Angela Malak, Temperance, MI
I am reaching out with a message of hope and encouragement, as the Lord has been working here in Michigan. It all started when my husband Mike, said yes to his friend Mike Stevens (from California), invitation to attend SOTO. It was there a spark was lit in Mike, that I could visibly see, as Jesus took hold of his days. He participated in his first journey group following that trip and has since started a group in our home town of Temperance, Michigan. The change I witnessed in my husband was unmistakable – he was abiding in Christ, living out his love for the Lord through personal abandonment and absolute trust. This inspired me and I began a journey of my own.
In the spring of 2020 Mike and I began praying about who we should invite to the Journey, and God answered. We wrote names down of several men and women, hosted a six week study on the Journey to the Inner Chamber, and then extended invitations to the 10 month Journey. Our groups started in October of last year and we will have commencements in August of this year. My heart is so filled with complete joy and peace over what Jesus has done in our lives and the lives of the men and women in our groups.
The women in my group are from a variety of backgrounds, there are bible scholars (two women who attended bible college and one with a degree in bible teaching), young adults and great grandmothers. In total there are 9 in the group and several of the women are praying about who they will invite to the groups they will lead in the fall (we will likely have 4 new women’s Journey groups starting in September).
Although the future is incredibly exciting, what the Lord has done in the past, through his Spirit, in the hearts of each woman (myself included) is hard to put into words. We are not the same – we are different, see different, love different, understand different, things are not as they were. The words of my sister Krista Burkett, who is in my journey group (and one of the women who attended bible college) say it perfectly, “it’s different now”! She thought she knew the Lord, had studied the bible inside and out, was unsure when her husband encouraged her to say yes to the Journey…. Yet, her words say it all – “it’s different now”! She knew a great deal about bible stories, about theology – yet knowing our true King, knowing God intimately, knowing our role as influencers, knowing personal abandonment and truly trusting in the Lord (in all circumstances)… and having a community of sisters to know our Lord with, we are no longer the same and are forever changed, forever different.
There are so many stories of conversations and revelations the Holy Spirit allowed through our group and fellowship with the Lord. Through abiding in Him, seeking Him and through his promises held true – when we seek Him with all of our hearts, we will find Him.
We will be recording video testimonials and our pastor will be sharing it with our church (he was not originally on board with encouraging participation in the Journey / is now a full supporter as he sees the lives of the body changed). We know the Lord will work as he has planned, to open doors and bring others into an intimate relationship with Him. Our plans are to pray and seek his will daily.