Torch, Spring 1991

~------------------------------------~-- A Homemaker Finding lays To Witness I ife. Mother. Homemaker. Can these ingredients add up to make oppor– tunities to share the love of Jesus Christ with others? JoAnn DiCuirci wondered this shortly after her marriage to Mike. Saved at 27 out of a lifestyle of worldliness, JoAnn was eager to tell about her newfound Savior. "Mike and I were fireball evangelists. We called our family, relatives, and friends to share the Gospel. They thought we were fanatics. But we were so excited about what God had done for us, we didn 't care," remembers JoAnn. "Then we began our family . I gave up career, independence, and a lot of free time. ' How could I make an impact on the world for Christ when I am stuck at home?' I asked myself. At first I thought I could regain some freedom when my son was old enough for school. But as soon as he reached that stage, our second son arrived! So I thought, 'Okay, God, just use me in a little way to tell others about Yourself. ' " JoAnn found that God was very eager to answer her prayer. When a workman came to install carpet, she gave him a cassette tape with the DiCuircis ' testi– mony on it. On another occasion she felt led to give a tape to a woman from India who was the cashier at a hotel. When a battered wife burst into their lives at 2 o'clock one morning, JoAnn com– forted her, prayed with her, and led her to Christ. "I am just as free as a homemaker to do God 's will as I was before I had children," relates JoAnn. Witnessing is really God 's work, beginning to end," she says . "As we are faithful to plant the seed of the Gospel and sometimes water the seed already sown, He does the rest. And if He allows us to actually harvest a soul every now and then, praise the Lord!" JoAnn suggests several ways home– makers can make an impact for the Lord. "Invite the church to have a vacation Bible school in your backyard. Open your home for a Bible study or the viewing of a Christian video. By all means invite your neighbors into your home for coffee, a meal , or dessert. Send cards to neighbors and friends on special occasions and include a Gospel message or tract. If you obey God in the little things , He will expand your horizons and give even greater creativ– ity for witnessing. "Perhaps the greatest thing a home– maker can do to win souls is pray. I know that as I persistently intercede for the lost, the Lord gives me tears for their souls. Psalm 126:5,6 states, 'Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow will return with songs of joy carrying sheaves with him.' "When I was in college I had two Christian suite-mates. They didn 't know how to handle me or my unsavory lifestyle. I think they must have been petrified to witness to me, but I am sure they prayed for my salvation. They will be surprised to see me in Heaven." JoAnn recommends praying for neighbors and friends to be brought to a point of need, then for wisdom from the Lord to meet that need. "As you love them in this way ," she says, "you may have the opportunity to pray with them, to present the Gospel, and even to praise the Lord in their presence for answered prayer. "I have also found it helpful to pray over the phone with hurting people," she tells . "The immediacy of this kind of compassion has an impact. Just ask, 'Can I pray for you about this matter right now?' Few will tum you down." According to JoAnn, there is no one way that is best to share the Gospel. "God uses the natural talents and spiritual gifts that He has given to each of us. I love to write. Also, I believe that my spiritual gift is teaching. So putting these together with my love for the Word helps me to minister to people through letters. It is a way I can give my gifts back to Him. "As the Holy Spirit lays someone on my heart, I pr, 1 yerfully compose a message specifically tailored for that person 's needs. On one occasion I felt led to write to a man who was kid– napped as a young boy and who escaped from his captor at age 17. He was featured in a magazine and then on a TV show. I located his address and wrote to him, enclosing a small check with which to take his family out for ice cream. He never responded. However, I received the cancelled check. Recently I found out that this man was killed in a motorcycle accident. Perhaps my letter was the last presentation of Christ he heard." JoAnn gives the impression that there is not a soul she does not love for Christ's sake. God has also given her what she calls "a special love" for Jewish people. She relates the surprise she experienced when she first learned that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. In the religious system from which she came, this fact had been hidden from her. "Both Jews and Gentiles can be raised in a religious home, synagogue, or church but never experience the con– version that both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament speak of: ' I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws ' (Ezekiel 36:26,27); 'If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new' (2 Corinthians 5:17). "True conversion is not moving from one denomination or faith to another. It is the realization that one has sinned against God and needs the provision of His Son, Jesus Christ, the perfect atonement for our sins, as presented in Isaiah 53. The sinner must then ask Christ to come into his heart and life and to be his personal Messiah and Lord." JoAnn DiCuirci , above left, is a homemaker and adjunct professor of education at Cedarville College.