Keys to Life and Growth in Christ
“And we are confident that he hears us
whenever we ask for anything that pleases
him. And since we know he hears us when
we make our requests, we also know that
he will give us what we ask for.” (1 John 5:14-15)
1. Ask God to open doors
Madeline Trotman, IFI staff at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville, is always asking God to show her His will. Soon after school started in fall 2015, the International Student Center at UVA called Madeline with a question: A new student from China requesting a host family had commented that her parents were Christians but she was not. The University thought Madeline would be a good match for her. Was Madeline interested? Madeline was thrilled! Soon she and Shuang had the first of many lunch meetings.
2. Thank God to open hearts
The third time they met for lunch, Madeline said she wanted to thank the Lord for their meal before they ate. After Madeline prayed, Shuang suggested that they sing the doxology! “Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise Him all creatures here below…” rang out in the restaurant in English and Chinese! After lunch, Madeline took Shuang through scriptures that present the gospel, and Shuang prayed to receive Christ!
3. Enlist others’ prayers to support growth
Madeline and Shuang continued to meet weekly, studying scriptures that anchor Shuang’s new faith in Biblical truth. But Madeline did more: She enlisted friends and supporters of her ministry to pray for Shuang’s growth in Jesus.
In January, Shuang’s parents arrived for a visit and the Trotmans invited the three of them to dinner, asking their friends for prayer beforehand. Madeline comments, “The Lord knew our hearts in such an unusual way, as her mom couldn’t stop thanking me for mentoring her daughter and helping her find her path to God.”
Shuang’s mom and dad, “Allison” and “David,” are in a home-group Bible study in China. Allison spoke gratefully of seeing the care and guidance of God in her daughter’s life and presented Madeline with a framed wooden carving that says “Emmanuel: God with Us” in Chinese.
4. Continue prayer to yield roots and fruit
Madeline continued to ask friends and supporters to pray that the Holy Spirit would her times with Shuang that He would use those times to deepen the roots of Shuang’s new faith. “Please pray that she grows by leaps and bounds and shares her witness with her student friends,” Madeline urged.