The April sunshine was tipped with the faintest hint of chill – perfect weather for a brisk walk around the block. I laced up my tennis shoes and fell into step, noticing the friendly dandelions dotting the border of the road as I went.
I sat in a wing-back chair by the blazing fireplace, surrounded by friends on a Wednesday night; our weekly life-group meeting was underway. As I read aloud from Acts 2, I caught myself pausing when I came to verse 42: “...and they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42, NIV).
I grew up in church. Week after week I heard how important the Bible was to the Christian life, the problem was no one taught me how to study it. During my teen years, I read it through a few times, hoping that would suffice. I asked people around me how they studied, but it was little more than reading.
My afternoon nap ended abruptly as I awoke to a constriction in my chest, difficulty breathing, and a general sense of panic flooding through my body. “Something’s wrong…” was all I could say to my husband before I began to weep uncontrollably.
The air felt oppressively hot and sticky. A haze of dust and grime engulfed me as I watched dirty, half-naked children scamper around the rows of ramshackle cardboard houses. It was hard to fathom that hundreds of people actually lived in this cramped, filthy neighborhood — one of many “colonias” (poor, make-shift communities) near Juarez, Mexico. Most of the ho
Slipping into the bathroom of our single-wide mobile home on the orphanage property, I pulled the thin plastic door closed behind me. I was barely holding myself together and, not wanting to alarm anyone else by my internal battle becoming an external display of tears, I sought out the only place that had some measure of privacy. I fell to my knees and pressed my eyes tightly shut.&