Chris Stevens’ daughter is a missionary. No, she hasn’t travelled to far-off Africa to build churches. But she willingly shares the good news of Jesus with friends and sees God’s mighty power at work.
At the ABMB 2015 convention, Chris shared the story of Sparrow, who is only in elementary school, yet has great faith to see transformation in the lives of her classmates.
When the Stevens were pastoring The Gathering in Ottawa, a little girl named Sophia lived down the street from them. Sophia, whose family weren’t attending church, would arrive at school every day in tears. The only thing that seemed to comfort her were Sparrow’s prayers.
At one point, the family knocked on the Stevens’ door at night, asking for Sparrow to come and pray for their daughter because Sophia just couldn’t fall asleep.
It turned out that Sophia had a brain tumour. Eventually, the crying ceased, but the tumour – and its subsequent medical treatments – caused the little girl to go blind.
The illness had brought untold stresses into the family’s life, so The Gathering congregation decided to host a movie-night fundraiser for Sophia and her family, with Soul Surfer as the feature film.
“Dad,” said Sparrow, “you said that when I turned seven, I could fast and pray for anything I wanted. Could we fast and pray for Sophia to see the movie?”
“Sure, honey,” said Chris. So they fasted and prayed together, asking the Lord to restore Sophia’s sight.
And he did!
Sophia was able to watch the movie and “see” the congregation raise $17,000 for a family who didn’t even attend their church. Part of the family eventually became Christians and joined The Gathering. And a local CTV news reporter involved in the story also ended up giving her life to Christ.
In the end, a medical and financial need brought before God resulted in holistic healing in many lives.
“Jesus never heals the physical without addressing the whole person, bringing shalom into their lives. Jesus’ great desire is to see wholeness come into our lives,” says Chris.
And it all began because a little girl believed God could use her for the sake of his mission.