in the lives of other women as my dear friend Cindy did with me. May the Lord use us to introduce other women to Jesus.