Faith,  Growth

How To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone and Why You Should

Have you ever wondered what life is like outside of your little bubble? We are privileged in so many ways and are shielded from so much of what others are facing in our own country and around the world. Sure, we hear news stories about violence, poverty and scandal (or in my case, avoid watching the news and therefore hearing about current affairs from others making conversation), but have you ever stopped to think what a day is like in someone else’s shoes?  If I could hear your answers, I think they would be mixed.

In October of 2014 I had the immense privilege of traveling to South Africa to serve alongside the staff of Hope Africa Collective, an organization whose aim is to end extreme poverty in their area by utilizing an educational and spiritual formation program.

Before the trip I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I had heard great things from people who were familiar with this organization and its staff and I assumed it would be a memorable trip, but I never expected to experience the life change that I did.  Kara-Chains-Be-BrokenAlmost immediately I realized that God is moving powerfully in the community through this organization and the people who work there.

The day we arrived, I talked with a beautiful young girl who was full of joy. I asked her what she liked most about her experience at Hope Africa and her answer has stuck with me ever since. She began to tell me how she had found freedom in Jesus! Interwoven into her story she talked of how she’d been raped and was now HIV positive. She shared about the shame she felt in her past but declared that because of her relationship with Jesus she knew that she was accepted by God and has found a family in her fellow classmates and teachers at Hope Africa.

What stood out to me most was that she started off by telling me of her freedom, not the horrendous injustice that had been forced upon her. I can’t imagine the pain and anger she felt when she was diagnosed or how she’d dealt with any of her emotions before she experienced a relationship with Jesus, but what I can tell you is that the amount of joy she exuded as she told me of her new found freedom was remarkable. Nothing less than breathtaking!

My trip was full of stories like this, full of experiences that showcase the grace of God and how extraordinary His redemption is. Reflecting back, I am reminded of the song, “You’ll Come” by Hillsong. If you own the song I encourage you to listen to it, or pull it up on You Tube and reflect on the lyrics and the power of our God! “Chains be broken | Lives be healed | Eyes be opened | Christ is revealed.” This is exactly what God has done in this young girl’s life and what He longs to do in yours and in mine.

Read more about my time in South Africa here.

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