What I learned about being wimpy – Ecuador, Part 5

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I would make a terrible salesperson. I hate the feeling that I am inconveniencing someone or that they are doing something they don’t want to do simply because I asked.

Some people are naturals at this. I had a friend say of another friend that “He could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo!” (I apologize if this is in any way a racial slur). It’s a gift that some have, and I did not get.

I have tried even hosting Pampered Chef and Longaberger parties in my past, and you can imagine how well I did when my invitations went something like, “Please come! You really don’t need to buy anything.

Seriously, don’t feel like you have to buy something. Just come. I really don’t need you to make a purchase, just come for fun!”

Even if I love the thing that is being sold, promoted or offered, I automatically think of 10 million reasons you might not and I feel terrible inconveniencing you by asking and putting pressure on you.

And don’t get me started on school fundraisers. If Noah makes any sales at all, it is because we bought something ourselves. I can’t bring myself to peddle it.

So you can imagine how great I would be as a 2-week missionary.

I know people need Jesus, but I would just imagine that they were tired of getting flyers, they were skeptical of our nail painting, and wondering why in the world we wanted to give them oatmeal. I assumed they were cynical, which made me feel wimpy when it was time to interact.

Well, God can provide the guts for us as we need it. It seems that when I see other people not being wimpy, it makes me have a little more courage too.

Our job ultimately was to pray and to represent Jesus in everything we did, whether it was nail-painting, passing out oatmeal, or passing out 1 gazillion flyers.  Noah and I were even encouraged to be a little less wimpy when passing out the flyers – “Be bold!” a missionary said to us as he assertively exemplified giving this piece of paper to a stranger. He rocked passing out flyers.

And another lady we were with was so good at this! She would go to car doors at intersections and excitedly hand them this invitation to an event ultimately designed to connect that person with Christ! You could feel her excitement.

I saw a lady accept Christ during a simple flyer distribution. I saw, and cried, as a woman and her daughter were so thrilled to hear about this new church that they hugged us as we finished talking to them. I saw an answer to prayer as a guy riding past the church on his bike, stopped  because he wanted to know more about it, asking a lady who, at the very moment, was praying for that very thing to happen.

People want to know. People need to know.

You need to believe in what you’re selling.

When we finished up the two week trip, we had some reflection time to consider the things we had seen and done, what we had learned. And we were given some questions to think about. One of them was, “What have you learned about yourself.”

In my journal I wrote this –

“I’ve learned I’m wimpy at home sometimes…Knowing I’m offering them the best gift ever – that is nothing to be wimpy about, or to feel like I’m inconveniencing them. They need this. I’ve learned I can be brave when I need to.”

In a place far away from my home, I was able to catch the excitement other people had about sharing Jesus with people, and I don’t want to lose it now that I am back in Barboursville.

And I know people here need Jesus just as much as the people there. We all need Him. Do your part where you are to talk about Him. There are people who want to hear it, I promise.

Our group offering oatmeal and prayer

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…”
Romans 1:16a

Noah offering oatmeal to a stranger

Shawn preparing oatmeal to be handed out

Me with a friend I made during the free nail-painting 🙂

About Jen Chapman

She is a wife to Shawn for 20 years and counting, and a mom to Noah, and together they live out their story in their tiny town of Barboursville, WV. She is a freelance writer and a blogger at girlmeetsgrace.com. Flowers, bookstores, and people are what make her smile. She has seen God’s grace redeem her big-time and wants everyone to know it and experience it for themselves. She wants more than anything to give praise and honor to Jesus, and point people to Him.

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