A Simple Invitation

Seeds Planted in Emmy’s Life Grew into a Life Transformed

By Bennett Rolan — Editorial Manager

On her wedding day, Emmy Josefson was given a Bible. Two months later, when she moved with her husband from Texas to Qatar, Emmy left her Bible behind. 

“It just wasn’t something I was interested in,” she said.  

At the time, Emmy would describe herself as “spiritual.” She had served with the Peace Corps in Morocco and practiced meditation and yoga. She had a persistent longing for something more, and the move to Qatar felt like an adventure on the way to seeking a higher purpose. In Qatar, Emmy and her husband were teachers at an English-speaking school. They made friends and started a family. Qatar felt like home.

Five years later, Emmy and her husband returned to the United States. With three boys under the age of 4, Emmy decided to stay home and focus on parenting. She traded her life of adventure for long days of diapers and laundry.  

“It was a huge transition for me,” Emmy said. “When I was teaching, I got to talk about politics and history. As a mom, I felt like I lost that.” 

A friend’s persistence 

During that time, Emmy’s friend invited her to try BSF.  

“I saw her every week at a play date and every single week she asked me to come,” Emmy shared. “She was relentless in inviting people to BSF.”  

Emmy always turned her down until her friend mentioned one important fact: “I realized they had free childcare.” 

Preparing for her first week in BSF, Emmy needed a Bible. The one she abandoned years before was left in a box labeled “donate.” 

“I walked into my garage, pulled it off the top of the box, and brought it in. I got into that BSF chair reluctantly, but it became my favorite day of the week.” 

BSF offered a break from Emmy’s daily routine, but it quickly became much more. 

“I got into that BSF chair reluctantly, but it became my favorite day of the week.” 

“I came with a million questions. The women I met on that journey shepherded me. They became my community. It was a really intimate group. That was what I was yearning for.”  

In God’s Word, Emmy discovered the higher purpose she had been missing. A year after joining BSF, Emmy gave her life to Jesus and got baptized.  

“I wanted the four women there from BSF who shepherded me in my relationship with Jesus. These were the women who would sit and answer my questions. The instant I made the decision to be baptized I felt different. I had been meditating before, but now I was praying, using my Bible. I felt completely different after my baptism. Through BSF, I’m completely changed.”  

Four years ago, Emmy was searching for spirituality. Today, she is filled with the Holy Spirit. Emmy and her family have moved back to Qatar, where they live in an expatriate compound. She still has plenty of questions. To dive deeper into God’s Word, she enrolled in online seminary. 

“I always tell people that God brought me back to America so I could find Jesus, then He sent me back into the world.”  

God’s relentless pursuit

God led Emmy on a path toward salvation and used His people to show her the way.  

“Christians have a light, and I always thought, ‘I want that, how do I get that?’ That is something I’ve been chasing. I can look back now and see that God was always there.”  

The simple gift of a Bible grew into a lifetime love of God’s Word. A friend’s persistent invitation to BSF gave Emmy the courage to ask God her questions. Faithful BSF group members and leaders walked alongside Emmy as she approached the cross and surrendered her life to Jesus.  

“I can look back now and see that God was always there.”  

In our study, People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided, we see God’s relentless pursuit of His people. We meet the prophets He used along the way. We may not know much about their personal lives, but we do know that Amos, Joel, Obadiah, and the rest of the prophets were just ordinary men. They were brothers, sons, and friends. They struggled with sin and longed to serve the Lord. God used their obedience to deliver His extraordinary message. And He still uses His people to do that today.  

We may not be called to deliver prophecy to a nation, but we are clearly called to share the gospel. Through God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can light the path toward salvation. But are we willing to take that first step toward leading others to Christ? Where is God calling you to declare His truth? Who will you pursue?  

“I will forever be grateful for BSF,” Emmy shared. “If I could say anything, I would say keep inviting your friends. There is no greater gift that I’ve ever been given. BSF changed my life, it gave me Jesus.”   

“BSF changed my life, it gave me Jesus.”

Bennett Rolan

Editorial Manager

Bennett Rolan joined the BSF staff in 2017 after working for several Christian ministries and non-profits. She loves to combine her passion for God’s Word and her journalism background to share stories of God’s Work in and through BSF. As a wife to a busy college football coach and a mom to four young children, BSF studies keep her relationship with the Lord grounded and focused. She loves to learn from fellow believers as God faithfully grows her each day.

 

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68 Comments

  1. Emmy, BSF also changed my life. I was a Christian, but I began my personal relationship with Jesus at BSF. I also feel like it was the best gift I’ve ever received. May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family.

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  2. Thanks so much for this article. I have a friend that I have been inviting. I am encouraged to continue inviting her to BSF.

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  3. I encourage very much Emmy. Our Lord is patient, now His purpose for you was accomplished . He will always sustain you.

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  4. I hope anyone inviting young moms with children to BSF remembers to include that BSF kids is also a learning class. Not just free childcare. I feel honored as a children’s leader to present a story and music, time to the littlest of our members in the infant class.

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  5. It’s so encouraging reading stories like Emmy’s.
    Does BSF have a podcast? My husband and I travel back and forth to our cabin now that we are retired. No internet there however when I’m driving I like to listen to podcasts.

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    • Debra – we would love to have a podcast! Praying God will make a way

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  6. Thank you for sharing Emmy’s story. It’s a beautiful reminder to keep asking and inviting people to BSF. I too am grateful for the life changing ministry of BSF. God uses the BSF ministry to grow closer to Him in a well structured and understanding way.

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  7. Your story is a beautiful one of how a person is called to learn more about the Lord through the faithful ministry of BSF in teaching the Bible. Many have come to know Him as they have studied His Word and been taught by very capable and biblically knowledgeable people. The wording “BSF changed my life- it gave me Jesus” is a bit misleading to me as it intimates that BSF can give Jesus. That is only possible through the Holy Spirit, Who BSF is very faithful to teach about in many of its lessons. He is the One Who draws us to Christ and leads us to salvation. BSF is true to its calling and exemplary in its teaching and I will remain grateful for its instruction now and always.

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    • Debbie – so true. God is using BSF but only He can soften hearts and draw us near. Thanks!

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  8. After my first child child born, I missed the interaction of the adult conversation especially with women of faith. Invited to BSF in CA, quickly it was my favorite day. The fellowship was wonderful but the structured studied called me to meet God daily in his Word with a book of the year, therefore, the Holy Spirit grew my
    Understanding tremendously.
    We moved many times as Marks job changed. I’m so grateful for BSF in each state. I invited others and was asked to be a teaching leader.
    Only Covid, and ailing in-laws were a disruption. Thankful BSF stays on topic, Gods Word.

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  9. BSF is needed more than ever before. Prayers that the Holy Spirit will guide and protect all our sisters in Yahweh/Yahshua’s Word as they fervently seek the Truth in all Its glory. Our Savior is coming soon…..we must be ready and constantly in The Word!

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  10. I am truly blessed from reading all if the blogs. To God be the glory.

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  11. Thank you for Emmys story. And asking the question of who will I pursue. I immediately thought of at one dear friend. Though we live continents apart I can still introduce her to BSF and I believe there will be opportunity for her to meet Jesus in the Bible. Am excited.

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  12. In Emmy’s story. Isn’t Qatar, the capital of Muslim Nation of Egypt where one could be found guilty in owning a book (God’s Words) called Bible?

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    • Juliana – yes! But since Emmy and her husband live on an ex-patriot compound she is allowed to read her Bible. Thank you for asking!

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    • I feel like that kind of oppression can happen anywhere…where your freedom to read God’s Word can be taken away. I pray that when I read the Bible, His Word is imprinted on my heart and that cannot be taken from me and I would be able to share this gospel Good News boldly whenever prompted by the Lord to do so

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  13. Love it. PTL

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  14. Praise God for this precious woman, our sister, in Jesus Christ! How amazing is it that she knew where the gift of the Bible was? When the Holy Spirit moves us, we need to be bold and courageous in inviting others to study God‘s word! And when the Holy Spirit moves us to give the gift of a Bible, we need to move forward without hesitation, and do it with love and compassion and an invitation! This is my prayer, dear God! I don’t want to miss any opportunity to further Your kingdom

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  15. Enjoyed reading Emmy’s story and how God pursues us. Like Emmy, it was the gentle invitation of a friend in London who encouraged me to join BSF. I didn’t take up her invitation the first time but she planted a seed that God watered.
    I finally took up her invitation in 2005 and now enjoy the privilege of leading an online group. My invitation to others is, “it’s the best Bible study you’ll ever do in your life.” Praise God for all that He’s done and is doing in your life, Emmy.

    Reply

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