By Catherine Ficker
I grew up here in Servant Branch and went to Trinity School. After I joined the campus division I lived in Dinkytown for two years, and then took two years off of school to do missionary work. I’m finishing up those two years in May. This past year I joined the Sisterhood of the People of Praise, so I’ll be moving to South Bend in May and be finishing up school there.
Last March, Claire Mysliwiec, Joe Bulger and I were out walking in a middle-class neighborhood in Evansville. We were almost past this one house when Claire said she was moved to knock there. So we went back, and on the patio was a pair of little girl's jeans that were covered in mud and were drying out there. I felt like I really wanted to meet that little girl.
So we knocked, and we were greeted by a really fast-moving little girl. She saw us, then dashed off to go find her mom, Cindy. When Cindy came to the door, she looked really disheveled. Joe led off with a word we had received, which was, “God wants you to change your ways!” Cindy looked intently at us and said, “Do you want to come in?”
So we followed Cindy into her living room. Throughout the house, there were many piles of clothes on the floor. The walls seemed recently painted, but there were a lot of holes in the walls and a lot of crayon marks on the walls. She led us into the living room and turned off the TV, turned off the laptop, and she asked the kids to hold the dog so that there were no distractions in the conversation. She sat down and she said, “I want to listen to you, whatever you have to say.”
So we shared some words that we had received from that day’s prayer before we went out. After listening to us she said, “So, do you all know anything about lawsuits?” Cindy is married and has three small kids, and the family had suffered some really hard things, and she had recently pulled the kids out of school. She shared a few more details, and it became clear that the family was in a time of crisis and Cindy was at the end of her rope. The very next day, she was headed for Indianapolis for a hearing.
At this point, Claire had a word for Cindy from Isaiah 41 and she shared it with her. She said, “Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you and I will uphold you by my righteous right hand.” Cindy responded to this by saying that she had been battling with a lot of fear. She said that she was afraid to call herself a Christian because she didn’t want to mess up and damage God’s reputation. So we told her that she didn’t need to fear that, and we offered to pray with her against fear. We told her that God doesn’t wait for us to be perfect to follow him, and she was really relieved to hear that.
Then we began to talk about the Holy Spirit and we explained about the boldness the Apostles received after being filled with the Spirit. She was excited when we offered to pray with her, and she said yes. So we prayed with her for the Holy Spirit and we prayed against fear, and after we were done her face lit up and she said, “This is really exciting.” We were moved to sing a song with her, so we sang, “Our God Is an Awesome God.” Then she said, “I just want to give all the glory to God.”
She shared that on the top of her to-do list for that day was to pray, and she said, “I hadn’t gotten around to it,” so she was amazed that God sent us to her door.
She asked, “Do you go to every house?”
We said, “No, we wanted to come to yours.”
So after about an hour and a half of conversation with Cindy, we needed to head home and meet up with the Mission team before dinner, so Claire, Joe and I walked home, singing through the streets of Evansville, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.”
A few months later, after visiting Cindy and her family very often, it was really difficult to walk by without some kids running out at us and saying, “People of Praise is here!” Maybe there would be only two of us, but it was like “It’s the People of Praise.” So that’s fun . . . thinking of you all being there. Her two girls learned really quickly to sing “Love the Lord Your God” and “This Little Light of Mine.” We were singing it a lot.
This past month we visited Cindy again. Her house was really in order and the kids are in school now, and they’re doing really well. Praise the Lord!