Women walking down road in Central Asia. Photo by Adam Hagy.

Friendship opens doors

Joanna's position in a cleaning company has opened doors to many friendships and even more conversations.

Around the world, many OM workers find employment in local businesses, both to support themselves and as a way to become part of the community. In Central Asia, Joanna* (Brazil) has found that her position in a cleaning company has opened doors to many friendships and even more conversations.

Joanna works as a manager, providing training and overseeing the cleaning workers. She has developed a close relationship with many of the staff over the years, and female colleagues often share their problems with her. Among these women is Fotima*, the company administrator, who has been talking with Joanna for nearly two years about problems in her marriage for which she blamed her husband.

At the start of the year, the company had to call Fotima back to work from her maternity leave for half a day every working day. The director suggested that Joanna look after Fotima’s baby as he was too young to go to daycare. Joanna prayed and discussed it with her OM team members, who felt it was a chance for Joanna to develop a real bond with Fotima by taking care of the baby. 

Joanna took up the challenge of babysitting the 13-month-old while Fotima’s older child was in daycare. Joanna said, “I have had more chances to speak into Fotima’s life and challenged her to pray for her family life and her husband. Fotima didn't know how to pray, so I wrote down some examples and prayed with her. After a few weeks, Fotima wrote a prayer and read it to me. I was very encouraged to see that Fotima was moving forward.”

Start with prayer

As Joanna goes to Fotima’s house every morning, she starts with prayer, blessing the family and the home. She prays for the baby and sings the Lord’s praises as she puts him to sleep. Fotima’s sister-in-law lives next door and comes in every day to talk to Joanna.

“We've already had some good conversations about the Holy Book,” Joanna shared. “Fotima’s sister had already had the opportunity to read some part of the Bible, but didn't understand much, so she asks a lot of questions. I am praying that this lady would surrender herself to the Lord.”

As Fotima and her husband got to know Joanna better, they agreed to let her look after their children while they went out on a date. Fotima’s husband was reluctant to accept the offer but enjoyed the experience very much.

A few days later, Fotima gave Joanna an affectionate hug of appreciation. “She has seen some positive changes in her home,” Joanna explained. “She understood that her husband wasn’t the cause of all problems but she herself also needed to control her tongue and to act with gentleness. We had talked about how to apply constructive discipline in her dealing with the children. She was reluctant at first, but gradually understood the importance of it, and she has seen positive improvements in her children as well.”

Please pray that God will open the hearts of Fotima, her husband and Fotima’s sister-in-law so that they can meet Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Pray for God’s wisdom as Joanna shares His messages and love with Fotima and many other workers in the company.

*name changed

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