The verse that came to my mind when preparing to write this Lenten Devotional was Acts 1:8 (NIV):
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
I first learned this verse when my daughter, Rachel, was in early elementary school and was in the AWANA club (a kids Bible Study full of fun activities and challenges to memorize Scripture and get prizes). She began AWANA right here at St. Thomas UMC when she was in kindergarten. She has been raised and nurtured by this church family for her entire life. As a two-pound preemie, our church family held her up in prayer for many weeks while she was in the NICU following her unexpected early arrival. Later as an infant, she was baptized and was later confirmed as a youth making a public confession of her faith. Those verses of Scripture we learned together in her years in AWANA were planted in her heart and mine.
Little did I know that AWANA would have just as big of an impact on my life as it did on my daughter's. By the end of sixth grade, Rachel and I had together memorized over 300 verses of Scripture! She received the Timothy Award to recognize her years of hard work, and I received something even more precious than diamonds: the gift of God's Word planted within my heart and my daughter's.
The creators of AWANA likely were not thinking about witnessing to adult women like me, rather their focus was to provide a Biblical foundation on which to build a Christ-centered life for children. A bonus of having a child attend AWANA was that I was learning God’s Word right along with her! The seeds of Scripture planted in us will not return in void but will accomplish what God desires (Isaiah 55:11).
I've never had the opportunity to travel internationally or go on a mission trip. I'm excited for the people who can share Christ with others by traveling to places in need of physical or spiritual help. I'm hoping that someday I will have that opportunity to go, serve and witness. However, God has shown me many times that there are plenty of people who need to know about Jesus Christ right here in Northern Virginia. There are plenty of folks that I encounter throughout my daily work and everyday life who need to hear the about the saving grace that can only be found through faith in Jesus Christ.
I pray that God can help each of us find new ways to build on our own Biblical foundation by studying Scripture. Help us to put our faith in action by witnessing the Gospel message to others. I pray for God's guidance to provide these opportunities to tell others about Jesus. After sharing Christ's message, I pray for it to continue to be shared with people near, far and to the ends of the earth. In this way, we are truly serving as witnesses for Christ to further his Kingdom today and for future generations. Amen.
About Lora Ometz
Lora Ometz and her husband, David, have been members of St. Thomas since 2000. They have enjoyed participating in a variety of ministries over the years (they love Trunk or Treat!) along with their children Rachel and Daniel. Rachel is a student at George Mason University studying Bioengineering. Daniel is a high school student who enjoys art and video games. Lora works in the evenings as a pharmacist and serves regularly as a Liturgist at the 11 a.m. service.