Woman Reaches Out in Faith and Witnesses Answered Prayer

Papua New Guinea | PNG WM | Deshsuly Joram | August 2, 2023

She is a missionary disciple like Dorcas, meeting people’s needs through the gift of clothing.

When Julie Olson, women's ministries leader in her church, heard a story one Sabbath of the people in a missionary's district who have no clothes to wear, except for the traditional native costume that covers only the necessary places, she was touched with the stirring of the Holy Spirit in her heart. She wanted to help these needy people. And who better than herself who works every day selling used clothing at Kalibobo Second-hand Clothing company? The obstacle, of course, would be how to pay for the items.

While asking God for help and guidance, Julie became convicted to ask the general manager of the company to donate a bale of pre-worn clothes. These needy people had been attending the lay missionary’s branch Sabbath school, small group Bible studies, and church services, and Julie realized that filling their need for clothing was essential in preparing them to accept Jesus. She continued praying about her challenge all week from Sunday through Thursday.

Friday, she decided, she would go and talk to Mr. Bob Kriso, the general manager. Although Julie knew he was a Christian, a member of the Foursquare Church—a Protestant denomination sharing the gospel and meeting the needs of people in Papua New Guinea—she didn’t know how it would go when asking on behalf of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The procedure for requesting donated clothing was to write a letter and provide pictures as evidence or proof of need. And she hadn’t yet made an appointment to see him.

But Julie was determined to do her part in reaching out to people who need to know Jesus. She had just finished two weeks of laymen’s/Bible worker’s training at her home church, Bilia Point Branch, BMR Organize Church [sic], conducted by Madang Manus Mission, April 10-21. She prayed for the opportunity to make her request informally, that very day, without following policy. Like Esther, Julie’s prayers were already being answered before she made the request. God had prepared Mr. Kriso’s heart and orchestrated an informal encounter.

On that Friday morning, Mr. Kriso happened to be right there greeting Julie when she arrived for work. In response, the passion of her heart came tumbling out. “Good morning, General Manager! Our Seventh-day Adventist missionaries are here giving us two weeks of training as lay missionaries.” Julie continued her story, but she hadn’t even finished her request before hearing Mr. Kriso’s amazing response, “I’ll give you two second-hand bales.” Julie was speechless. She had not yet asked for one bale. Catching her breath, she thanked the general manager and went to a corner where she praised God for answering her prayer and for doing even more than she had asked.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kriso instructed a supervisor to prepare two bales of second-hand clothing for Julie. The supervisor quickly had the bales ready for pick up and asked when Julie could arrange for someone to collect the load. While she was replying that she had already texted someone for help and she would find out soon, she looked up and saw the needed truck already there and ready to pick up those two bales of donated clothing.

“I saw the powerful hand of God through my prayers,” said Julie, “and it is not me but God who made it happen.” She passionately shares her story because her experience empowered her to keep depending on God through prayer. Her heartfelt desire is to be a missionary for God, to serve Him by meeting people’s needs through clothing as did the disciple Dorcas (Acts 9:36-42).

This is Julie Olson’s contribution, as disciple-maker and member of the Madang Manus Mission, for soil preparation for the “Papua New Guinea for Christ 2024” campaign. Although she won’t be at that location in person, her prayer is that the people in the Middle Ramu District in Madang Province will see the loving heart of their Savior through the gift of clothing and then make decisions to give their hearts to Jesus in return.

Photo credit: WM PNG
Contributed by Deshsuly Joram, the director of Women’s Ministries at Madang Manus Mission (in Papua New Guinea Union Mission in South Pacific Division) as told to her by Julie Olson, women's ministries leader at Bilia Point Branch, BMR Organize Church.

Published in Mosaic newsletter, 2023 Q3