STEP OUT OF THE SHADOWS BY DONNA KRUGER
Women of Reverence welcomes Donna Kruger as a guest blogger.
I’m Donna, I met my hubby Dave on a blind date and have been married for 24 years. We are blessed to have a daughter and a son-in-law, and live on the Westrand.
We are elders at Foresight Church, part of the NCMI Apostolic Team and have the incredible privilege of heading up the South African branch of an international ministry called I Am Second. We are also on the I Am Second International Team.
I love colour as well as being creative and it all comes together in my Happy Place – making Sockimals – Animals from a NEW pair of Socks!
Sunshine D is one of my nicknames as by nature I am a Cheerleader and love encouraging people, with my favourite statement being “Let your Life Story Bring God Glory”.
Ever heard the statement, ‘God is always speaking but we’re not always listening!
Well that rings absolutely true for Dave and I. Up until 2012 we’d done our own thing; the only successful thing we truly accomplished was avoiding God’s call on our lives.
Fast forward some months and many heart to heart chats with Father God over a cuppa at 2am. We knew we were called to share Jesus, but how?
We’ve never been a run of the mill couple, always doing things differently and thinking outside the box, so we trusted God to give us something unique, a different angle, something practical, where we could encourage Jesus-followers and the unchurched alike. We desired a means to interact with people who might not know Christ, from different cultures and religions.
We came across an American Christian movement that centred around Story.
Everyone has one… you, me, the people out there; but ultimately it’s about God’s Gospel story – about the love He has for each one of us, that He sent his Son to die in our place and so restore our relationship with Him.
We began this journey with I Am Second which was a fantastic tool to attract people’s attention, invite conversation and answer questions. People are generally curious as to why we would want to be Second – Second to who? In a nutshell Jesus is First and I Am Second!
We seized every opportunity to get I Am Second “out there” via the engaging manner of my husband who found it easy to speak to anybody, be it on the street, at the shops, within a church environment, schools or sporting events. He was always up to starting conversations and sharing stories.
I was quite happy to assume my favourite position of Cheerleader; comfortable on the side lines and being Dave’s biggest fan while he led the ministry here in SA. I am sure there are a few of you who are familiar with this role?
My happy place was being the organiser, the planner, sorting out the admin side of things – all of which is essential, however ….
God has a sense of humour and I had my Cheerleader Space invaded when I was reminded that God had CALLED US AS A TEAM!
God expected ME to share my story, to speak about His goodness and love. If I had the courage, I could encourage and engage with people that Dave could not relate to. God reminded me, through a verse we often shared in our presentations, Rev 12:11: We overcome the enemy by the Blood of the Lamb and WORD OF OUR TESTIMONY and that He had not given Me a spirit of fear and timidity but of POWER, LOVE and a SOUND MIND. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. (2 Timothy 1:7-8)
I was petrified and had all the excuses under the sun as to why I shouldn’t step up. One thing I have learnt though this is that YOU must make the first move and step out of the Comfort Zone of your own creation. It’s outside of your safe place that God begins to use you; trust in God, for a change, and not your own experiences.
FROM CHEERLEADER TO CENTRE STAGE
The journey continues and I’m still learning the ropes, choosing daily to give control over to the Lord. Since then, we’ve had some unbelievable Adventures with Him, meeting incredibly interesting individuals, going to places I never thought we’d visit, having opportunities to share the Gospel and pray for a diverse range of people.
The Lord has given me His confidence (I call it God-fidence) to step out from Dave’s shadow and use my voice to speak His life-giving words over people.
Ladies, we each have a voice but are we using it to glorify God or are we keeping silent?
1 Peter 2:9 But you are God’s chosen treasure….He called you out of darkness to experience his marvellous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world.
It’s been challenging to accept, but I‘ve come to understand I am called (as each of us are) to be an Influencer. We have opportunities to show people Jesus, just by how we interact with them, how we react to them personally or to situations we’re in. People are always watching and our actions and words will determine the Kingdom impact on their lives… I choose to be an Influencer – (even if benefits just one soul).
PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
I asked my dear friend, Sumari Redelinghuys, to share a few thoughts on what I Am Second has meant to her…
“During a school assembly, after listening to the I Am Second ministry team and watching a White Chair Film, for the first time I remember thinking: “finally something practical and simple to encourage Christians to live out their faith!”
For me personally, I Am Second has opened a window of opportunity to share the gospel, share my story and inspire family and friends to live second. My favourite story is when I wore the wristband while officiating a wedding. The groom, later in his speech, mentioned something in the line of: “It’s like the wristband Sumi was wearing while officiating our marriage today. We all just need to put ourselves second, live for God and honour God in everything we do, and the same counts for my marriage.” If I can encourage others to live for God and devote their lives to Him simply by wearing the wristband while ministering, what more is there?
I Am Second has impacted and changed lives for the better! It’s a constant reminder; when in traffic, seeing I Am Second stickers in car windows, watching rugby and seeing players wearing wristbands, or working with my colleagues and congregation, that we all should put God first every second of every day and live second.”
Let Your Life Story Bring God Glory!