Addiction RecoveryVolunteers

Does the Gospel Really Change Lives?

By May 20, 2020No Comments
Bob Jones University teacher Sherry Miller helps students experience the power of the Gospel over addiction

Sherry Miller (center) with Bob Jones University students

Editor’s Note: Sherry Miller is an adjunct faculty member at Bob Jones University (BJU) who is passionate about sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and helping women overcome their past and become healthy. For the last 10 years she has been volunteering at Miracle Hill’s Renewal recovery center for women and Shepherd’s Gate shelter for women and children. Sherry always brings BJU students with her so they too can see the life-transforming power of the Gospel. In this post, Sherry writes about one student’s experience.

A student who visited Renewal with me on a Monday morning came out of class teary-eyed.  I asked her what she thought of the amazing ladies I teach.  She told me there were no words for what she had just experienced.  She was shocked and amazed to see these dear ladies so excited about Jesus.   I encouraged her to share her experience with Dr. Kevin Oberlin, Associate Dean of the BJU School of Religion. Following is Kaitlin’s* letter:

“I am currently in Mrs. Sherry Miller’s class, Women’s Ministry, and she asked me to share with you a blessing I told her about because of an assignment she had us do this week. Mrs. Miller had us each sign up for three times that we could go with her to her different ministries that she has with women in addiction.  I was signed up to go this Monday (yesterday) to the Miracle Hill Renewal Center.

Hungry for the Truth

The moment I walked into the classroom where there were about eight or nine ladies I felt a sort of energy that I wasn’t expecting, especially on a Monday morning.  During the next three hours they were all very attentive to every word Mrs. Miller said.  They all had their notebooks out and were taking down notes more than most college kids would!  They responded whenever a question was asked . . . even rhetorical ones.  Some of their answers were quite shocking as they pertained to their specific backgrounds but were also very sincere.

When Mrs. Miller would make a point and one of the ladies had something to say that would back her up, they would say it and start to encourage the others to listen well because what Mrs. Miller was saying is true.  I was amazed to look at these ladies’ faces and see that they were completely engaged.  Each one seemed to be glowing with excitement to be in class learning about what God says and couldn’t wait to fill in the next blank or write a Bible reference next to their notes.

This energy and excitement very quickly overcame my own heart as I watched what God had done in the lives of women who had done unthinkable things.  It was an encouragement and blessing like no other to see a twenty-four-year old and a fifty-year-old sitting side by side with their Bibles out, sharing what God had rescued them from.  I could almost feel the power of the Gospel in the air!  They were not only an encouragement and a blessing but also a great rebuke.

A  Wake Up Call

Here they were, with backgrounds full of sin and heartache, without Christ but now having just recently received Christ.  Then me sitting beside them having the blessing of growing up in a very protected, conservative pastor’s home, hearing about God on a daily basis. Yet they were the ones so thirsty for God’s word and to understand it.  They were more attentive and awake than I am in most sermons at my own church!  They understood that everybody needs to hear about this Savior that changed their lives so drastically.  And here I am with Christ as my Savior since I was four, and although I have grown in my love for Christ through the years, I don’t have half of the excitement and energy these women have for the things of the Lord and reaching others.

We learned in chapel yesterday that wisdom does not come through knowledge.  It is a gift that only God can give. (Prov. 2:6)  He does this through trials and problems.  I really want to go back to Renewal just to be able to sit and listen, not only to Mrs. Miller’s wealth of knowledge and wisdom (and passion for the Gospel) but listen to the  wisdom of these new Christian ladies who have simple and yet profound things to say about our God.  Their zeal for God and His word is something I have yet to see in any devotional group in the dorms.  It was a wake up call to me. I would totally recommend to all my friends to go at least once.  I’m definitely going back soon.”

Radical, Eye-Opening Transformation

Kaitlin’s letter is a typical response from the students I bring.  Meeting women whose lives have been so radically transformed with the Gospel is not only eye-opening but also life-changing for these students.  Many of them have expressed a desire to be faithful at evangelism because of what they saw at Shepherd’s Gate and Renewal.  Praise Jesus!  That is what I am praying for.  There are so many more who need Jesus.

I love my dear friends at Renewal more than they will ever know.  I wish every Christian could witness the life-transforming power of the Gospel like I do.  We serve an amazingly kind and compassionate God.

For information about volunteering at Miracle Hill’s recovery centers or homeless shelters, visit https://miraclehill.org/how-you-can-help/volunteer/

Post submitted by Sherry Miller. Sherry can be reached at millersherryj@gmail.com.

 

*name changed to protect student’s identity