By Beth Fontana
32. That’s the number of young women whose stories are filled with heartache and trauma, JJM had the privilege of meeting with over the last year.. Each time I meet with these amazing women, I am reminded about how so many of them have been raised in a world that thrives in creating an “Us” verses “Them” narrative, where they feel ostracized and diminished. That narrative is not the gospel. I am as broken and lost as them. I am passionate about the work because I hope for them to see that in Jesus there is no more “Us versus Them.” There is now “We.”
Each week I see the invisible God working. I see Him enter the chaos in their lives and grab their heart as we pray and read God’s word together. Many of these young women are overwhelmed when they see various passages speak to right where they are at. I have heard things like, “This speaks to me with what I am dealing with right now. How does that happen?”
They enter the doors of our meeting place often times feeling discouraged and many times leave encouraged. Each of them knowing that they are being prayed for, listened to and experiencing acceptance. Trust is being earned, so conversations are more vulnerable. There is one young woman in particular that I would like to share with you about. I will refer to her as Candice.
I met Candice as she came for prayer, but she didn’t want to talk about the “Christian God.” Before prayer, she wanted to make sure I understood that she believed in a god. After we prayed I asked her what she meant. She said that there were several times when she was prostituting herself that she was in danger and her life was spared. I said, “You are right. God has his hand on you.”
Two weeks went by and Candice came through the doors! This time she wanted to talk about the Christian God! Candice started reading an animated Bible. She proceeded to share the whole story of Paul. Candice said, “It’s started to affect me right here.” As she pointed to her heart. She even asked if she could go to church with me when she gets out. Each time we met we dug deeper into the things of God. Candice was recently sent to the Department of Corrections for juveniles, but she was sent with the teen animated Bible. God meets each of us right where we are.