Harvest Table

Getting to Know the Bride of Christ at Metro Life Church

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This is the first in a series aimed at getting to know some of the wonderful ladies of Metro Life Church. We, the church, are the bride of Christ. As women we typically love all that wedding stuff. Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue were traditions for brides in days gone by. Today features Devon Lang and Colleen McGrath. I would classify them in the “Something Borrowed” category, though they could be in the “Something New,” as well.

Devon and Colleen – Part I

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By now those of us who are a part of Metro Life Church likely know Devon and Colleen. Aron introduced them to us during a Sunday Celebration (I believe in 2015), and they joined our church family in a special new members’ service that was held just for them. They’re the Africa girls, or more specifically, the young women with a ministry to street boys in Zimbabwe. But if you only know them from what you’ve experienced in a public meeting, then you’ve barely broken the surface of how wonderful these two young women are.

Recently they joined me for a leisurely lunch so that I could interview them for this blog. My time spent with them showed that one plus one equals about 108. Their gifting, joy, and passion for Christ is exponentially greater than you would think the sum of two individuals would be. They are a perfect example of how two are better than one. So how does God create a friendship like this one?

Well, you just never know what is going to happen when mothers pray. Colleen’s mom had been praying for her friend’s daughter, Devon, to come to know Jesus as her personal savior. Five years ago that prayer was answered and a friendship was born in a rather unusual way.

Separately, both women had an interest in missions and wanted to go to Cambodia. When Devon told a co-worker that she wanted to go there, that coworker introduced her to her friend Colleen who had expressed the same desire. This was the beginning of a friendship and the very beginning of their missionary journey as a team (which still has not sent them to Cambodia).

Colleen was raised in the church. She went to college in Canada. Not just any college but one of the most liberal colleges in North America. Her major was international development – chosen because of her burden to help the poor. When she realized that her classmates had that same burden even though they did not know Jesus, it made her question herself. The questioning was good – am I the same as them; what makes my motivation different?

After graduation she held an internship with a local church, which enabled her to travel to Haiti on a mission trip. She was a non-medical person on a medical mission trip. There was one other lady who was in the same boat – Maria. Maria took Colleen under her wing and discipled her, as well as influencing her toward a more charismatic walk with Jesus. Soon the question of how she was different in her desire to help the poor was finally answered. She was different in her heart for God, and that was good.
And speaking of being different, Colleen and Devon could not be more different; and that is good and by God’s design and for his purpose.

“Differences refine, teach humility, grace and forgiveness, which in turn allow us to love the boys well. We know when the other person seems off – when they are having a hard time,” they told me.
Differences allow them to relate to more of the boys. They have learned not to try to change each other. There is no competing – only embracing.

My observation of these two: They are a good team, and they need each other. Devon calls herself the gatherer. Colleen is the builder-upper. Devon beckons the boys to come and be accepted and loved for Christ. Once gathered, Colleen is the intentional one.

They have had many tell them that Devon is like the flag and Colleen like the flagpole. It’s a perfect analogy. Devon is waving her arms and getting the attention of the boys, drawing them toward Christ. Colleen is keeping her flying and grounded. To me Devon is a party waiting to happen. She is a ray of sunshine, and joy flows from her as she talks. Colleen is the anchor – strong and wise beyond her years with a depth that is palpable.

I wanted them to share what life is like in Zimbabwe. What is communication like there?

Schooling is done in English, which is helpful. Devon is making efforts to learn their language. These efforts are not always successful. It is easy to say something entirely different than what you mean to say – like the time that Devon accidentally said the boys are tasty! But, those are the kind of embarrassments that break down those walls and cement friendships.

What was their diet like in Zimbabwe?

They ate rancid meat. Well, I should say Colleen ate rancid meat – double portions. Devon decided early on it was safer to be a vegetarian so she gave any meat portion she had to Colleen who loves meat so much that she would constantly risk eating it. She would be sick from it for a night and then risk it again the next day. They also constantly were sick with from the water.

Why did they stay at Metro?

Because of the hospitality and love shown. Aron took a chance on letting them share about their mission to Zimbabwe. That drew them in. The church opened their arms to them with an outpouring of love and an example of a desire to be like the church that Jesus describes in the New Testament.

Come back next week for Part II of their story.

2 Comments

Debi, Part of the mystery of who we are in Christ is figuring out who is Colleen and who is Devon. Seriously, Colleen has dark hair and Devon is the blonde.

Excellent article, Bonnie. I can't wait for Part II. But I do have a question, which one is Devon and which one is Colleen? I've always seen them together, so it gets confusing. I think I know but want to make sure I can confidently greet them by name when I see them next.
Thanks for sharing what you've discovered about these precious women.

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