When Marilyn Thiessens became President of the Utah South Area Team, she did not have a clue that she soon would be leading the only Area Team in Utah, yet, she took it right in stride. Soon, Lenda Curtis, Southwest Regional Director, made this statement about Marilyn, “She LOVES to start new Lighthouses!”
We contacted Marilyn to ask her if she could share any tips for other Area Teams who are desiring to start new Aglow groups in their sphere of influence. This is what Marilyn had to say.
“God has created within Aglow the ability to reproduce itself after its own kind and to fashion leaders and even champions. We can see the fruit of that all around the world. I believe that there are ordinary people just like me in every community, hungry to grow, and longing to serve God, to be in the army of God, but they just don’t know where or how to go about it. I’m just the extension cord that plugs them into Aglow.”
Years ago, the cry of Marilyn’s heart was for God to use her, to help her give back to others what God had given her in Aglow.
Marilyn said, “I had been serving on a Lighthouse as Prayer Chairman and Hostess, but I wanted more. In our large city we had two Aglow Lighthouses, one that met on a Thursday evening and one that met on a Saturday morning, but all the positions were full and there was no place for me. I had never been a leader of anything before, but He heard my heart’s cry and told me to start a new one in a small (at that time) city an hour away. I was so excited about it and wanted to do everything right, so I spoke with Area Team about it, and they told me to start praying.
I shared my vision with a couple friends, and they agreed to commit to pray with me. We had a Prayer Meeting about it every week for months. Sometimes we would go there and pray around the city. We asked everyone if they knew anyone who lived out there or in any of the surrounding towns, but no one had any connections at all.
After several months of praying, I got really frustrated and discouraged, I spoke to the Lord about it. ‘How can we start an Aglow Lighthouse in a city where we don’t have even one contact after all this prayer and seeking?’ Two weeks later in cleaning out my old wallet a piece of paper fell out with a lady’s name, number, and her city. She lived in one of the small towns near where our Aglow Lighthouse was to be planted. Wow God! I had met her at a conference, but did not even remember her. Anyway, I contacted her and she was so excited! We started with a Bible Study in her home and from that group we formed the Lighthouse Leadership Team.”
Marilyn continues, “So, years later Holy Spirit called me to a fast. It was November and He said I was to do a water only fast for 10 days. In obedience I did the fast, not even knowing what I was fasting for. Early on the 9th day I had this thought, ‘if asked would you be willing to raise up another Aglow,’ which I quickly blew off. Then on the evening of that same day, I told the Lord, ‘I’ve just been praying all these days the things I normally pray, but I have not gotten any visitation or revelation. So, if I don’t get anything by tomorrow, I’m not going to waste this fast, I will just keep on fasting until I get something.’ But the night of the 10th day of the fast He told me in a dream to stop the fast. And on the 11th day He came to me. He said, ‘I want you to raise up another Aglow Lighthouse.’ I said, “Why? Why would you want me to do that?’
My attitude was like, I have been there and done that, I want to move on to something else.
He was silent. Then it hit me, He was serious, and I dropped to the floor and quickly repented for my attitude. I told Him, from my heart, ‘YES I will do it, whatever You want me to, I will do it.’ Just then He waved His Hand across the air, and I knew the Lighthouse was DONE! Already completely DONE! All I had to do was share the vision and gather the people.”
Marilyn went on to say, “He loves raising up new Lighthouses and like He has said, He wants one in every city, town and community. Aglow has built within it the ability and resources to raise up leaders and champions for the Kingdom of God. There ARE people waiting in the wings. Waiting to grow, waiting to serve. Hearts crying out, ‘Use me Lord! Use me!"
Marilyn challenges us all with these words: Let's go out and find them!
And now for the rest of the story. Marilyn and her team are currently praying into Lighthouse numbers 8, 9, and 10.
And we want to encourage you, if God said a Lighthouse in every city, He will give YOUR TEAM the city and He already has His hands on the leaders. Let’s go out and find them!