Dancing into the arms of Jesus

written by Cristina Amato

Delysia de Koe (Namibia) was raised by her grandparents. Belief did not feature in her personal life, though this was to change when, at the age of 13, she went along with a friend to a youth dance group. Little did Delysia know that dancing was not the main purpose of the girls’ meeting. Instead, they came together to talk about Jesus and the Bible. As she continued attending the group, Delysia came to believe in Jesus for herself.

Circumstances caused Delysia to move around a lot. These changes contributed to her attention to her Christian faith dropping off at times when she would be swayed by how her new friends were acting. But, looking back, she says, “Whenever I felt alone or was just somewhere on my own, my heart and my mind would turn to Jesus and it was always then that I realised He was the one who was holding on to me.”

Delysia felt far away from God and had no personal relationship with Him when Logos Hope came to Namibia in 2016 and her family suggested visiting the bookfair.

Once on board, Delysia couldn’t take her eyes off the volunteers. She says, “I didn’t pay attention to the books at all. All I could look at was the people working there, serving the Lord. It was then when I realised that it was what I had to do. I had to commit my life to God at that moment and serve Him full-time!”

She applied for OM in Africa’s preliminary Mission Discipleship Training (MDT) and resigned her job at a bank on the same day. She says, “It was a huge amount of money that I would need to raise, but I reminded myself that if it was God’s will, He would provide. And He did. I got all the money needed as my church supported me fully.”

The MDT course was a new beginning for Delysia’s relationship with God. She says, “God really showed up as my Father. I didn’t grow up with my biological dad and first met him when I was 18 years old, so for the first time in my life I experienced a fatherly love – through God. He provided in many ways.”

After the training, she continued in full-time mission; working in India, South Africa and her home country, Namibia, over the next three years. But Delysia says, “I realised that I was living in my own bubble; just focussing on my own relationship with God. There are people who don’t even know that Jesus came to earth once, and I was waiting for Him to come back for the second time.”

God prepared her for what would come next. She says, “What needed to happen before I stepped into my ship season was: building a strong relationship and devotion to Him, shaping my character and most of all understanding how God loves me as a Father, and that He is the One who provides for all my needs.”

Delysia joined Logos Hope in February 2020 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The 26-year-old woman says, “As the months went by without the possibility of talking to people on shore, my excitement turned to a negative attitude and I ended up frustrated. But God gave me promises and assured me that everything would be for my good. One was from Isaiah 54:10 ‘“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.’ I had to decide on my own if I wanted to give up or persevere.”

Delysia chose the second option; trusting in the Bible’s promises and being willing to be used by God, according to His plan. Today, the young woman is a friend to many crewmembers; always open to listen and offer counsel where she can – and she’s a dance instructor on board.