Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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For Such a Time as This in Brazil, Day 2

Leslie Basham: Several years ago, Lillian Pedrozo was featured on the cover of a magazine in Brazil. The caption read, "Wonder Woman." But despite fame, success, and money, she knew something was missing. She didn't feel like a Wonder Woman.

Lillian Pedrozo: After working five days a week for twelve – fourteen hours sometimes, having to travel on weekends, I just didn't have the energy to go to church, or I didn't have a small group which I could go and talk. My relationship with my Christian friends I was losing because I didn't have time.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth for Friday, December 11, 2015.

When you evaluate what's going on in the world, do you ever feel overwhelmed by bad news, violence, oppression, conflict, dissension? Here on Revive Our Hearts we're evaluating and saying, "In the middle of all the bad news, what do we see God doing around the world?"

Let's take a quick whirlwind tour because we see God doing something amazing.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Yes, Leslie. One woman wrote us from Madagascar. She's applying to be a Revive Our Hearts' ambassador. She's fluent in French and is working with another one of our ambassadors in Switzerland to translate Revive Our Hearts' content into French.

Leslie: Here's an email from a woman in the Congo. She said God led her to the Revive Our Hearts website for help to answer some big questions she was asking about family, manhood, and womanhood.

Nancy: And here's one from Tazmania

I'm a wife and a mother of eight who has been blessed and changed because of the teachings of Revive Our Hearts. I've tried to share these beautiful truths with some other sisters and have faced some hostility and ridicule. But God has put a fire in my belly, and these reactions only show me how vital it is for sisters over here to hear them.

Leslie: This is from a woman in Sri Lanka

I must say, your teachings have really made an impact in my life. Last month we visited the U.S.A. I was able to get the book Lies Women Believe and Truth That Sets Them Free. It is a true treasure box for women. I am planning to begin a Bible study with this book with a few women, ages nineteen – thirty, and I'm so excited about it.

Nancy: Here's one from Southeast Asia

For the last five years, my children have gotten to know you as I have embraced your podcast. About five years ago we went through a tough season of loss. At that point I began listening to your podcast every morning as I did the breakfast dishes.

She goes on to say she's making plans to use True Woman materials to lead a small group there in Southeast Asia.

Leslie: Some Chinese women, who faithfully pray for Revive Our Hearts, said,

Our desire is that Revive Our Hearts materials can be translated into Chinese and that what has happened in the Dominican Republic in Spanish can happen in China for the Chinese.

Nancy: We got a sobering email from a dear sister in an African country who says,

I was born and raised a Muslim but converted to Christianity 2004. The Lord has done so much transformation in my life. I love listening to Revive Our Hearts. I believe the Lord has called me to minister to women, and I would love to be a Revive Our Hearts' ambassador in my country. I do not have any theological background. My only qualification is a heart that is yearning for the Lord and submitted to His will.

Wow! This listener is seeing many Muslim women come to faith in Christ. And since writing that message, we've found out that she has faced increased persecution and even death threats from her own family. We're praying for her safety, and that she'll continue to see women come to know Christ even in the middle of the persecution.

Well, God is clearly doing more than we could ever ask or imagine. We're watching Him work, and we're saying, "Yes, Lord. What would You have us do for such a time as this?"

Well, if all these reports have inspired you, would you be willing to partner with Revive Our Hearts to call women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ all around the world? This ministry can't exist without the support of our listeners, and we need your support right now in the month of December. Here's why.

Some friends of the ministry are doubling the gift of every listener up to a matching challenge amount of $820,000. We're asking God to put it on the hearts of listeners to meet that amount and even exceed it so that we can continue spreading the truth of God's Word in these dark, yet hopeful, times.

If you'd like to help us meet this matching challenge, give us a call to make your donation at 1–800–569–5959, or visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Well, after that whirlwind tour around the world, today we're going to spend the rest of our time in Brazil. This is another part of the world where we see God at work in some amazing ways. We never developed a strategic plan for Revive Our Hearts to have a presence in Brazil, but God is clearly up to something, and we're sitting by and watching His plan unfold.

Yesterday, we heard the story of Cindy Rast who had a burden to translate the Bible study True Woman 101 into Portuguese. We heard how unqualified she felt, which made her all the more qualified to be used by God as He brought this about.

Today we'll hear from a friend of Cindy's who has gone through the True Woman 101 study. From the outside, Lillian looked like she had all-a high-powered, globe-trotting career, success, public recognition. But none of that truly satisfied. Leslie, let's hear the story.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy.

Well, several years ago, Lillian Pedrozo was featured on the front of a Brazilian magazine. They wrote about her successful career and titled the article, "Wonder Woman." But when our team met her earlier this year, Lillian said, "I don't like the story I told there. I pray God gives me the opportunity to tell a new story." And here is that story.

Lillian: My name is Lillian Pedrozo, and I'm from Sãu Paulo, Brazil.

Leslie: Lillian grew up involved in her church and Christian school. She was a leader in her youth group, and it looked like she was on a track for a life devoted to God's kingdom.

Lillian: When I left school, it was a big change in my life because I was going from a totally Christian environment to a non-Christian environment at the university. I started in law school. Brazil is a little bit different from here. You go straight from your high school to law school. It's a five-year course in a big non-Christian university. You start working while you're studying for your college degree. So I was both in a professional and an academic environment, both of them totally non-Christian.

I kept on being involved in church, but I was really tempted with the things that the world was showing me.

Leslie: During her fourth year, she was able to meet with the head of a major law firm in Sãu Paulo who was coming to give a lecture.

Lillian: He spoke for about an hour in English. At the end of the interview he said, "Well, you're hired." Mainly because of my English.

It was a really interesting process because I was very young. I was 22 at the time. That was the end of my fourth year. So I went through my fourth year, my last year in law school, I was hired to be the personal assistant of the senior partner.

Leslie: When Lillian was twenty-three, she was invited to Miami to finish her training.

Lillian: Two months after I arrived, the partner responsible for the office resigned. And he said, "I'm leaving the legal arena. I'm going back to journalism. I don't want anything to do with the legal field." So they called me late in the afternoon and said, "Lillian, you will take over the office starting tomorrow."

So I accepted the challenge, and for the following three years, I was the head of the Miami office. I would sit next to presidents of companies, of air liners, of American Banks. I was starting to become famous within the legal area, within Brazil.

Being this foreigner of a foreign law firm in Brazil, whenever governors, whenever the President of Brazil came to Brazil, I was involved in the relations. So I had the chance of meeting at that time two of the Brazilian former presidents, several governors. I would sit with them, have dinner with them. I was very young. So it was very challenging, very challenging.

But it was a time, also, that I started to put much emphasis in my professional life and less on my spiritual life.

Leslie: As Lillian's job responsibilities grew, it seemed that her earlier passion for the Lord had disappeared.

Women can definitely be lawyers for God's glory, but in Lillian's case, as she became more and more successful, her heart grew further and further from the Lord.

Lillian: After working five days a week for twelve – fourteen hours sometimes, having to travel on weekends, I just didn't have the energy to go to church, or I didn't have a small group which I could go and talk. My relationship with my Christian friends, I was losing because I didn't have time.

So what happened was that after three-and-a-half years of being here in the U.S., Brazil is starting to grow. We started with the privatization of all the companies. There was so much legal work going on there in Brazil, so I asked to go back.

They sent me back. I was involved in most of the major privatizations in Brazil. I was responsible for the opening of the first Brazilian law firm in China. I was feeling proud of myself, of my professional life. I was single. I couldn't have a relationship because I didn't have time for a relationship.

I would work in the office ten – twelve hours and then go home, have my phone on during the night because China could call at any time, or Europe could call at any time. I would have to have the lawyers there and be available for the firm. I became such a much of a woman according to the patterns of the world.

Leslie: Lillian married at age thirty-five. A year later, her son was born.

It's for women in every season of life to evaluate God's highest priorities for them. As Lillian moved into seasons of marriage and motherhood, her career came first ahead of her family.

Lillian: Although I got married and I had my first son, then my second, I didn't stop. No, I didn't stop. I continued working the ten – twelve hours a day.

Many Brazilian magazines and newspapers would approach me to interview me and how it was to open an office in China, how it was to be working with Europe, and how a young woman with children and a husband could deal with everything. So I would give interviews, pages and pages of interviews in professional magazines, saying how I would deal with it.

I would say, "Oh, it's easy. You just have to equip your house. I have a nanny. I have a maid. I have a maid seven days a week because I have those that come in on the weekend. I have a driver. And I have to exercise. So I wake very early and I exercise with my baby on the crib next to my treadmill." I thought that was marvelous. I can be a woman, a wife; I can be a mother, a professional. I can keep fit. Perfect. This is what women, modern women have to be.

But what happened is that I was walking away from the Lord, and my marriage was no good. I would sell the image that I was happy, but I wasn't really happy. I allowed people to come and tell me, "You're so powerful. You're doing so well professionally; you don't need your husband. He's no good. What is he compared to you. You could do so well on your own."

So I got to a point that on January 3, almost three years ago, I came home one night, and I told him. I said, "I'm not happy. I want you to leave."

He was surprised. "I've been supporting you. Not that I like the lifestyle that you have, but I have been supporting you because I thought you were happy. And now you tell me you're not happy? It's not about me. There's something wrong."

I said, "No, it's about you."

God was very merciful and gave him plenty of wisdom because he said, "Well, I'll leave because you want me to leave, but I'm not going to be far from the kids." So he rented an apartment just next door. He would come home every day at the time the boys would arrive from school. He would stay until bedtime because he knew I would never be at home around 4. He would stay from 4:00 to 8:00 at home, then he would leave, and I would arrive after the boys were sleeping already.

Leslie: At one point, she was traveling three weeks a month, working fourteen hours a day and answering her cell phone at night. With the time difference between China and the U.S., she couldn't talk to her boys.

Lillian: I wasn't there to put them to bed. I wasn't there when they started walking.

Leslie: God began to call Lillian's heart through her sister-in-law who had been diagnosed with cancer.

Lillian: She was a godly woman. I haven't known someone who had a relationship with God who she had and who would live God as she did. When I separated from my husband and I asked him to leave, my sister-in-law, she didn't accept it. She would text me and say, "I'm praying for you."

And I would answer and reply back, "Thank you."

Then she would text me again the following day and would say, "I'm praying for you."

And I would answer, "Thank you."

Until it got to the point that she said, "No, I'm praying, but we're not praying for the same thing." And I just couldn't reply because, of course, we weren't. I was the one who asked him to move out.

So she went through this very, very long and difficult surgery. They had to take half her tongue, all her lymph nodes. She came back from surgery, but they had to do a tracheotomy, so she couldn't talk. So she text messaged me and said, "I want you and your husband to come to my house on a Wednesday night."

I didn't want that. I didn't want to see him. He called me and he said, "No, Lillian, we owe this to her. She's really sick with cancer, stage 4. We don't know how long she's going to be here. We owe this to her. So do you mind going?"

"No, let's see what she has to say. She won't say much because she can't really talk."

We walked in. Of course, she couldn't talk. She just opened her Bible. My brother was sitting next to her. She pointed a verse, and she handed her Bible to me. She said, "No, from my Bible, I want you to read."

And it was a verse that was so known to me. But as I started reading Romans 12:1–2, it says, "Do not be molded by this world." That version struck me there. I closed the Bible, and I said, "No, we don't have to go on."

I have taken the form that the world has said that a woman should be. I'm totally, totally the way the world says—that I have to be a professional that is successful, that I can be the head of my house, that I don't need to respect my husband or be submissive to him, that I can have others to train, teach, take care of my kids. That's what the world says. As long as you have money to pay, that's okay.

I said, "I don't want this anymore." It was so familiar to me, but I never had the true understanding because, until then, well, okay, "don't be conformed to this world." Okay, I would say, "I'm not. I'm a Christian girl that goes to Sunday school and church every week, and I go to a Christian school. I come from a Christian background. Oh, I don't have any of these worldly things. I'm not involved in drugs. I don't have any problems."

I took the form that the world has said that was the typical, successful, powerful woman. And we see them at church. They are in other professions. Because that's what the world says. Women have to be successful, powerful, equal to men in everything.

So, yes, I believe that a verse can transform completely your life.

So without going on in the verse, without any praying or anything, I just turned to my husband, and I said, "No, I want you back."

He said, "Well, I'll go back if you stop working."

I said, "Okay. I'll stop working tomorrow."

During that week, I just prayed. On Monday morning I said, "I'm not going back. Anything you need from me in order to do this transition, I'll do from home. Send a lawyer here. I'll sign all the papers. I don't want anything with my professional life. I don't need my business cards. I don't need my business relationships." None of the contacts that I had during these twenty-something years, I left it there. It's my life. It's my kids' lives. It's my husband's life. These are important to God.

I decided to ask to volunteer at my kids' school. It was the same school that I had attended, so they go to this Christian school. They gave me a position as a volunteer. I always tease, because I say, "I was partner of one of the most prestigious law firms in Brazil, and then I became the substitute of the assistant." There's nothing glamorous about that, but God is working in me and making me humble and giving me a joyful heart in doing very simple things.

So I started twice a week volunteering. I said I want to do my best in this simple work and have a joyful heart. And during this time I started working there, they let me give my testimony. I spoke to the high schoolers. And because of my testimony, one of the teachers there told his wife about me.

Cindy Rast: My husband came home and shared with me her testimony.

Leslie: Here's Cindy Rast.

Cindy: I thought, This woman is a true woman. She's been redeemed. She's been transformed. She gets it.

Lillian: So one day Cindy wrote me an email, introducing herself, and she said, "I have this Bible study that I normally do with women." So I started the True Woman Bible study.

Cindy: As Lillian participated in the True Woman 101 Bible study, I just began to see her just resonate with what was being taught and really affirming what the Lord was doing in her and giving her permission to be the true woman that God had called her to be.

Lillian: Now I see my husband as the head of my family. I see him as the spiritual leader. I allow him to be the head of our family, because before I didn't. I didn't let him make the choices. No, I was the one who made all the choices as to family plans. He loved me. He still loves me. He would follow and would accept, but now it has changed. We see that as a couple and as a family that we are being able to bless other families. Our family life has changed to so much for the better.

Now we do so many other things at church as a family where before I would do it individually on my own, and my husband would do his work and serve. But now we want to do it as a family.

We were privileged that we were able to understand the Word of God. We were able to understand and hear God's voice, and we just have to be careful to always seek what His plans are for us, to always be in the center of His will.

Cindy: I just saw Him awakening in her a desire to (something He had already awakened but just kind of confirming) to share her story, to share her message with other women and doing so boldly.

Lillian: Now all I want to do is share my testimony and tell other women the changes, how I don't miss any of the corporate world. God has been faithful to us. Our income was reduced drastically when I stayed at home, but God has been faithful to my husband. We had to do some adaptations in our lifestyle. In everything we praise the Lord because everything we have done has been better for our family.

It makes me feel so good just to be able to say, "No, we are going in the right path." It's not easy. I won't say that sometimes people have come and said, "Oh, don't you want to go back to the legal world?" They tempt you, "I have a position. There's a position in this place for someone just like you." No. I don't want to go back. I don't miss any of that.

On the contrary, I just want to prepare myself better equipped to be able to minister to other women because I don't want younger women to go down the path I went.

Cindy: She has committed herself, along with other two other women, to meet with me weekly. We pray, and we're asking the Lord to spread this message. We're asking the Lord to bring the ministry of Revive Our Hearts to Brazil.

Lillian: That's my country. It's a country that originally comes from a Christian background, but we lost so much. There's so much influence of other saints and other religions. People are so lost. It's so important to be there in the center of the Word of God and the will of God.

And the work that has been done through the Bible studies of True Woman 101, through Revive Our Hearts . . . We don't have podcasts in Brazil. Hopefully, one day we'll have it in Portuguese. But we do tell the women that know how to speak in English to access, to hear the messages, because they're so powerful—they're so powerful.

Lives are being restored. Lives are being saved—not only restored, but women that suffered depression . . . There are so many women in Brazil, in our churches, that suffer depression. They're being touched by the radio, the podcast, the messages, through the Bible studies, through the messages. So we have to continue just to spread the Word of God. This is very, very important to us.

Leslie: Here's Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth to reflect on the story we've heard. Nancy what goes through your mind when you hear Lillian's story?

Nancy: There are women everywhere like Lillian who are chasing after things they think will satisfy, but as Lillian discovered, nothing satisfies except knowing God through Jesus Christ.

At Revive Our Hearts we're excited to reach women just like Lillian and help them find freedom and fullness and fruitfulness in Christ. And just as Lillian has now been through small group studies using True Woman 101, we want to train and disciple women in God's Word.

This ministry wouldn't be possible without the support of our listeners. When God opens doors, as He's been doing in Brazil, in South Africa, throughout Latin America, and other parts of the world, it's listeners like you who help us walk through those open doors.

You do that through your prayers, and you do it through your financial support. We rely on donations to keep the day-to-day operations of the ministry going. And typically, about 40% of those donations for the entire year arrive in December. Without strong support here at the end of the year, we'll be limited in the kind of ministry we can take on in 2016.

So we're asking the Lord to help Revive Our Hearts listeners meet and even exceed a matching challenge we've been given. Some friends of the ministry will match each gift up to a challenge amount of $820,000 during the month of December.

If you'd like to make a donation at this time, you can give us a call at 1–800–569–5959, or visit us online at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Please know how grateful I am for your help at such a time as this.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy.

Who are the main characters in the Christmas story? You've got Mary, Joseph, shepherds, wise men, and . . . Zechariah? Hear about this under-appreciated character God used to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

That's Monday on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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About the Teacher

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love for Christ and His Word is infectious, and permeates her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs—Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him.

She has authored twenty-two books, including Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Seeking Him (coauthored), Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, and You Can Trust God to Write Your Story (coauthored with her husband). Her books have sold more than five million copies and are reaching the hearts of women around the world. Nancy and her husband, Robert, live in Michigan.