Are you making your life count? In light of our 2016 Girls Night Out events entitled “Make it Count,” we are highlighting a few women who are making their lives count. Let the inspiration begin!
Sometimes God makes our lives count in the most unexpected and unpredictable ways. Gladis Reyes was a mother and grandmother from a small town in Nicaragua. She was a strong woman who grew during the Nicaraguan revolution, married at the age of 17, worked hard to overcome poverty and fulfilled her dream of putting all three of her children through school. She was known for her love, discipline and affection. She lived an inspiring and full life by any measure.
But in 2014, the unexpected hit. Gladis suffered from an aneurysm and a stroke that paralyzed her on one side of her body. She was left hospitalized and dependent on others to care for her. But instead of giving in to hopelessness or despair, Gladis was humbled by her circumstances. She made a decision to seek God, and although she was limited by her declining health, Gladis studied the Bible with a determined spirit. With the help of her daughter-in-law Cathy, Gladis made the decision to become a Christian.
Her baptism left an impression on those who witnessed her determination and changed spirit. Often while in the middle of a Bible study, nurses and doctors would come into her hospital room to attend to her ongoing needs. One of her doctors inquired what church everyone went to and noted the name of the church on her phone. Months later, that same doctor looked up the note on her phone, searched for “The BACC” on the internet and came to church. She also attended a Girls Night Out event. Moved by that experience, she decided to study the Bible and made the decision to become a Christian herself. She was baptized at our annual Expo Service in 2015.
But Gladis’ impact didn’t end there. Although her health was rapidly declining, she was determined to return to Nicaragua and personally reconcile her relationships with each of her family members. Becoming a Christian had created an urgent desire in her to share her new life with her children and her community in Nicaragua. Her prayer was that they would be inspired to come to church with her.
Her prayers were answered; God graciously extended her life beyond what her doctors thought possible to give her enough time to fly to Nicaragua and connect with her children. Because the church in Nicaragua did not have a location in which to meet, Gladis invited them to use her land for their church services. All her children were able to attend services with her. In addition, she also gave food to the poor and encouraged those who were sick.
When God finally called her home, the extent of her impact was shown in the hundreds of people who attended her funeral.
And even after her passing, Gladis’ legacy lives on. Her repentance inspired her granddaughter to explore God. She attended teen camp and while there was inspired to study the Bible. In October of 2015 she became a Christian.
Gladis’ story shows us the impact of a changed life can live on for generations to come. As the Bible says,
“After [s]he has suffered, [s]he will see the light of life. And [s]he will be satisfied. My godly servant will make many people godly because of what [s]he will accomplish.”
Isaiah 53:11 NIRV
What unexpected circumstances could God be working through in your life to lead you toward your destiny?
To learn more about making your life count, be sure to join us for one of our Girls Night Out events, happening around the Bay Area in the month of March.