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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Home Group (11/29/07)

TITLE: Home Fellowship Prayer Group: Our Lifeline
By Joy Mounce
12/04/07


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It was back in January of 1982. I remember the time period well. Life as I knew it had drastically changed. My marriage of seven years was falling apart. Separation had taken place just a few weeks into the year as trust between us had waned, and selfishness was taking a good hold. At the end of January, though, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. It was then that my priorities in life began to change, and I became an active member of the church that I had started attending at a co-worker’s persistent urgings. She had invited me to church several times prior to my conversion. Then one day she confronted me with the question, “You’re never coming, are you?” At that moment in time I made a decision that was instrumental in the life change that would come. I told her “yes, I am.” This is why I believe there is definitely a time for confrontation in our witnessing to others. Had she not confronted me, I may have continued to stall. The key, of course, is to be sensitive and obedient to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

After I became a Christian and began attending church, this co-worker (Becky) invited me to a “home fellowship prayer group” that met on Friday evenings. Approximately 10-20 people would meet in different homes each week and pray for the needs of those present. A time of fellowship with one another would follow, including light refreshments. It was during these times that I really began to grow in my walk with God and other Christians. Someone always gave a Word from Scripture that was relevant for the time. (I might add that this group was sanctioned by our pastor).

After four months of marital separation, I decided to file for divorce since I didn’t see any change in my husband’s life, or his attitude/behavior and I didn’t want to live with the drinking, etc., anymore. (Boy, do I realize now how in need of patience I was, but God is gracious…) When I filed for divorce, my husband began to see that he was about to lose his family as we had a three year old son. So, he began to take notice of the changes in me and my life, and quit being so defensive when I would talk about God. Then, in June of 1982, we agreed to try once more to reconcile before the divorce was final. The stipulation for me to move in this direction was that he would attend church with me. Even though I was afraid he was just agreeing in order to delay the proceedings (and later he told me this was true), I agreed to try again.

When he began to come to the prayer group with me, his life was transformed. What he had thought was a game became very real to him. The prayers that we had prayed for him before were now being realized. Many friends within the group told him that he was only a name for months and now they were glad to see the face that went along with that name and to get to know the person behind it. Being part of this home group was instrumental in keeping us faithful during the early days.

At present, my husband is an ordained minister for our denomination. He earned his theology degree with pastoral emphasis in 1998. We have served on pastoral staffs (including senior pastor) of churches for a total of twelve years. Before that, we served in many different leadership roles in our local church. We are not serving in pastoral capacity at this time, but we continue to serve our Lord with humility that He would bring us so far in His kingdom and look forward to what His next assignment is.

I praise the Lord for His wisdom in leading us, in the beginning, to a church with such a balanced, strong foundational teaching and ministry, along with a “home fellowship prayer group.” He used it all to help ground us for what ministries He had in store for us throughout our lives.

P. S. This year we celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary!


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This article has been read 399 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 12/07/07
Inspiring testimony--I'm so glad that I read this today!
Joanne Sher 12/08/07
What a neat, wonderful testimony! Enjoyed this read.
Joanne Sher 12/14/07
Congratulations, Joy, on placing 11th in your level!