On our first day in Madang, Papua New Guinea, we decided to walk around and see what the neighbourhood was like. Spending time in the market, we felt a bit overwhelmed: the place was tiny and crowded. People were staring at us, curious about a bunch of white people. Yet if we tried to start a conversation with them, they would just turn their backs to us, too shy to speak English. I was also shocked to catch empty—sometimes even desperate—eyes, since Papua New Guinean people are usually known for their joy.
As we continued on, a member of our team thought we should try to talk to people again.
He stopped and started speaking to these men sitting on the side of the road. “Do you know that Jesus loves you?” he asked.
That seemed so random at the time, but he encouraged us to join in. People started gathering all around us; they were listening intently as we shared about what God had done in our lives, how He can set us free and turn dust into beauty. As simple as that, we were able to share our Father’s love and tell these people how much He cares about them. We ended by praying for them.
After that they all came up to us, just to say “thank you” and shake our hands.
Reflecting on that moment later, God said to me, “This is as simple and intentional as I want you to be”. I don’t need to prepare cool stories, or take 30 minutes to get something ready. He is opening doors and inviting us to places we had never been, for the purpose of writing the stories with Him. He trusts us.
All He’s asking of us is to step out in faith and love the person in front of us.
By Elsa Jeanprêtre