Tuesday, June 14, 2011

You want me to do what?!

Saturday night I was playing Rummy with Richard's kids, their new favorite card game since Chris and I taught them how to play, when Annie got a phone call. It was Getzie. Getzie is an incredible woman that has worn many hats in the local ministries here. She's got a lot of spunk and we've always gotten along really well. Currently she coordinates the VBS Programs and village ministries. We attended a village VBS with Getzie a few weeks ago and it was wonderful to see the children who were the first generation of Christians in the area recite chapters from the Bible, sing worship songs they learned and perform skits they wrote themselves! Getzie called to confirm I was attended church with her in the morning. Since I said yes she asked if I could give some testimony or small message. I agreed and she had me right where she wanted. I'm still in awe of the directions that followed, "Great! A thirty minute message should do. We're looking forward to hearing your sermon in the morning! See you at 10."

This is why we've started telling teams to prepare a message or testimony BEFORE they get to India. Because you will be asked. Honestly a 12 hour heads up was very generous. Too bad I don't take my own advice and had to prepare something early Sunday morning. I just tried to ignore the fact that I was expected to give a SERMON in the morning. My pep talk was repeated several times that night: "It's no big deal. Think of it as a testimony. That's less pressure..."

Since Chris left India I've had a lot of alone time, which I've spent reading "Radical" by David Platt. It's incredible!! And everyone should read it!! But that's another blog. By no coincidence, this book talks about the responsibility ALL Christians have to preach, not just pastors. This realization helped so much in preparing for the service. While I'm not a trained pastor and there are many more well equipped inspiring speakers, sharing the love of Christ is something I try to do everyday. This day would just be with a microphone.

The service had already begun when I arrived at church and Getzie met me outside with a big smile and a hug. Then she asked me for the passage I would be using for my message (it was no longer disguised as a little testimony or short something lol). Though I haven't experienced such a thing firsthand I've seen many other missionaries go through similar situations. 1 Peter 4:7-11 provided the context for my ramblings, which were surprisingly very calm. I even noticed one woman was still awake!

While preaching to a group of 20 widows, 11 HIV positive orphans and a small group of nearby villagers was not on the agenda when I set off for India--I'm glad it's been checked off the to do list. God is so good. And so generous to allow me to be used in such a way!

I won't put you through the sermon but I will leave you with the same challenge I left the widowers and children. Salvation doesn't stop at our spiritual wellbeing. As Christians we are responsible to share the love of Christ with those who have never heard. The challenge: step out of your comfort zone and share Christ's love with someone this week. Leave a comment and let us know what happens!

With Love
Jessica

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