Starting in the Neighborhood
“God’s plans are better and higher than mine!” Haggai leader Melissa Mecan shares.
Moving into a new neighborhood was challenging for Melissa and her family. Besides the normal stress of moving your entire life to a new place, their sharing of the Gospel was met with hostility and rejection. When they felt it was too much, they moved again, but after Melissa’s Haggai Leader Experience, she and her husband felt the Lord was pulling them back to that first neighborhood. So, they moved back.
“I know that the Lord has placed us in this neighborhood to make a difference and to implant His Kingdom in a place where people trust in money,” Melissa says.
She reports that most affluent Brazilian people are not interested in spiritual matters, and it is often on the list of “things one does not discuss.” At the mere mention of Jesus, most people are repelled.
“We understand that this is a challenge that will be overcome with much prayer, but we need wisdom, prudence, and hearts that are receptive and free of prejudice,” Melissa says.
After the Lord spoke into her heart His vision for a neighborhood ministry, Melissa got to work, organizing cell groups and starting a prayer garden in her front yard. Her neighbors are already excited about the prayer garden, and one even offered to do the landscaping.
“What I passionately aim to achieve in bringing people to our prayer garden,” says Melissa, “is the lives of our neighbors for Christ. We want to establish the Kingdom of God in our neighborhood, bringing justice, peace, and joy.”
Melissa credits the Haggai Leader Experience for helping her find her mission and for giving her the tools she needed to get it started.
In her first week back home, she spoke to a small group of 10 women leaders about her experience, and one even accepted Christ as her Savior. Additionally, she spoke to a pre-teen cell group, and two girls accepted the call of Christ as a result.
She also shared what she learned with her children, who have now become “small missionaries,” sharing their own experience of salvation with their friends at school.
Melissa estimates that she has trained about 150 cell group leaders in total on the subjects of time and discipline, by speaking at two different sessions at her church.
“I feel that the doors to be a witness were always open, but after the HLE, I can see them with greater clarity,” Melissa says. “I feel more encouraged to take every opportunity to spread the Gospel.”
Melissa is now preparing to teach on other subjects and is excited about the progress in her prayer garden. She and her husband continue to serve as cell group leaders as well. Though they have faced much rejection and multiple moves, Melissa is confident that the Lord has prepared her through the Haggai Leader Experience to reach the souls of her neighbors for Christ.
“The work is not easy, but I know that He is the author of the plan and that, therefore, we will be winners.”
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