As the Rev. Jamie Williams approached me after morning worship in August 2014, he shared briefly about The Walk to Emmaus and then asked me to pray about attending the 126th Women’s Walk that autumn in Lexington, Kentucky. Having already embarked on a journey toward a deeper relationship with God, my answer was a resounding yes!
This experience of love, which began with being hosted by Howard and Kathy Rosewell, was greater than any I have known in my earthly journey. I was overwhelmed to learn that many persons around the world were praying for me during my Walk, often waking in the middle of the night or wee hours of the morning to lift my name before God. The personalized messages I received from Jesus through the agape gifts left on my pillow and at my place on the dining table helped me hear God’s personal call. Everyone serving on my Emmaus Walk reassured, comforted, strengthened, and expressed love to me. The talks by lay leaders and clergy were so authentic, and they prompted me to think about where I was in my spiritual journey in relation to God’s call on, and desires for, my life.
One powerful revelation was that God called me over three thousand miles away from my Central American home to the Bluegrass region of Lexington, Kentucky to capture my undivided attention and reveal the depth of his amazing grace and limitless love for me. God’s desire for me to draw nearer through piety, study, and Christian action was unquestionable. Upon my return to Belize, I willingly and excitedly joined our Fourth Day group, who were on the brink of establishing a community. Our united commitment to Christian action moved us to establish a steering committee that later evolved into the first Belize/Honduras Emmaus Community with the help of the Lexington, Arizona, and Houston North Emmaus communities, as well as The Upper Room. Since then we have hosted 4 women’s Walks and 3 men’s Walks.
My first Walk led me to become more intentional about studying the Bible and sharing God’s Word with others. Noticing my personal renewal, family members at home and overseas asked me to lead a family Bible study, which we now hold on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. After my Walk, I also committed to study the Old and New Testaments. I completed a course on each testament, and by God’s grace I received good grades on both exams in preparation for becoming an accredited local preacher.
My personal commitment to God and myself now includes a nightly quiet time to examine my conscience. This examination serves as a powerful tool to gauge my spiritual progress as I seek to die to self daily, because Christ lives in and through me. My daily prayer now is for persons to see and hear Christ through me in my daily interactions.
Because I had committed myself to Christian action, during the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic, God entrusted me with cohosting, through the Methodist Church, a television, radio, and social ministry called Pause Power. Its mission is to help persons, especially the broken and hurting, more deeply realize that the hope found in God will enable them to better cope with and even rise above their challenges. This ministry continues to have significant impact on the lives of many people, both locally and overseas, as shared via feedback in calls, texts, and postings.
My journey with Jesus grows sweeter every day, and I continue to focus on always being available to him. My Fourth Days are not mine, but God’s, and I remain open to opportunities for growth. Pause Power, the media ministry God gave my colleagues and me, allows us to reach a wide cross section of audiences globally and continues to impact many lives spiritually, physically, and personally. The quiet nightly conscience examination affords me moments of feeling near to the heart of God and thereby growing spiritually. Having made a commitment to live intentionally, I intentionally choose daily to continue to study to show myself approved by God as his Word renews my mind and transforms my life.
Sandra McKay participated in the 126th Women’s Walk to Emmaus in Lexington, Kentucky.
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Seeing young people, both men and women, participate in and write their testimonies at The Upper Room daily devotional writers’ workshop in Yangon, 2019, has been a highlight for me. The event and testimonies led to the publication of the first Lenten devotional in the Myanmar language. I truly believe that through The Upper Room ministry, the Lord will continue to equip people in Myanmar to grow and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
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