Today we are sharing a story from our friend and reader, Mattie. Check out her incredible story of living a missional life!
I ran into her in passing while walking into school one morning my freshman year of high school. We caught eyes, her’s were kind and seeking. There was something different. I felt a nudging in my heart from the Holy Spirit, saying, “Be bold, be honest, be kind, be loving.” In that moment, I had no idea why I was feeling this inside my heart, but as the next 4 years unfolded, I was able to see how God’s heart is for people to come to know Him, and this is a story of how my friend, Sepi, came to know Him as well.
High school was the first time the Lord opened my heart and showed me the true beauty and importance of sharing my faith with those around me. It’s when I had prayed that I would become more aware and sensitive to His prompting of when to do so. So beautifully, He answered what I had been asking. As I read scripture and sought out opportunities for me to learn and grow, He revealed to me how He is an missional God. I came across Psalm 37:4 which says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desire of your heart.” This beautiful verse captured what had been happening to me for the firsttime during this period of my life. I grew in knowing Him as that became true, His desires became my own, they became my desires that I so desperately wanted to cultivate.
Naturally when Christ invades your life, who He is and what He has done simply can’t help but overflow into everything.
Being that school was my biggest commitment, that was where the Lord wanted to move in my life and those around me. Things brings me to my friend incredible friend Sepi. As time passed, we were constantly running into one another. Whether that was in school clubs or figuring out that we had the same common friends, she and I kept crossing paths and we became friends. My late junior year we began to spend more time together and one day we went to lunch together and shared our stories.
During this time, Sepi shared with me her story about her family. She is Persian and her family is from Iran. Her dad was captured by the government while the Iranian Revolution was occurring. Out of 20 high school students captured, 18 of them were killed, leaving one other man and her dad left. He ended upleaving Iran and came to the U.S., leaving behind the country in which he no longer wanted to call home. He started his life here and met Sepi’s mom where they would get married and have 3 children.
As Sepi is telling me this, I sat in the booth across from her at a Mediterranean food place with a heart of amazement. I was so thankful that the Lord had provided this moment for us to share our stories. I looked at her an became more intent because I knew this was a moment for me to be aware. She continued by sharing more about growing up. In return I told her about my story. Be bold. Be honest. Be kind. Be loving. I was able to be completely honest about who I was and what I believed in, openly sharing my faith in Jesus. Her response to my surprise was one that gave off the impression of desiring to hear more. I prayed for more to come.
I continued to seek out my friend as time passed and our friendship grew stronger. I prayed for Sepi to come to faith in Jesus and I asked God to have my life reflect Him so that she and others would see Jesus, not Mattie. These moments led to a student council convention where Sepi, two other girls and I were placed in a room together, it was an overnight trip. I brought my bible to the school trip because I thought… just maybe, just maybe I would use it for a special purpose that weekend.
The Lord, in His faithfulness and goodness, heard my prayer and He had been working in Sepi’s heart. The night unfolded by Sepi asking every question possible about the Bible, faith, Christianity, our lives, the lives of her loved one’s, etc. All 3 of us in the room had our jaws dropped as we did our best to answer her questions from 1 AM to 5 AM. At 4:30 AM Sepi looked up at us with tears in her eyes, declaring that she wanted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. I prayed with her. My heart was overwhelmed by the faithfulness of Christ. He would use this situation to allow Sepi and I to grow in our walk with Him as well as pave a way for me to speak on a 24/7 media based ministry that shares the gospel and gospel oriented messages to Iran and parts of Afghanistan. I gave a live testimony, sat in a chair speaking about Christ while it was being translated in Farsi, and heard about those calling from those far countries asking to learn more. I still am humbly in awe.
To live in a missional mindset is to be behold in our confidence in Christ. To live with a missional mindset is to walk as Christ does, to seek out those around us of all cultures in order to share the life and hope we posses because of our Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross. To live with a missional mindset means to be kind to our brothers and sisters, to walk in love as God commands us (Mark 12:30-31). I believe this is what it means to truly live as Jesus says in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” After all, He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).
Jesus is Life itself.
Mattie Carranza is from theNorth Dallas, Tx area and is now an upcoming sophomore and a Graphic Design major at the University of Arkansas (Woo Pig!). She loves fun flavored pops, fresh farmers market flowers, and a good book on any given day. www.mattieclairecarranza.wordpress.com