Out of My Comfort Zone

Posted by Jacci Roberts

As a mission team veteran, my recent trip to India was going to be just like all the others. Or so I thought.

Women gather at a Sunday morning church service at a local church in Andhra Pradesh, India. This same church is home to 25 orphaned and abandoned children.

It started out like the others. There was a lot of prayer, a very long flight, a few days of jet lag, and finally we arrived at our final destination: the orphanage. That was the moment I had been waiting for.  And these children were exactly like I expected. They were beautiful, joyful, eager to be noticed, and had significant needs that Global Hope can help meet.

All was going as planned, until about the fourth night of our trip.  Before we left for India, I had been told that I may be invited to speak in a church service.  For those of you who share my dread for public speaking, you feel my pain when I say that this was not the moment I had been waiting for!  But, I was willing to bring the compulsory word of encouragement.  Just get up there and do it, I told myself, and in five minutes it will be over with.

But when I walked into the first little church we were to visit, a wave of conviction came over me.  We arrived during worship time and on the floor sat about 20 or so women singing praise songs.  Their saris were wrapped up over their heads bringing beautiful color to an otherwise drab one-room church.  Almost all of them held their Bibles in their laps.  

 In that moment God made it clear to me that this was not just about paying lip service to one of my favorite Bible passages. These women had come to hear a Word from God.  And I knew God intended to speak to them, whether He used me or not.   As the only woman in our group, in a country where widows are thrown out on the street and baby girls are selectively aborted because they’re not a boy, I desperately wanted Him to use me.

I immediately asked God to forgive me for taking this privilege so lightly. I began to pray that night, and throughout the week, that He would use me to encourage my Indian sisters. 

By the end, I had spoken at four different church services.  Even more, after the services, many of the women lined up for me to pray for them!  To me, most looked young enough to be teenagers, so I prayed that God would raise them up to be leaders in their communities.  And I thanked Him that they already had their own Bibles! The widows, speaking no English, just grabbed my hand and put right on top of whatever body part was broken.  It was obvious they wanted healing, so that’s what I prayed for.

When I left Colorado, I didn’t expect to bear a burden for the women in India.  My human eyes weren’t looking beyond the needs of the children.  But God had bigger plans.  What big plans does God have for your life today?  Are you willing to go there with Him? I hope you will. There are so many people waiting for us to move out of our comfort zones so that we might bring them a little comfort too.