This one took me forever to write, for several reasons. This season has been pretty crazy with school, some personal health issues, and major life changes including a new job and a move. But this story mostly took a long time to write because it is so close to my heart. I remembered reading the book Evidence Not Seen many times as a teenager, but I couldn’t remember why. I knew this story impacted me deeply because I remembered how I felt when I read it. God provided a night where I was able to take about 6 hours and re-read it while jotting down some notes to refresh my memory. This story was behind my desire to memorize as much scripture as possible in my teen years. It helped me believe that a relationship with God would be the most important part of my life no matter what else happened. It also helped me see how God is good and gracious in using random little things to help us stay hopeful in difficult times. Darlene’s story is about walking with God. Through joyful, wonderful opportunities, and through times when life is not at all what you thought it would be. My favorite verse for the past several years has been Matthew 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he had and bought it.” I love how it points to knowing Christ as a treasure worth selling everything for. Darlene treasured Christ like that in the beginning, as you see in her leaving her home to be a missionary in the jungle, but when even her missionary opportunity was taken away, you see that, even then, she found that treasure worth holding on to and pursuing. Through her story, you see that even in the darkest of times, He never lets her go. We are able to see the goodness of God steadfastly shown both in sparing her from pain at times, but also in being with her through pain.
- How could you serve God as an adult? What about now?
- Is there anything that could keep you from serving God?
- What scares you the most about following God?
- How do you fill time when you are bored?
- What are some helpful things you can do next time you have free time?
- Do you know any Bible verses you could hang on to in a difficult time?
- When could you take the time to build a close relationship with God?
- Where can you get more tools for building your relationship with God?
Isaiah 26:2&3 were a couple of the verses Darlene hung on to during her captivity. I made a series of graphics of these verses that progressively move from each word being spelled out to each word being prompted with just a letter. I hope this tool is helpful for memorizing these verses. I also made a word search for Psalm 55:22 and a worksheet for Psalm 91. Another great activity for this story would be to write out and decorate cards with Bible verses or highlight significant words in a passage like Psalm 91.