Special opportunities may come our way unexpectedly. Don’t let the fear of what might happen cause you to miss an opportunity. Be alert for the opportunities God gives you and take full advantage of them.
Exodus (interpretation) 2:7, 8
I serve with an Online Welcome Team for a large ministry. I have held this position since June of 2017. My responsibilities are contacting new Salvations and Re-commitments to Christ. Every other week, I’m given a list of names with the expectation of reaching out to each one of them by Thursday night. I begin with a short text in the hopes of making a scheduled phone call. When I first started this opportunity, my preference of communication was text or email. I was not comfortable with sharing God and my church through voice but have since been relieved of this distress, praise God! There is a desire within me to stand before a crowd and share the Gospel. I have no idea how it will happen; I firmly believe that God has already made a way. I just need to sit tight, listen, obey, rely on the Holy Spirit’s strength, and keep moving forward.
I have made many friends throughout my time on the Welcome Team. I speak to people from all over the world. There is a woman in India who shares her prayer requests with me and of late, her secret remedies for a common cold. In her last email, just a few days ago, she assured me that if I followed her recipe, I would be spared illness. I couldn’t help but smile and be thankful for her kind and thoughtful words.
I have another friend in Florida who I contacted in September of 2017. We communicate at least every couple of weeks, mostly through text and email. When she was baptized in the ocean, she sent me a picture. How blessed I am to be part of her life and her walk with Jesus. She is a tremendous support and offers great encouragement in my own walk with Him. I’m incredibly thankful for her divine friendship.
She isn’t the only one who has sent me a baptismal photo! I wrote of this young man in my post, “Two Hearts Collide.” I was privileged to be thought of as he went through a traumatic crisis in his family. He reached out to me in pain and all I could do was cry as I prayed for him. It wasn’t until months later that his photo arrived. He was just seconds from being fully submerged into the baptismal pool, declaring to the world that Jesus is his Savior!
A college student living in India, reaches out to me from time to time. In the beginning, we emailed quite a bit. He was having some struggles in school, religion, and in his relationships. He is grateful for this ministry, he loves Jesus, the church, the pastors, and all the godly resources that are given to him as he learns to fully trust and surrender to God. He calls me “sister” and I quite like that!
Recently, I’d been given the name of a woman who comes from the northern area of the United States. I reached out to her via text and her response to me was that she was not able to engage in a telephone conversation at the moment but perhaps in the weekend. I did not hear from her but that’s okay. I know that lives get busy and talking to a complete stranger on the subject of faith can be a little daunting. I’ve felt this myself.
On one particular night, my phone rang and I saw that it was this northern woman. I was excited that she’d contacted me. When I answered, I could tell right away that she was distressed. Her conversation was hard to follow, but I did my very best to understand and help. When she questioned me on what to do, I came back with words of encouragement, support, and ultimately pushed for professional help. I honestly felt as if her troubles would be better handled by someone with expertise. She didn’t like that so she hung up on me.
I was a little shaken but only because I immediately took on the feelings of failure. Satan swooped in and announced that I hadn’t proceeded as a Christian should. I should have prayed and left all the other spiritual conversation out. He brought up all kinds of scenarios. I sent an apology text to the distressed woman, but did not receive a response back. Disheartened, I reached out to my Welcome Team family; they gave me the boost that I was in need of.
I spent the next few days sending Scripture to this lost and wounded woman up north and finally, one afternoon, I heard back. The door to a new friendship had been opened, and I continually pray that the Lord would direct my steps–that I would be a blessing instead of a challenge. He has been faithful in pointing out pivotal Bible verses which I have been diligently sharing with her.
There are many more stories to share, but I will save those for another time! I want to show you what God can do when we spend time in prayer and in Scripture.
In the beginning of this volunteer role, I was so nervous and scared to death when I had to make a phone call. I even left the team for a few months in order to serve in another part of the ministry that dealt only in emails. I knew, pretty much by the first week, that I was in the wrong place. The Lord had not sent me there, my fear did! I relinquished this comfortable opportunity and signed back up with the Welcome Team.
I am quite comfortable now. I am able to converse and pray with others without breaking out in a sweat, all Glory be to God!! This is not where He desires me to stay!
I was recently approached by a Coordinator of this Welcome Team ministry. She sent me the following message:
Hey Racinda, how are you? Are you sure that you do not want to be a leader for your team? You are so engaged, prayerful, you share stories, you complete your tasks, you care for our team.
I smiled, my heart swelled but immediately felt that I was not the one for the job! I like where I am. I have met some wonderful, godly people along the way. I was excited to serve the following week. I was anxious to meet new Salvations and hear their stories of what God is doing in and through them.
My response to my Coordinator:
I thank you for considering me!! I will continue to pray over this opportunity throughout the weekend. I hope to have an answer for you on Monday. I have to say that I would miss connecting with new Salvations!! I am finally comfortable in my role on the Welcome Team. I’ve met some life-long friends.
As I sent this, the Lord gently reminded me of something that Charles Stanley said in his message, “Lessons We Learn in Gethsemane, Part I:”
Not my will but your will!
Not my time but your time!
What you want is what I want!
I was determined to sit down with God, the following morning, and wait for His answer. I wrote this in my journal:
Praying and seeking God for His Will in this new opportunity! I will miss the people I contact every other week. I am happy where I am. If I do accept this new position, I don’t want it to overtake serving in the elderly outreach that I’ve just signed on with. I need to hear from You, God! Don’t let me stray, be distracted, or lose focus of what You want!
I reflected on God’s glory and waited expectantly for an answer! He said this to me:
Leading a team is an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with me as well as with others. The wisdom I have given you, can now be passed to another. You learned from it, lived it and what you have to share, is valuable. Your brothers and sisters can utilize what I’ve given you. Keeping it to yourself is not sowing seeds in my Kingdom. Are you holding back because you are fearful?
I’m calling you to speak! You know this don’t you? Of course, you do!! I want you to be bold, courageous, and confident. This is another step in that direction. You can’t grow in comfort–stretch!!
He directed me to Proverbs 15:17-19 (interpretation)
Those who are locked into one way of thinking are likely to miss the right road because they have closed their minds to any new options. We need the help of those who can enlarge our vision and broaden our perspective. Build a network of advisers. Then be open to new ideas, and be willing to weigh their suggestions carefully.
The Lord is showing me that this new experience is a necessity to His greater purpose. I now see this opportunity as a gift. I will be surrounded by other Team Leaders, a whole new set of Leadership in other areas of the ministry, learning from their experiences and growth with God which will certainly open new doors for me. This will give me the growth that I need to serve Jesus and people in a much stronger capacity.
Luke 12:48 (interpretation) sums it up perfectly:
The more resources, talents, and understanding we have, the more we are required to use them effectively.
Monday morning, I sent this to my Coordinator:
Good morning!! I would be honored and privileged to lead my team!! Thank you for this awesome opportunity, and I pray the Lord would guide and direct me in this new role!! I look forward to great spiritual growth and a deeper intimacy with God and people!! Praise be to God for who He is and all that He does!! Amen!! Have a lovely and blessed day sister.
God is faithful and He does want the best for us! He will answer; all we have to do is get quiet and patiently wait. He isn’t out to make us guess and question all who is around us. Seek Him first and have faith that He will give you exactly what you need.
Praise be to God for He is good!!