The Woman at the Recycling Center

March 18, 2013

Erin & Kay getting started on litter pick-up

Erin & Kay ready to begin picking up litter

Did we meet the woman at the well? In the course of picking up litter, Kay & I got to pray for a woman who told us, “The man I’m with, he’s not my husband.”

The project

“I’m a Christian, too. But I’m… backslidden.”

Our church is preparing to move into its own facility. As part of the preparations, a “scout team” was formed to pray through our new neighborhood, learning its needs, and finding ways to minister. We don’t want to be a church that isn’t actually part of the neighborhood. We want to be good neighbors, blessing the community in Jesus’ name. 

On a recent Saturday, we had a project to pick up litter in the immediate vicinity of our new building. My family — me, Kay, and our daughter Erin — formed one of the litter teams. Our assigned area was the other side of the street, heading south. As we picked up trash, I waved hello to anyone who noticed us, and prayed for personal encounters. The recycling center one block south was a particularly friendly area. People going in said hello. One worker thanked us: “You guys are awesome!”

The woman

A woman outside the recycling center greeted me, asking what group we were with. I said we were with The River Church Community. I pointed down the street and said, “We’ll be moving into that building soon.” I explained that we were picking up litter to bless the neighborhood, and to meet our new neighbors.

The man who was with her told her to stop bothering me. She said, “It’s OK, this is Jon, he says he’s here to meet people.” She then began telling me, “I’m a Christian, too. But I’m… backslidden.” I didn’t ask what she meant by that, but waved Kay over. We asked if we could “pray for you right now.” Kay, removing her latex gloves, laid a hand on her shoulder.

As we prayed, the woman said, “I’m married. But the man I’m with, he’s not my husband.” She kept judging herself saying, “I know it ain’t right,” but we kept telling her that God loved her and hadn’t left her. Kay then felt she had received a specific word from the Lord, and shared it: “Daddy wants you back.” The woman began to cry, and thanked us.

Lessons learned

If I’d had the training on Disciple Making Movements before this encounter, I would have known better how to bless this woman, possibly teaching her how to become a disciple of Jesus. But it was still powerful! And now, with what I’m learning from Cityteam, I’m going to continue to look for ways to bless people in Jesus’ name, praying that he will lead me to hearts he has prepared.

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

3 responses to The Woman at the Recycling Center

  1. nicky ferguson March 19, 2013 at 1:38 am

    What Jesus showed was God’s complete acceptance of everyone, what Christianity has done with its emphasis on ‘sexual sin’ is completely I feel against the real spirit of Christ and the lessons that Jesus the man demonstrated.