This weekend, as we reflect on the meaning of Easter, Natasha Schoultz, one of our project workers in Europe, shares how she came to have a faith in Jesus, and how she felt called to work with women in brothels
'I grew up in South Africa in a strong Baptist family. I attended Sunday school every Sunday and knew most of the Bible stories well by the age of eight.
At that age, I understood that Jesus loved me and I wanted to follow and please Him. So I prayed telling Jesus that I believe He is the Son of God, that I believe He died on the cross because of my sins, and that I want to be His child and have Him “live in my heart”.
As I continued going to church and growing older, I learned more about what this means – it means a relationship with God, where we talk to each other through prayer and reading the Bible.
Shraing my heart
When I pray, I talk to God and share my heart, and when I read the Bible He talks to me through the Bible and I understand how He loves me and what makes Him happy. I try to live my life finding His way for my life, and following that way, because I love Him and know that He loves me.
I also know that He knows better than me what is good for me. In the Bible it says the heart is deceitful, so I know that it is not best to follow my heart but better to read the Bible and see what God says on any given topic.
To me having Jesus in my heart, means having Him change my heart to be more like His heart, to love the things He loves and to hate the things He hates. As I read the Bible, I see where my heart needs to change.
When I was 14 I was baptized in my local Baptist church, and shared my testimony with the church.
'Like a desert'
After my baptism, I went into a “wilderness period” (meaning my spiritual life was dry like a desert, rather than full of life as God would want) where I still prayed and read the Bible, but where I did not fully try to obey God. The less we obey God the more like a desert our lives become – we feel empty and dry inside.
When I was 23 and living in London I realized that I would never be happy until I completely surrendered my life to God, meaning not just believing in God, reading the Bible and praying, but really following Him every day in everything! I call this giving Him “Lordship” of my life. Around this time He became the Lord of my life.
Called to missions
A few months after this I felt called to missions; I wanted to see people all around the world also have this beautiful relationship with Jesus. I moved to South Korea six weeks after making Jesus my Lord!
When I was 28 I started studying at seminary (M.Div) to become a pastor. I want to pastor women – especially women in brothels. I graduated at 31, and moved to Eastern Europe to do this ministry (in brothels) which is where I have been since.
It has been, and continues to be, a beautiful journey with Jesus!'