Monday, 01 October 2018 14:15

Outside Your Comfort Zone

Written by  Sam Whatley
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A friend of mine, Betsy Hake, has been a missionary in Honduras for almost 40 years. About 20 years ago the Lord burdened her heart to present Christ and His love to those who are the least likely to ever walk into a church. Among those are the women and men prostitutes of Tegucigalpa and their children. Her organization is called Jericho Ministries. The following is taken from both an interview with her and her blog posting of July 24, 2015. It illustrates how God is at work in places we may not want to go.

 

 

One rainy night, a few years ago, I could not sleep. I sensed that God was gently urging me to go to the streets. I called our administrator and she agreed to go with me. So I picked her up in our van and we headed for the area of town that we know well. The reason He sent us was because of Juan (not his real name).

 

There he was, sitting on the curb, in a dress that was way too revealing. He held his head in his hands, a long wig covering his face. His whole body-language cried depression. I recognized him as a transvestite I had tried to reach with the gospel two years before.

 

He lifted his head when he saw us and called out, “Betsy, you came!”  We got out of the van and sat down with him on the curb. He began to tell us that that night he had made the decision to take his own life. He had just prayed to the Lord, “God, if you are real, send me somebody. Send me somebody that I will know that it is you.”

 

He said he felt like no one understood him and he was tired of living a life of degradation and shame.  As he wept, we told him of a God who saves. We told him of a God who transforms us from the inside out. We told him of a Savior who died for his darkness and sins, and lives to give him new life. We spent about an hour ministering to him and listening to him.

 

He didn’t mind us telling him that he had offended God with his lifestyle. He knew it. And right before our eyes we got to witness the transforming power of Jesus. Juan bowed down at the feet of Jesus, recognized his sin, and asked Jesus to come into his life and wash away his old life.

 

 2 Corinthians 5:17 says it this way, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!” NIV.

 

Juan is now free to be who God called him to be. I don’t pretend that everything was easy for Juan from that moment on. No, his mind had to be transformed on a daily basis, not to the things of this world, but to the Word of God.

 

Paul writes to the Romans, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will,” (Romans 12:2) NIV.

 

 

That’s Betsy’s story. Over the past 40 years she has been answering God’s call to reach people outside her comfort zone, first as a nurse, then as a church planter, and now as a rescuer of men, women and children who are captives to prostitution and abuse. She has discovered that her sphere of influence is in the streets of a capital city in Central America.

 

That may not be your sphere of influence. You may not sense that God has given you such a gift of evangelism or that much courage. But God has given you a gift. And He is calling you to use that gift to spread His love somewhere in your life. Out there, outside your comfort zone, someone needs to hear that God loves them and that His Son died to set them free. Someone may be praying for God to send them such a person as you. Why not ask Him?   

   

 

**Sam Whatley’s latest book, Ponder Anew, is now available at the Frazer Bookstore located inside Frazer Memorial UMC.

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