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. I take this opportunity to thank God, for giving me time to read His word. I joined BSF in 2015 and it has really changed my life. Before BSF I could not stand to preach the Gospel, but after joining the BSF less than a year time, I was equipped. And as I continued with my journey on Christ Jesus who is my Lord and savior, as this new year begin, it’s begin with good news in my family. I went home to see my dad, on 10th Jan 2023, where I shared the word from psalms 95:3-8and my brother received Jesus Christ as His Lord and savior, Bonface gives his life to christ. I thank God for the opportunity.

    Reply
  2. I can clearly relate to ‘God’s relentless pursuit’ and His constant presence every day. First for a very long time my wife and I rang in 2023 by staying up late. 2022 was a year of health challenge for us both, but it did not take us long to realize and bask in God’s presence knowing He was right there with us through it all. His mercy, grace, and love is never ending. The verse that keeps on popping up for me over the last couple months is; John 1:14.

    Reply
    • Emmy gives a strong testimony that God is Faithful. He pursues his Children and
      Protects them. His love is everlasting. Emmy goes boldly and I love her story as she has an adventure in doing Gods work. We pray for all who choose this path. Thanks for encouraging.

      Reply
  3. Really encouraging testimony from Emmy..was great to read and hear where she is today going on with the Lord.

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  4. Beautiful story of finding Christ! God bless you.

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  5. I read Bennett’s
    Blog and found a similar need of mine in it.
    I was introduced to Bible
    Study at the age of 12 years
    when my weekly sitter, my
    Maternal grandmother’s
    absence, caused Mom to
    find another acceptable
    sitter for me during School
    Break that year and it turned
    to be a Nunnery that had a
    a Kids Summer School close
    in distance to home that I could walk back and forth
    to it safely and join other kids at a Park close to Mom’s work.
    I even started attending
    Sunday’s Church services.
    Thus, I continued through
    to earning a living.
    Meanwhile, many times,
    there was a feeling of something missing in my life, but “what” was it was
    I sure didn’t know.
    Then one day, a member of one of my Garden Club handed me a little Invitation
    Card, just stating that maybe
    I would be interested in
    attending the group mentioned in the card she had given me. And I was…
    It was a Church where BSF
    Meetings were held.
    I went several times and found what I was missing
    all this time in life. Really
    Knowing God and his love for all that believe in him
    and Jesus.
    I have pondered through
    my life and realized that my
    God has always been right there with me guiding my
    away!

    Reply
    • Griselda – so encouraging! Thank you for sharing!

      Reply
  6. I receive such a blessing this year and BSF. I didn’t know it was going to come in a form of a broken leg and a broken arm and a book. God’s word is more powerful than I ever imagined.. I started writing a book over 12 years ago, and then just let it sit because the devil told me I wasn’t good enough I have attention deficit, my thoughts get scrambled, and I couldn’t do it. These were all lies that the devil had told me and with help of my BSF and learning to study God’s word I’m getting stronger and stronger every day.. God’s word truly is our strength!!!!! Over Christmas break? We were setting the story of Jonah.. that’s when I fell in the shower, broke my right arm and right leg and it sounds funny to say thank you God, but I am so thankful God is so faithful he’s so good!!! I felt like I was Jonah , and my couch was the whale . I knew God had written a book in my heart and getting it out was too difficult. Then God’s word showed up in a big way, and I realized his word is stronger than any two edge sword so with a broken arm, I began to write. Confirmation came in a form of another BSF person in my class. , she was only there for three weeks and one of those weeks we had a sharing time, D shared her story of her son, being a paraplegic, she told everyone that she had written a book on Amazon. When it came time for me to share, I said your stories amazing. Maybe it’ll encourage me to write my story.. little did I know what I was going to do.. I ordered her book over Christmas break and I was I laid on the couch and patiently waiting for it to arrive the Holy Spirit, kept building me up. I couldn’t wait to get her book but my surprise God showed up in a bigger way that I could’ve ever imagined.!!! When it arrived, I quickly opened it and flipped through the pages. I wanted to see a picture I felt like the Holy Spirit was speaking to me, and he was.. I was one of the caretakers for D’s son. This was about 20 years ago , God is so Amazing!!! I’m so THANKFULL to my friend N who never gave up inviting me to BSF.

    Reply
  7. I’m a CL in BSF. I sometimes wondered if the whole process of preparing for the BSF CL, especially the infant class, where I was serving, was really meaningful.
    Because I’m still a Korean with poor English, and I’m close to 60 years old, and I have some disc problems.
    But reading this has made me realize that I was working to give those young moms who we’re tired of parenting a break from parenting and give them time to meet Jesus! And I was also reminded that my calling was an precious mission to sow the seeds of God’s Word in those babies entrusted to me.
    Thank God & thank you for sharing this beautiful story!

    Reply
    • DukYe – thank you for your service to these precious women and their little ones. Your heart for others is a gift to those you serve!

      Reply
  8. Thank you for this beautiful and encouraging story. May God help us all be faithful to keep sharing in “little” or “big” ways however the Spirit leads and helps us.

    Reply
  9. About 3 years ago I finally got my sister who lives an hour and a half away from me to join a BSF meeting near her home.
    She started attending with my niece and soon she invited friends to her group. She is very involved with her group now and it has given her strength to walk thru a difficult time in her life she lost her daughter last year. I have been attending BSF for 7 years now and I have been totally blessed by the deep study of God’s word that I doubt I could have achieved on my own.
    Thank You

    Reply
    • Elaine – thank you for sharing! Sometimes the most difficult people to invite are our family members. Your testimony is a true encouragement

      Reply
  10. I’ve thank God for His word and helping us to share as we grow. I’ve been in BSF a long time and I enjoy learning more about my Savior. Thankful to invite others and they except the invitation. Recalling enjoying People of the Promise. There is hope for this dying world. What a mighty and living God we serve. Thankful for the journey even when times get hard I know He is with me.

    Reply
  11. I love reading about other people’s stories and experiences, especially when they share how they came to know the Lord Jesus. I use to think I had problems until I started listening and reading other people’s concerns.

    Reply
  12. Once upon a time I was relentless in inviting others to BSF as Emmy’s friend was and knew the joy of watching many know and grow in Jesus while we attended together . God rarely allowed me the joy of being the one in the place of ministering to them once they were there other than the initial invitation , and sometimes opportunities to encourage them to persevere .
    I am forever thankful that He gave me the privilege to introduce them to what for some has become a lifelong study & application of Gods Word as they mature in knowing Him. Such a gift from God to see the fruit of His Spirit in brothers and sisters lives . BSF was and is a ministry God has used consistently and mightily in tethering me to Himself through His Word . My daily life does not offer as many opportunities to invite as it once did, but I continue to invite as the Spirit leads & have also had the privilege to lead others that are not led to our local class through the Wordgo studies , another glorious gift from His heart to ours . I’m so very thankful for ALL God has done and is doing for his covenant children through BSF in exalting Jesus through the study of His Word as it is proclaimed to the nations .

    Reply
  13. I am encouraged by her testimony. Truly the Word of God is alive and active and draws us to a relationship with the living and eternal God, our Creator.

    Reply
  14. BSF changes my life, too 🙂
    To God be the glory for the things He has done! Hallelujah!
    Always thank His calling and faithfulness. Amen

    Reply
  15. I felt deeply touched and can totally relate Emily’s story to my own life… God always go before us. I’m so grateful to be guided by The Holy Spirit. He never forsakes, and my heart is forever thankful that he leads me to real life after earthly death. Glory hallelujah praise Jesus Christ amen 🙏 amen

    Reply
  16. All Glory to GOD for your life EMMY.I am encouraged to share God to the people around me and the world around me.

    Reply
  17. Thanks.
    Is it possible that you give my husband this book kingdom divided.

    Reply
    • Hi Esther! We would love for your husband to study with us. You can use your mybsf.org account to access the BSF store and purchase a lesson book. You can also go to join.bsfinternational.org to find a group near you. If you have further needs, please contact your local class leadership. Thank you!

      Reply
  18. I have been BSF for many years…this
    study of the prophets and their contribution to Christianity by the obedience to our Lord has helped me immensely in my everyday struggle to a Child of God ….I have met the most devoted women…..I wish that I known about BSF during my career in USAF.

    Reply
  19. I’m very happy to have joined BSF. I had not heard of it until one of the ladies from my Bible group mentioned it three years ago. I have learned so much. Born and raised Catholic, I had so much to learn from the Bible, BSF and Saddleback church. I share with my daughters what I learn.

    Reply
  20. Thank you for BSF, for her life. It was indeed a great blessing knowing who Jesus is in our lives.

    Reply
  21. This is a great story! Thanks so much for sharing it! I am sure Emmy’s children’s lives and perhaps her husband’s life have also been transformed through the gift of that Bible and the invitation to join the Bible study.

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  22. Awesome .. how Jesus love us so much God blless you Sist Emmy🙏

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  23. I enjoy the story it encourages our grown in Christ. Amen

    Reply
  24. Wonderful, encouraging story. Reminder that we can share our stories of BSF’s impact on our lives to invite others and as believers we can seize opportunities to mentor those that come seeking. Also, it doesn’t matter why they come initially, like Emmy. God’s Word will speak to their hearts and our lights will be a calling to know Him.

    Reply
  25. Good day.

    I appreciate this message.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  26. I am encouraged. I must really keep inviting people to Bsf and try to be a real friend to members in my group.

    Reply
  27. Greetings BSF Staffing. I was once apart of the BSF group. I would to rejoin once again.

    How can this process be completed?

    Reply
    • Hi William! We would love to have you back in BSF. Please go to https://join.bsfinternational.org/ to search for groups near you. If there is not a group near you, you can also join a BSF Online class. Thank you!

      Reply
    • I loved this story of questions, searching and finally fulfillment! God uses BSF to draw us closer unto Himself as I have learned from attending for the last 4 1/2 years. He’s created a hunger in me to share with others what He has shared with me through the ministry of BSF! I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of so great a community!

      Reply
    • Just come when they meet. Find out the day, time and location near you. I’m sure you would be welcomed back. God’s waiting for your with open arms to come back.

      Reply
  28. Great story! It’s amazing how free childcare can set “us free” to be able to spend time with Jesus!!! Thank you, BSF!!! Thank you, Bennett.

    Reply
  29. BSF help me more than my pastor teachings. i was able to understand Bible very well. i met God when I read bible daily through the help of BSF, glory be to God,,,

    Reply
  30. Could I get the mini series on Joel and Obadiah? I would like to forward to some co-workers and neighbors. I was unable to find it in resources.

    Reply
  31. Thank you for adding spark to my faith journey. This message focused my goal to share this wonderful story.

    Reply
  32. What about her husband?

    Reply
    • Deann- thank you for asking! Emmy continues to share with her family. Her story reminds us to pray for those we long to accept Christ!

      Reply
  33. Tonight I will be bringing a visitor to BSF. She shared at church with me a problem in her life and I’ve invited many before her, but this may be the one that God has been reaching for for many years.

    I began BSF when Revelation was taught, but started in the middle as I sought answers about a book about the Millennium a friend from work wrote with his evangelical father. I became a believer and my faith grew. I still have problems in my life, but pray for help and answers. Once I asked God to lead me where I could help others learn the gospel and as an RN, I should have expected God used me to bring up Jesus when I encountered a man saying that he was dying, but instead of immediately getting him emergency help first, I said DO NOT DIE WITHOUT KNOWING JESUS! When he responded I HAVE NOT BEEN A GOOD PERSON, I automatically said IT DOES NOT MATTER, and EMS help was called as I spoke to him what Jesus did for us. A day can no longer pass without me thinking about my Lord and praising HIM for his gift of eternity. I was baptized as a child, but was reborn after I began learning with BSF.

    Reply
    • Penny – thank you for sharing! Such an encouragement

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    • I am not a nurse but I pray God can use me before I leave this earth to bring someone to Jesus Christ.

      Reply
    • Praise the Lord! This is the urgency of the Father’s will! That NONE PERISH! HE GAVE His Son for all. The Lord deserves the praise of each and every soul so the Father may be worshipped by His own creation in perfect order just as it should be. May we ALL GROW to ask each day for the filling of the Spirit so our minds rest on God’s will! Not so much what we are doing, but SEE what HE is doing and those He is bringing in front of us to speak to! Each one, each heart, each life is on the brink and we are SO BLESSED to be able to watch God SAVE THEM by Christ through the gospel. God bless you Sister!!

      Reply
  34. I love the study and have attended BSF for years, and have invited others to come in the past. But, now I would hesitate due to the very uncomfortable place that we meet — a huge tent. It is cold and dank, very difficult to hear with all the ambient noise, and not a place one wants to bring anyone. While the pandemic was raging, the tent was an adequate site, but now I dearly wish we could get back into a church. For older women, it is just not a place I want to invite my friends.

    Reply
    • Nancy – we will be praying for wisdom! Have you considered starting a WordGo group with your friend? WordGo has BSF study material packaged into an app so you can meet anywhere, any time. It is a great tool for those who are new to Bible study

      Reply
  35. This is a great lesson I have learnt from Emmy. I have learnt from BSF to listen and share with my fellow BSF ladies. May the name of the Lord be praised as we continue to share the Gospel with other Christians.

    Reply

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