Romans 10:14-15 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!
Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
Mathew 24:14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world,
No, I’m trying to steal the Nike logo this morning, but the words, “just do it” are the words on my mind as I write. Romans 10:14-15 and Isaiah 6:8 are verses that have taken on a very deep meaning in my life over the past few years. One of my sisters’ reads my blog, and she comments, “preach it, sister.” I keep assuring her that I am not a preacher. I do enjoy teaching the Word, but I don’t consider myself a preacher of the Word. We have men trained for that. I do not have a degree in theology, but what I do have is a calling on my heart to share the gospel. I’m just going to say I’m a sharer of the Word. I love sharing the Word. Do I always feel equipped? Nope! Do I stumble over my words at times? Yep. So why do I keep on doing it? Because there are too many people out there who have not heard the gospel, and if I sit on my behind and keep all of this great news to myself, I am not following the will of my Lord and Savior.
A few years ago, we were on a medical mission trip in the Dominican Republic. This was not the typical medical mission trip where I worked like a robot seeing as many patients as I could possibly see in a day without even getting to share the Word, pray, or even get to know the person that I was providing health care. No, this one was different. We were indeed there to provide much needed medical attention to these people who had been without such care for a long while, but the major goal of this mission trip was to share Christ. The pastor over the mission explained that he would only allow us see a certain number of patients per day, and that he wanted us to actually get to know the people, their culture, their families, and their values. He wanted us to spend time sharing Christ, and this is exactly what we did. My husband, who is not in the medical field, worked with others at a registration point. Here, the patients were registered, and the questionnaire began. The simple process of asking about their beliefs, church, family, etc. was started at this point. The patient would then go from registration to triage. The nurses there dove a little deeper in the questioning and interacting aspect. Notes were jotted down on the intake sheet, and the patient was then taken to see the providers. When they reached our station, we attended to their medical needs, but continued the conversations that were started at the very first point. By the end of our examination, we knew a good bit about the patient, whether or not they were a believer, and we were able to share some of the gospel. The best thing about this was that at the end of each visit, we asked the patients if we could pray for them, and every single one of them allowed me to pray. They continued from our station to the pharmacy, and the seeds continued to be planted and watered along the way.
One morning, we got up, loaded up in pick up trucks, and headed up the mountain. Some of us rode squished inside the little compact truck, while others rode in the back of the trucks. It was a rough and rugged 45 minute ride up that mountain. We were so excited when we arrived and saw that the patients were lined up waiting to see us. The people on the mountain were primarily Haitian refugees, very poor, living in substandard housing, and many were without electricity. There was no running water. At the end of our first day, our team felt disheartened. The people here were different. They were cold, distant, and seemed almost unreachable. It felt like there was an evil spirit there. Seriously, we could feel that something was so off with these people. They were very distant. They wanted the medical attention, but they did not want anything more. My heart was broken for them. After a long day, we went back to our lodging, and we debriefed and prayed. We knew that we had to go back up that mountain the next day, and it seemed like we were wasting out time. I was thankful that we were able to meet their medical needs, but I wanted to give them some Jesus too!
If you ever doubt the power of prayer, I say test it. Our team of 14 prayed fiercely for the mountain people that night. The next morning, we loaded up for the bouncy ride back up the mountain, and everything was different. The moods were lighter. There was a freshness in the attitudes of the people. They were open to our questioning and some even responded to the calling of God. I remember one lady very clearly. I asked her if she knew the Lord as her Savior, and she told me that she did not but that she wanted to know Him. She wanted to know how to be saved. I was so excited when I heard this, especially after the trying day we had previously, that I was almost at a loss for words. I jumped up to find the pastor, and when I finally tracked him down, I told him that I had a lady who wanted to be lead to Christ. He looked at me and said, “Go do it.” I thought, “umm, me? I’m not equipped for that.” He read my expression and assured me that I could do it. I walked back to my makeshift clinic thinking, “I’m not their pastor. I can’t do this. I don’t even speak her language. How am I going to share my whole heart with this lady who doesn’t speak the language of my heart or mouth?” And I had to do this through a translator who admitted that he was a believer, but he did not believe in eternal salvation. I only knew a handful of Spanish words, and these Haitians didn’t even speak regular Spanish. That spoke a Creole Haitian version of Spanish. What and how was I going to pull this off. I didn’t want to fail this most important test. Oh but God! I doubt my abilities all day long every day, but I don’t ever doubt God’s. The Holy Spirit showed up, and showed out on that very day. I grabbed my Bible, sat down with this lady, and I shared the gospel via a translator, and on that glorious day, I watered the seeds that had been planted in this lady’s life, and God took over and made those seeds grow. She accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior, and I know all of heaven was rejoicing. This redneck girl from Mississippi was dancing with joy on the inside.
But, wait, that’s not all. While sharing the word with this precious little lady, my translator’s eyes were opened too. He was a young man of about 27 years of age. He believed in Christ, but as was common to the culture there, he believed that he could lose his salvation through sin. He didn’t understand the redemptive power of our Savior, and he didn’t understand that once saved we are always saved. He began asking questions in between patient visits, and I was able to explain the fullness of grace that our Lord offers us. I explained repentance and forgiveness, and told him that my belief from reading God’s Word is that once I become His child, I am His forever. I was able to explain to him that I was a big old goof ball who made mistakes many times, but just because I fall down doesn’t mean I won’t get back up. I explained that God loves us no matter what, and when we become His children, the Holy Spirit of the living God resides within us and convicts us when we are doing wrong and urges us to repentance. I shared that there was nothing or no one that could snatch us out of the Father’s hands once we were truly His. I planted seeds. I think I watered seeds. And I prayed that God would grow those seeds in the heart of that young man.
Do you see how awesome our God is? He can take a redneck girl from Mississippi to a mountain in the Dominican Republic to speak to Haitian Creoles about Him, and He can open their hearts to receive His Word even when the words are being translated through a non-believer. And He can cause that non-believer to start questioning his faith opening doors for more seeds to be planted and watered. You do not have to be a preacher. You do not have to be a theologian. You just have to be you, willing to share the gospel, heeding the will of God, and just be a willing vessel. All you have to do is be willing to plant and water. The Holy Spirit will take over the growing part. You just have to do it! Just do it!