A Tag Team Testimony
If you’ve been around here any length of time you’ve heard me talk about my friend, Josephine. We are an unlikely pair but this woman is knit into my soul like few other people. You really need to read here for the back story if you have no clue what I’m talking about. In fact, I insist that you go read it now! I promise you’ll get chill bumps.
A little history:
This is a photo of the first day I met Josephine in 2007. She is on the far right with the gray hair and gray shirt. She was a crack addict who often slept in the gutted apartments in this inner city housing project.
Josephine was born again during our church’s mission work in her housing community. This is our reunion one year later in 2008 – still drug free and working the first full-time job she’d had in years. Doesn’t she look like a different woman than that first picture? That’s because she is!
This past summer. Community of Hope – the organization who hosts our work in Smiley Court – arranged for J. to be given a car so she wouldn’t have to rely on public transit for work. I’ve never seen anyone any more proud of a vehicle in my life.
This past week I went to a fund-raising banquet for Community of Hope where the Director, Lou Ann Raughton, asked us to give a tag team testimony of how the Lord had brought us together and what He had done in Josephine’s life since then. Josephine had already spoken at the previous year’s banquet. Can you believe my girl went from smoking crack to speaking at banquets? Only God!
J. acting silly with her beautiful granddaughter. All but one of Josephine’s daughters were with her at this dinner and the one who wasn’t lives in California. There wasn’t a dry eye when she shared how she used to steal from her girls to support her drug habit. What she said next sent me straight into the ugly cry. “My oldest daughter put me out because I stole from her too. What I’ve learned from Christ is that I don’t have to steal any more because He freely gives me everything I need.” Profound.
It’s now been 2 1/2 years. Josephine is still drug-free and is working as both a restaurant hostess, and get this, at a church in a food/clothing pantry. She told me, “Lisa, they gave me a KEY! I’m moving up in this world, girl!” Indeed, she is.
A couple of things I want to say:
1. I’m not sure where your church is located but if you are considering a North American missions effort, Community of Hope in Montgomery, AL should be on the top of your list of host organizations. Most of y’all know I’m a Southern Baptist girl and proud to be. One of the criticisms I hear about our denomination is that we strategize missions instead of doing missions. That may be true in many cases but I can promise you that Lou Ann and her team are DOING the work of sharing the good news to those often overlooked by society. Visit the link to learn more about their ministry and find out how you can help.
2. I am so proud of Josephine my heart threatens to burst out of my chest every time I see her. She has Lou Ann and others around her for strength but she still battles those who would drag her back to her former way of life. Would you consider leaving a comment here to encourage her? She doesn’t have internet but I would love to print off this post and mail it to her so she can have a tangible sense of the pryers being offered for her when she is feeling weak.
Y’all are fabulous!
Awwww Ms Josephine! What a honor to read your story. I could not help but think that granddaughter of your’s doesn’t even know the old you. All she will know is a grandmother who serves the Lord! In 2 years He has changed your legacy! He loves you Josephine and people are lifting you up.
Oh…my…goodness! What an awesome story! I understand some of this…my husband was a borderline alchoholic….drank everyday…all day before the Lord got a hold of his heart and changed him 180 degrees and immediately took the taste of alchohol from him. He is now the Associate Pastor at our church and we are in the process of doing a church plant. The Lord is truly awesome. He restored to us the years that the locusts ate (Joel 2:25-27). He is doing that for you, also.
I remember your first post about her. How wonderful to see that see is doing so well! Only God can change a person inside and out!
You are an inspiration, lady! It is an honor to read your story and see what God is doing in and through you. Because of that, satan is going to tempt you in any way to pull you back into a life of hell on this earth. His schemes are neverending! My prayer for you is that God would surround you with his HOLY POWER and HOLY SPIRIT….and that you would know without a shadow of a doubt that HE is your Savior! For each one of us….we have to wake up and purposefully set out to honor God with our lives…..everyday!
I’m so proud of you and I know that your family must be as well.
May God continue to bless you and your life! Your testimony can change a lot of lives!
Big hugs from Indiana!
I am SO PROUD of you, girl! What a story of hope you offer to people around you. Can you imagine there are people out there who doubt God can do anything for them at all, even the tiniest of things, and yet look at what He’s done for you, and what you and He are doing together now!! That should inspire people, even myself, to not worry so much about the little things. God can handle them, just like He does the big things that come along.
And I have to tell you, I LOVE YOUR SMILE. I got chills on my arms and tears in my eyes just looking at your sweet face in the pictures Lisa posted. Give Lisa a great big hug after you read these comments, and pretend that it’s from a girl you’ve never met who thinks the world of you over in Atlanta!
Much love to you,
That is the neatest story. Only God! I just love reading things like this. It makes what seems impossible, so possible.
Thank you for sharing your story with others. What a testimony of the wonderful Grace of our Loving God. I’m so grateful that your daughters/grandchildren now have a mom/grandmother that loves the Lord. You inspired and blessed me today as I read your testimony. Two and a half years of living for Jesus is the most remarkable thing I know. Living in the fullness of his lavish grace and mercy. Oh how exciting to call upon Him to supply your every need.
Be blessed as your continue to share your testimony with others.
Because of Him,
Teresa ( a sister in Christ)
Josephine your story inspires me…to keep trying and never give up that the light at then end of the tunnel is really there and I will get there. I honestly think God sends us people with inspiring stories to let us know that He is working at helping those in need. Your story makes me want to keep trying to find my place in doing God’s work and if you can do then so can I .
Prayers and blessings for you.
Sweet Josephine! What an amazing testimony of God’s Amazing Grace YOU ARE!!! You fight the good fight girl and you keep placing one foot in front of the other as God leads you! I’m praying God will direct your steps and make your rough places smooth to the praise of His Glory!!
Stay strong with the help of Jesus, Josephine! You’re an amazing, living example of God’s love . . . it reaches out to each of us wherever we are, no matter what circumstances we’re in. The reason I love reading & hearing about people’s testimonies is that folks may argue about the Bible, or religion, but NO ONE can argue with a changed life. Your life is a shining light for Christ!
You’ve given me hope today — I serve in a ministry that reaches out to women who work in the sex industry (exotic dancers, mostly) and it’s slow going sometimes for many of these dear ladies. They are battling addiction,they’re coping with sexual abuse in their pasts, and many have kids to support. Your transformation is a great reminder of the life God wants each of them to have.
God’s richest blessings to you and your family!