Right Where I Am!

You and I are missionaries.

We really are — we have been called to
share the gospel and help win lost and
unsaved people to Christ on the mission fields of
the earth.

I can almost hear someone saying, “Oh,
Rexella, I could never be a missionary and do
great things for the Lord in some far country.
I don’t have eloquent words or deep spiritual
wisdom, and I’ll probably never have the
opportunity to go very far away from my own
neighborhood. So there’s really not very
much I can do.”

Do the little things

My response is simple — we can pay attention
to little things. I have been so challenged
by the admonition of Horatio Bonar, who
said — “It is well to remember that a holy life
is made up of a number of small things. Little
words — not eloquent speeches or sermons.
Little deeds — not miracles in battles. Deeds —
not one great heroic act of martyrdom — make
up most Christian lives.”

Isn’t that tremendous? God is looking for
someone to do the little deeds and say the
simple things about Jesus — to live the everyday
life of faith in their neighborhood. Don’t
belittle the opportunity He has given you. As
the prophet said, For who hath despised the
day of small things?
(Zechariah 4:10).

Some years ago when Jack and I were
conducting citywide crusades, I began to feel a
strange yearning inside my being — a sense of
unrest, of being unfulfilled. I couldn’t
understand it. We were on the road up to nine
months out of the year, ministering to
thousands of people every night. I was part of the
team — I stood and sang to great crowds and
sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit using
my songs to speak to many precious souls.
Along with this, I had the extreme pleasure
each crusade of speaking to ladies’ luncheons
and various organizations. I found extreme
joy in seeing many coming to the Lord during
those afternoons.

Yet my inner spirit was not at peace. I felt
a hunger to have a one-to-one experience of
witnessing, to personally lead people to the
Lord. As I prayed and sought God’s guidance,
the Lord seemed to say to me, “Yes, Rexella,
there is a mission field for you outside the
crusades. That mission field is right where you
are — in the grocery store, at the shopping
center, the coffee shop, or wherever you find
yourself. The people you meet in these places
need to know Me.”

The Holy Spirit impressed on me that I
needed to be aware of His leading and be
ready to witness in the way He led me. For
me, witnessing is not having a handful of
gospel tracts to pass out on the sidewalk or
asking a stranger passing by if I can explain
the five spiritual laws and lead him to the
Lord. Don’t misunderstand me — I believe in
using tracts and in being bold in sharing my
testimony at times. But I’ve found that just
showing love and being interested in people —
getting to know them — prepares the way and
makes more effective witnessing opportunities.
How can I hope to lead a person to the
Lord until I show enough genuine interest in
her (or him) to get to know her?

A sales girl in a store I sometimes visit
said to me one day, “Mrs. Van Impe, you’re
the only one who ever really looks at me.”

Sow good seeds

It’s important to use the tools of kindness
and simple friendship to break the ground and
till the soil. Then you plant a seed or two, and
water them faithfully with the Word of God.
The day will come when those seeds will
grow and be ready to harvest. You may have
the opportunity of reaping — or someone else
may be there at just the right moment to lead
that person to Christ. As the great Apostle
Paul wrote, I have planted, Apollos watered;
but God gave the increase
(1 Corinthians 3:6).

One of the sweetest compliments I’ve ever
received came from a dear lady who is not of
our faith. I have tried to let my life witness to
her for several years as she has waited on me
at one of my favorite stores.

As I stood talking with her one day, another
customer came up, purchased something,
and asked, “May I have one of those special
shopping bags?”

“I’m so sorry,” said my friend. “You have
to make a purchase of at least $15 to get the
decorative bag.”

I said to the lady, “Oh, please take my
shopping bag. You seem to like it and I have
others at home.”

The lady behind the counter smiled at the
customer and said, “Let me introduce you to
Mrs. Van Impe, she’s a real Christian.” I
found that her words warmed my heart and
blessed my soul.

I’ve found that when I show love and quietly
minister in little ways to the people who
cross my path, the Lord satisfies the yearning
of my heart to be used to win someone to Him.

Although I’ve tried to be a good witness to
everyone I possibly could, it had been a long
while since I’d personally prayed with an
individual to accept the Lord. There is no greater
thrill than this!

I am humbly grateful for the opportunity
Jack and I have to be on international TV and
to share the gospel to a great viewing audience
each week. We receive thousands of letters
each week, many from people who say they
accepted the Lord as they watched our program.

Lead souls to Jesus

But there’s nothing like leading someone
to Jesus on a one-to-one basis. And that
happened during an Open House event at our
headquarters. A dear lady came up to me and
introduced me to her grandson, who was about
21 years of age.

“I’d like for my grandson to be baptized,” she said.

I looked at the young man and asked,
“Why do you want to be baptized?”

“Oh,” he said, obviously wishing to please
his grandmother, “I think it would be a nice
thing to do.”

I said, “Well, according to the Bible,
before you’re baptized there are some things
that have to happen. Have you been born again?”

“No,” he replied.

“Do you know what that means?”

“No, I don’t.”

“Would you like to know?”

“Yes,” he said, “I really would.”

So the young man and I, along with a couple
of other believers, went into my office and
knelt down beside a chair. I explained the
simple plan of salvation to him — how Jesus
died to provide forgiveness of all sin. Then I
asked if he needed the Lord.

“Oh, yes,” he said, “I have done so many
things wrong. I really want to accept Jesus as
my Saviour.”

So we prayed the sinner’s prayer together,
and that young man became a Christian. I
don’t know who was the happiest — he or I
or his grandmother! It was wonderful.

Be a witness in your “world”

This can happen to you, too. You have a
mission field to work for the Lord…right
where you are. The Bible says, The steps of a
good man
[or woman] are ordered by the
Lord: and he delighteth in his way
37:23). Think of it — you don’t take a single
step by accident. God sends you wherever
you go for a reason. Someone in your “world”
needs to see the witness of your life and to
hear your testimony in your everyday
conversation. Don’t ever forget this. The Bible says,
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a
[or woman] be found faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2).

I read recently about a famous preacher
who concluded a powerful sermon in a revival
meeting and gave an invitation. A woman of
great wealth and social distinction came down
the aisle and asked if she could say a few words.

“I want you to know why I came forward
tonight. It is not because of any word spoken
by this good preacher. I stand here because of
the influence of a little woman who sits before
me. Her fingers are rough with toil, the hard
work of many years has stooped her low.
She’s just a poor, obscure washer woman who
has served in my home for many years. I have
never known her to be impatient, speak an
unkind word, or do a dishonorable deed. But I
know countless little acts of unselfish love that
adorn her life.

“Shamefully, let me say that I have openly
sneered in her face and laughed at her fidelity
to God. Yet, when my little girl was taken
away recently, it was this woman who caused
me to look beyond the grave and shed my first
tear of hope. The sweet magnetism of her life
has led me to Christ. I covet the things that
have made her life so beautiful.”

When the woman finished speaking, the
great preacher got up and said, “My friends,
let me introduce you to the real preacher of the
evening,” and he had the little washer woman stand.

How effective a missionary this humble
laundress was! Her life was a powerful
witness right where she worked. She found her
mission field without ever leaving home.
You and I can do the same thing if we will
pay attention to little things…and live for
Christ where we are. Remember, before the
Lord told His disciples to go unto the
uttermost part of the earth,
He asked them to be
witnesses unto Him in Jerusalem, and in all
Judaea, and in Samaria
(Acts 1:8).

He has not changed His plan or His
commission! He has called you to be His witness,
starting in your own neighborhood, to the
people of your own town, to your own “world.”

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and
then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you,
Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for
they are white already to harvest
(John 4:35).

Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,
that he will send forth labourers into his
(Matthew 9:38).

When you pray this prayer, be ready to
have it answered by God tapping YOU on the
shoulder! Isaiah told of hearing the voice of
God, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will
go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
And he said, Go, and tell this people)
Isaiah 6:8,9).

Can you hear the voice of God today?
Listen with the ears of your heart. Then take
my hand, and let’s get going to our mission
field…right where we are!