The following story is written by an Extreme Team mission trip participant.
Our third day of hiking and sharing really sums up my trip and what God taught me.
This story starts with my translator pulling us off course from the team when he spotted three women resting from planting their crops. You see, he was known for an outstanding kind of boldness and determination with the gospel and had already planted over 1,000 churches in his state. In fact, on the way to our ministry location, he had the courage to share the gospel with a government official.
His heart beats for the hardest and most persecuted places. He loves the challenge, and his desperation to spread of the gospel is quite frankly akin to a superpower.
As we walked over to the women, traversing a freshly planted crop of peas, the Holy Spirit planted something in my heart, “Tell the gospel as a love story.” I’d never shared the story of Jesus this way and was a perspective I’d never recognized.
But by the Holy Spirit’s guidance, I knew this is exactly what I needed to do.
When we got within conversational distance to the women, the first one to speak said, “I’ve waited my whole life to see someone like you.”
For someone who’s recovered from an eating disorder and consistently needs a reminder of her worth in Christ, this kind of thing is earth shattering. God knew before either of our lives began that we’d intersect in this moment, and, in His kindness, God showed us that He cares about the desires of both of our hearts.
He took me from Dallas, Texas to a village in the Himalayan Mountains to meet this sweet sister. And He was about to use me to speak to the deepest desires of her heart … desires He placed there.
With my EvangeCube in hand and a new challenge to share the gospel as a love story, our conversation began. I shared how the Creator of the universe loves them, how His desire is for an intimate relationship with each of them, that sin and brokenness prevents that relationship, but how He relentlessly pursues their hearts through the cross and interactions like the one we were having in that moment.
All three of these women had never heard of Jesus, but through the love story He wrote for each of them long ago, they all accepted His as their Savior! I’ve never witnessed or seen more joy than what these women expressed in their salvation.
I’ve been home for a few months now, but this story continues to sweeten as I look back and realize how God used my experience on the other side of the world to affirm my ministry in Dallas.
Here, I fight for freedom for trafficking victims and the restoration of women to the beautiful identity and immeasurable worth they have in Christ. My translator’s boldness continues to paint a picture for how God is calling me to step into the darkest places of trafficking with boldness, fearlessness, and sometimes a little off the planned course.
And I now view the gospel as a love story.
That revelation has forever opened my eyes to the Lord’s care for the deepest desires of a woman’s heart. We long for our own love story, but, for many of us, true love has been so distorted and hidden from us.
God—in His grace and mercy—is inviting everyone to know Him and His unending, relentless love. And this trip is just a small part of my own love story with Him.