Stefy Rojas, counselor advocate at Restore, shares her experience with the public reading of Scripture. This practice has not only affected her, but also her work community. She has seen how listening to God’s Word in community has replenished and filled her to do the difficult work of ministering to survivors of human trafficking.
SoundCloud link: The Word is for Everyone by Stefy Rojas (3:09)
My name is Stefy, and I work for Restore, and I’m a counselor advocate at Restore, working with survivors of sex trafficking as well as labor trafficking.
First Experience with Public Reading of Scripture
I was at work, and we got this email and it just said something about public Scripture was going to be read on Fridays. And I was like “What is that?”
Then I talked to who was then our executive director, and he explained it a little bit. He was like, “Just go. They read Scripture in the morning.” And I said, “Okay!”
And I was a little thrown off by the amount of people that gathered. And it was actually a really wonderful experience. And it was the audio and we had the Bibles that were provided to all of us who were there. And I can’t recall exactly the passage that we read at that time, but I just left feeling like, “Oh my gosh. I just incorporated this practice, that as a Christian, is so crucial to our lifestyle, that sometimes we tend to neglect because life gets busy.” And so, just being able to hear it and read it at the same time for me was so powerful.
Starting Our Day with Scripture
And so we sort of start our day with Scripture and enter our weekend being filled with Scripture. And for me, that was one of the most important aspects because I do deal with heavy work. And so making sure that I got there at 9 o’clock, but I was like, “Oh I’m so filled.”
And [my coworkers] were like, “Where are you coming from?” And I’m like, “I’m coming from the reading the scripture, or listening to it.” And they’re like, “Can we come too?” And I’m like, “Are you going to show up?”
So it was so wonderful to see that integration of my faith and then even my job itself. And so knowing that even my own work community comes as well and is part of such a wonderful experience, to be able to share that with them is really cool.
Hearing the Words
I think being able to listen to the Scripture and read it at the same time, you sort of pick up certain things that you wouldn’t pick up if you were reading it on your own by yourself. And sometimes you would see certain words and are like, “Oh they are there.” But when you hear them, they have a complete different impact.
I think there’s a big powerful thing to be able to do things in community. There is more accountability and there is more of the idea that you are not by yourself doing something. I think when we read the Scripture alone, I mean, I can definitely read the Scripture at home alone and just study the word of God. But then again, I go back to that there are certain things I may miss. Right?
The most wonderful thing about doing it in a community, especially if you know somebody that’s coming with you to the public reading of Scripture, is you can ask them, “What did you think about the reading? Did anything stand out to you?” And sort of take that from them and share what God spoke to you, because God speaks to us in very different ways at the same time, at the same place as any other person. But it just may be another word that He has for you.
But ultimately, the gospel is for everybody. And regardless if you are experienced in something, that’s going to be used for somebody else’s life. And I think that’s the most powerful thing about the public reading of Scripture.