As I picked up my old comic version of ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’, I was reminded how far I had come.
As a little girl, I had always wanted to be an evangelist and regularly gave out pictures of Jesus to my friends. I thought my friends would like a picture of him in their desk – like I did. Hilarious what we do as children! Yet, even at that young age, I was out there sharing Jesus in the context I found myself in, my school. Did people reject me or the message? No!
When I read my comics as a child, which also told stories of great missionaries who had given up their lives for the sake of sharing their faith, I thought I would be a female version of Pastor David Wilkerson, reaching people in dark, difficult places. Instead, I found myself more like those that the young Pastor reached out to.
Fortunately, God is constantly sending His people to reach those trapped in the darkness of their problems. Often, a key problem is them not realising that a loving God has a plan for their lives. God sent someone to me, at the darkest time of my life, to speak about Jesus. From the moment Ruth turned up at my workplace, she annoyed me! She introduced herself as a Christian which of course reminded me of the comics and my calling. Annoyed or not, from that moment on, I started to feel the love of God drawing me to Himself.
I was in great darkness and needed help. God knew and had sent Ruth to me. She had been on a ‘Youth with a Mission’ course and had travelled with them, sharing her faith. Again, that reminded me of my call to evangelism and mission, so the wrestle for my life increased. What was I going to do: follow God and leave the mess I found myself in, or stay in the mess and probably end up ‘six feet under’ sooner than I needed to?
Now, I thank God she turned up. She was not ashamed of the message of Jesus and her faithfulness saved my life. She just kept being herself, full of the joy of Jesus, inviting me to Church and to Bible studies and she spoke to me a lot about sharing her faith and overseas missions. I see now what God was doing. That was nearly thirty years ago. Today, God sends me to those in darkness, He has done in me what I saw as a child…be like a female version of Pastor David Wilkerson. I still have the comics, as they are a reminder for me of the call of God on my life.
As you read this, I hope you are reminded of where you have come from and hope you will consider where/what God is calling you to. Our mission fields can change as we go. This year, God has pretty much thrown me into a new ‘field’. My husband and I have launched our own ministry – Mission on the Move Ministries. This had to happen so we can go wider and further than before, reaching, rescuing, and restoring in a larger landscape.
The question for you is: where and to whom is God sending you? It could be the people next door, the shop down the road, your workplace, or indeed overseas to a particular people group. If you can answer and do it, then together we are fulfilling the great commission, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation’ (Mark 16:15). How we do that is inevitably different for each of us! The important thing is that no matter how impossible it looks, we must go, as we are in His lifesaving mission to reach, rescue and restore those who will hear and believe.
Alison, with her husband Richard, runs Mission on the Move, a pioneering/evangelistic organisation that reaches people in dark places and equips other people to do the same. Prior to this, Alison spent many years battling alcohol addiction and using recreational drugs on the party scene. Alison is a regular speaker at our Fixed conference.