Who Will Knock on Her Door?

If we truly believe that Jesus is the path to Heaven, the direction to everlasting life, and the route to eternity, then how can we keep that news hidden?

We live in a neighborhood with sidewalks, and many houses crammed into not a lot of space. It’s conducive to door-to-door sales and religious missionaries. On a weekly basis we will have high school fundraisers, people promoting their extermination businesses, or others expressing their faith at our doorstep. Many times we don’t answer the door. But, at times, we do. We hear their spiel, kindly reply, and then go about our day.

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What makes this a cut and dry process for us is that we are not searching. We are not wondering how to donate financially. We are not looking for the best way to rid our house of pests. And, we are not searching for something or someone to fill the role of Lord of our lives. 

But, many are. You can’t go outside without coming across a lost soul, looking for meaning for their life. People are searching for wisdom. They are in need of purpose. They lack direction. In general, they are lost.

During our Thanksgiving outreach (read about our outreach here: The Answer is Jesus and Missed Opportunities) the other day, I met a beautiful woman who seemed to be just waiting for someone to come to her door. It was about 4:00 in the afternoon. Our group had been murmuring about whether anyone would actually be home at this time of day. Most people would still be at work, so we’d probably just be leaving flyers at the door and not actually get to speak to many people face to face.

Knocking on the green door, my mind wandered and my hands began to wrap up the flyer to prepare it to be left in the door jam. Suddenly, a small woman somewhere around my age, opened the door.

Thankfully my mind went into automatic mode and I began my phrase, “Hi, my name is Lisa. We are putting together some Thanksgiving meals. If you or anyone you may know is in need of a meal this Thanksgiving, you can call this phone number here, and we will set you up with a meal.”

She replied with a slow, “Oh, okay.”

Switching out of automatic and into being led by the Holy Spirit, I say, “Do you think you may know someone who may be in need?”

She looks me straight in the eye, “Yes. Me. I am in need.”

She went on to explain her situation of working a full-time job, being a single mom, receiving no child support, and struggling to feed her family. My role was to listen. Really listen. Hearing her pain. Loneliness. Fear. Fatigue. Need. 

I sympathized with the incredible burden she faced and then I offered her more than a meal. “Can I pray for you?”

“Yes. You can.”

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I prayed for her and her boys. I told her I really hoped to get her call and then to see her again. I offered a few more words of encouragement and then left.

As I walked away, I prayed that her heart would be open to receive the truth. That she would know she is so loved. That God knows her struggles. She’s not alone. That she can receive forgiveness of her sins and a life of freedom, as well as eternal life with our Savior. I thanked God that she was open and receptive to the truth. I thanked God that He had orchestrated that moment for her path to cross my path. 

I couldn’t help but remember the precious woman my daughter and I met during an outreach in Mexico who cried overwhelming sobs because she had prayed and been given a vision of Americans coming to her door to pray with her. And, then, less than an hour later, we, a group of praying  Americans came to her door step! “Gracias, Senor” she kept repeating to our Lord.

As Christians, we are aware of our sins, and we believe and know that Jesus forgives our sins. We believe and know that Jesus paid the price and made a way for us to be reconciled to the Father. He created a way for us to have eternal life. We know that Jesus and God the Father are one. These truths are foundational and they are everything to the believer. These truths are what we must intentionally share with those we come across. 

Just as the religious missionary walks through our neighborhood spreading false teaching, contrary to what the Bible, God-breathed scripture teaches, Christian believers should be ready to share the truth. 

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For the seeker, they are vulnerable to news being shared at their doorstep. They open their door and are susceptible to whatever words are going to be shared. I am grieved imagining  the possibility of the single mom opening her door to deceptive lies. This grief coupled with the burning desire for others to know the truth, is the motivation I need to knock on a strangers door and share my faith.

1 Peter 3:15, But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

Read more about sharing your faith here: What’s Your Story

Mexico

Mexico

A refuge in the desert

Home to the lost

Fatherless babes sheltered from the dark

Motherless child loved back to whole

Healing is found here


Hope is grown here
 

All is stripped away


Worldly distractions gone

Holy Spirit is heard


The Lord’s voice is followed


God’s power breaks through


I heard


I obeyed

I experienced


I was led


I was bold

I was powerful


Mexico, stay with me


Holy Spirit, abide in me


Let me never forgetimg_7606

Ice Skating Dog

The campfire crackled. Our weary bodies rested on the hard logs. Our hearts centered on the goodness of our Lord.

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Being that it was the last night of our week long mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico, we had all grown quite comfortable around each other and in our surroundings. Singing the last lines of Great Are You Lord, we relished this time.

You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord

Not A Vacation

One of the Pastors on the trip began giving us some last minute encouragement. He enthusiastically recapped testimony after testimony from our week. But then he said something that halted in my heart and mind and refused to leave. “Ask the Lord what He wants you to do with this mission trip. If nothing in your life changes after your time here, then it was just a trip.”

I knew that days after returning from our mission trip, my family and I were taking a family vacation. We would make memories, enjoy our time together, relax, eat good food, laugh, and play…all the wonderful things that make a family vacation. But, would that vacation change how I live my life? Would it further God’s kingdom? 

The Pastor’s question remained in my heart and mind until the next morning. I prayed, “God, do you want me to be a missionary? Do you want me to come back here? Do you want my whole family to come back here?” I felt uncomfortable but unable to shake the thought that God was doing something with the Pastor’s question, what will you do differently now that you went on this trip?

God led my mind to what my life back home consisted of. It was summer time so we weren’t officially homeschooling. But, I was continuing my in-home tutoring business through the summer. I had 4 students that came to my house for tutoring, help with academic subjects, once a week. I also knew that God was growing my business and I would soon be tutoring 3 more students. notebook-pencil-algebra-equation

Let Your Light Shine

The students come to my house individually, and I have seen the opportunity for influence with these students. Many of the students are girls and love to stay and play with my girls after they finish all of their work. They often ask about the Bible verses we have in our home. They have also inquired about the cross on our front door.

But, have they noticed anything different about our hearts?

1 Peter 2:9, says, But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Are these precious souls seeing our light? When they leave school and enter into our home are they noticing His excellence?

God worked relentlessly in my heart. He showed me what was most significant about my time in Mexico: PRAYER. Finally, I heard him. He said add prayer into your tutoring sessions.

But, Lord, how will I do that? I have been tutoring some of these kids for a year…add this in now? Will the parents go for this? What if they think I’m weird?

The Lord brought to mind His power which I witnessed multiple times each day during the past week. This power was greater than all of my uncertainties.

Obedience

I needed to act on God’s calling immediately. The momentum of hearing God’s voice and obeying was flowing smoothly in Mexico, better keep it going. Before even boarding the plane for home,  I decided to send a message to each of the families I tutor giving them a brief explanation of God working in my heart on this trip and what I would like to change about our tutoring sessions. Over the next couple of days, the replies came, “absolutely”, “that sounds perfect”, “sure”, “yes, we are okay with that”.

Not one question and not one objection. God had gone before me. Not one student who enters my house does so by happenstance. Each student is a divine assignment from God. If I refuse to share my faith, the thing that is more important to me than anything else; more important than homework, spelling words, multiplication facts, or reading fluency, than I am refusing the appointment God set up for me.

So, we pray. We pray about math tests, sick friends, a grandparent with dementia, drama between friends at school, colds to be healed, learning to happen, rooms to be cleaned. One time we even prayed about a dog learning to ice skate. (It’s quite a story!)

I decided that whatever these children wanted to pray about, we would pray. I pray they will learn about the peace that comes when we place our lives in God’s care. I also pray they learn their value, that God cares to hear their voice and to answer their prayers.

Luke 12: 6-7 says, Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

God cares about their worry about an upcoming test. And, I imagine Him delighting to hear His precious one praying about a dog learning to ice skate.

skating-dog

Treasure Hunts

“Today, you are going to learn about Treasure Hunts,” our interpreter, Eduardo continues on, “Ask Holy Spirit to show you an image or a word…what He has for you on this outreach.” My mind ponders that statement, Ask Holy Spirit… That must be the Spanish way of phrasing that statement, leaving out the word THE before Holy Spirit. I get beyond the linguistic difference and consider what I was asked to do. Eduardo called this a Treasure Hunt and encouraged us to be alert, looking for what Holy Spirit revealed to us during our prayer.

scavenger-hunt-image

“Oh, Lord, as we go out on this garbage ministry mission, please show me an image or a word…something you want me to see when we are in the neighborhood in Tijuana. Clear my mind of my own agenda and help me to be open and responsive to your agenda, Lord.” 

Clapping his hands together, Eduardo, asks, “Now, what did Holy Spirit show you?”

Mikayla, with all her unfiltered faith, certain of what she saw, exclaims “KITTENS!”

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Others, “A red truck”, “Old van”, “Broken broom”.

Me, quietly “I saw a yellow flag, I think.” In my mind, I know it’s not a flag. It was a yellow, flag-like shape. Oh, well. Not sure what that means, Lord.

Loading up onto the old, broken down, barely running school bus, we head out to a poverty stricken area of Tijuana. I am looking out the window the entire time, not wanting to miss my yellow flag.

bus-image

After a 45 minute drive, the bus stops, our group of 8 grab our work gloves, water, and garbage bags and unload onto the dusty road. The neighborhood smells like garbage, but there’s a certain charm there. It must be the precious kids playing ball by one of the houses. Or, maybe the quiet of the afternoon.

Our task is to collect garbage from the households, as there is no garbage service for the people. After we have provided a much needed physical service, we offer to pray for any needs they may have. Be Bold

Some are unaware that their Spiritual need is far greater than their physical need of having their trash removed. Did they know that Jesus paid the price to give them Spiritual cleansing? Did they know that we are no different than them…in desperate need of cleansing from our Heavenly Father?

We start at the beginning of the street. Some of my group has the opportunity to pray with some of the beloved people we came to serve and we all the had the opportunity to pick through garbage and drop it into our garbage bags.

How quickly my mind wanders from my task. I had completely forgotten about our “Treasure Hunt”. I was hot, distracted and focused on the needs at hand.

“Mom, mom, mom, look at all the kittens!”

“Yes, yes, Mikayla. I see them, but that’s not what we are…” Kittens? Kittens? Oh, my goodness, look at all the kittens.

Oh, Lord, you are too much! Mikayla’s image was kittens. My distracted brain had forgotten! But, oh, Lord, you got my attention. There was an old truck, with about ten kittens surrounding it!

The 8 of us gush over the dirty, albeit, adorable kittens for a few minutes, when from next door, we hear a voice. The houses are all right next to each other, with little or no privacy. It’s easy for her to notice the 8 Americans right outside her door.

Before she speaks, we see her emotion. She begins in Spanish, shaking and with tears running down her cheeks. Eduardo explains to us that she is saying she knew we were coming! She had a vision that Americans came to her house and prayed for her. Several in my group begin praying for her, for healing, provision, peace…she’s trembling, feeling warmth flood her soul.

Eduardo explains to her our “Treasure Hunt”, again stating how Holy Spirit led us here through the image Mikayla saw.

Oh, I get it, Lord…the term Holy Spirit, without the word THE first, is intentional. When one is so close to the Spirit that they are friends, receiving constant counsel and direction, the word THE gets dropped. No distance there. Eduardo is guided by Holy Spirit. He trusts Holy Spirit. He loves Holy Spirit.

4 Truths I am Learning to Trust about Holy Spirit:

Holy Spirit, our counselor, John 14:16

Holy Spirit, our guide John 16:13

Holy Spirit, out fruit harvester Galatians 5:22-23

Holy Spirit, our teacher, John 14:26

Our beautiful time with the lady was coming to an end. I was in awe of the Lord’s work, planning, guidance, timing. Taking one last look at our surroundings before heading back out to the street, I notice a brightly colored towel hanging on the woman’s clothesline. It’s covered with yellow triangles.

Be Bold

On a mission trip, a few months ago, Holy Spirit performed a miracle in me. A boldness took root I didn’t even know was inside me.

During an outreach ministry in a poverty stricken area of Tijuana, one of the hispanic women in the neighborhood told someone in my group that her sister had just, within the hour, been taken to the hospital with kidney problems. Prior to hearing the word, “kidney”, I was focused on my sweat, fatigue, overall discomfort. I was in search of shade. At the mention of the word, “kidney”, my thoughts were disturbed, and Holy Spirit took over. Pushing through the crowd, I heard myself saying, “This one’s for me. I am supposed to pray for her!”

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The translator, as well as my group, looked at me with surprise as I began to pray for the emotional woman. The translator was there to translate, but after a little bit he stopped. There didn’t seem to be a need to translate because Holy Spirit was there doing the communicating for us.

What you need to know is that no one has ever described me as bold. The Lord has caused me to be brave throughout my illness, Spiritual Blessings Come Wrapped in Trials, but bold? No.

Reluctant to speak in front of class. Cooperative. Hesitant to answer. Easy going. Unsure when reading aloud in class. Scanning over my report cards from school, I notice a pattern.  Quiet. Reserved. Peacemaker.

being-shy

God created me to be an introverted person that requires quiet and calm in order to feel energized. But, the labels that I received beyond that were human given. Shy, unsure, hesitant, slow to warm up, stuck up. Somewhere along the line I picked up added garbage and held onto it as my identity.

Extroverted personalities seem to be recognized as more desirable. I longed for qualities like outgoing, friendly, social, talkative.

Why couldn’t I think of the right thing to say at the right moment? I’d think of the perfect, witty comment to make in the appropriate situation, home alone in my bedroom 3 days after the conversation actually occurred. But, when given a blank piece of paper and a pencil in creative writing class, my brain would fill with ideas, words, a complete brainstorm of thoughts would fill my mind.

Years were wasted wishing I was created to be some other way. 1 Corinthians 12 had not yet taken root in my heart.

1 Corinthians 12: 20-26 reads, 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

These verses assure me that God created me for a purpose, His purpose. My style, personality, temperament, and gifts are to be used for God’s glory. No need to wish for a different nature. No need for you to wish for a different nature.

As God is unlocking His word for me, I am learning how He sees me. It’s how He sees you.

You are:

A Child of God. – John 1:12

Accepted by Christ. – 15:7

A chosen people. – 1 Peter 2:9

Temples of the Holy Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20

Raised with Christ. – Colossians 3: 1-3

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Dear one, you were created in His image. Be bold.