Photo by Erin E. Photography
This is the story of how a Father gave me courage, and how He connected the hearts of two of his daughters.
It was late one Wednesday evening in Penang, Malaysia. Every Wednesday, a small group of four or five women and myself would go out onto the dark (in every aspect of the word) streets near our small apartment with the intention of piercing through that darkness with the illuminating hope of Jesus.
Evangelism is not a natural task for me. I feel timid, awkward, and afraid of saying the wrong thing—especially in this strictly Muslim country where it is illegal to share the Word of Christ. Wednesday night street evangelism was always an evening that filled me with dread. Fear would creep its debilitating words inside of me and tell me that I couldn’t do it. It would make me wonder, “What if I get caught?” or “What if someone asks me a question that I don’t have the answer to and I look like a fool?” I knew in my head that Jesus was above this fear, but I didn’t know it in my heart enough to step out in faith. I preferred to stay in the background of the group—or try to mask my fear by saying something like, “I’m not going to talk to anyone tonight; I’ll just pray over the city as we walk.” This wasn’t honorable; it was cowardice.
This Wednesday night in particular was especially dark. The sky was black and the moon and stars were nowhere to be found. The urge felt stronger than ever to back out. But that night was different. I knew that this was an area where I lacked faith as well as courage, but this time I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 12:9. Paul begs the Lord for the thorn in his side to be removed, but each time he makes his plea, the Lord responds with: “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” Yes, Lord! I am so weak, but I don’t have to give in.
“Allow Your power to work through my weakness” was my prayer as we were preparing to leave. As we left our apartment, the sky was rumbling in protest. My small group huddled together to pray to allow the Holy Spirit space to reveal what direction He wanted us to go. After a few moments of prayer, none of us felt a specific urge from Him so we decided to just start walking. We walked and we walked and we walked. We bought water for a homeless lady. We tried to approach a sketchy-looking group outside of a hostel. But it all just made me feel awkward again. Before long, the rumbling sky released its hostage.
The rain was soft, but we ducked into an indoor/outdoor café for refuge. As we sat down and ordered some drinks, I felt downtrodden and defeated. “Lord, I thought that this was the night!” About that time, I looked to my left and saw a Chinese woman in her mid-twenties, sitting alone at a table. I instantly felt a pull toward her. I knew I needed to speak with her—but of course I argued with God instead. She’s going to think I am crazy. What do I even say?!
After a few moments of wrestling inside my head, the young woman got her check and stood up to leave. I was admittedly relieved when I saw her standing up. I missed my chance, but also avoided an awkward encounter. As she neared the exit, that’s when the skies really opened. I have never seen so much rain in my life. In that moment I knew that God had trapped her…and me! I wasn’t getting out of this one.
When she saw that it was raining too hard to go outside, she resumed sitting at a bar facing the street. Without giving myself enough time to talk myself out of it, I stood up and plopped down beside her.
“Hello!” I nervously chirped.
She looked at me, very confused, but courteously nodded my way. Then I was frozen…now what?! I simply asked her if she spoke English, and she replied that she did but very poorly. I then asked if she was planning on staying at the restaurant until it stopped raining, and when she said yes, I asked if I could sit with her. She hesitantly consented, clearly still confused about my intentions.
However, after only moments of speaking and asking questions, it was clear that she was not only at ease, but that we were natural friends. She went on to tell me that she was studying in Singapore, but on vacation by herself in Penang. I kept trying to inquire why she was alone, but she always cleverly avoided the question. Eventually, there was a lull in conversation and we both became quiet. It wasn’t an awkward silence—more of a pensive one.
Before long, she broke the silence. “Megan, I am here alone because my heart is broken and I don’t know how to fix it.” She then began to open her heart and her tears flowed as unrelenting as the rain. As she revealed her hurts and struggles and fears with me, God was able to use me to speak words of hope, truth, and life into her. I told her that He wants to fix her broken heart, and that He will never hurt her. She told me that growing up in China she had never heard the truth of the gospel spoken to her before. The life and the hope that Jesus offers was a whole new phenomenon to her.
We cried together and she let me pray over her. I told her that we have the same Father, and that makes us sisters! We exchanged emails and to this day we chat about life and struggles and hope. She hasn’t made the step to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior, but I know that she will. Because I acted on the courage that God had given me, I was able to plant a seed in her heart that other people and the Lord will continue to water.
Every day we pass people on the street. Every day we make small talk with someone behind a cash register. Our purpose is to bring God’s kingdom on earth, and we have the opportunity to do that every single day. Step out in faith. I was afraid of feeling awkward, of saying the wrong thing, of me looking like a fool. How selfish is that, when eternity is on the line? As someone once said, “The Holy Spirit doesn’t lead us into ease.” Once we accept that, and get over ourselves, we can literally save lives.
A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.