“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." -Acts 1:8
These past couple of years, the Lord has been teaching me a lot about comfort zones- more specifically, stepping outside of them. It can be hard when the Lord asks us to do something that we’ve never done before, something that’s unfamiliar or difficult. We tend to be anxious, fearful and resistant to the change at hand; torn between our desire to obey God and our desire to stay safely within our comfort zones. This is the position that I found myself in this summer. I was torn between wanting to return to Haiti on a missions trip and God leading me to go to the Dominican Republic.
The thing is, Haiti had become my comfort zone. I’d gone there for the past two years: I knew the people, I was good at what we were going there to do (teaching English and running a VBS), and I knew exactly what to expect. Haiti was safe for me. Haiti was comfortable. And as typical… whenever I get comfortable and I’m not growing as much, the Lord asks me to follow Him beyond my comfort zone. And the Dominican Republic was out of my comfort zone.
I had originally planned on going in June with one of my college groups. I was a little bummed that I was going to the DR instead of Haiti, but I tried to make the best of it. I was in charge of organizing the VBS, I knew the people who were going, and I was looking forward to seeing one of the students that we sponsored. But then once again, the Lord changed my plans. My grandfather passed away the day before I was supposed to leave, and I was unable to go. (My grandfather was a very strong believer, so we have a peace because we know he’s with his Savior!)
Thankfully, we were able to get all of the funds and the airline tickets transferred over to another trip, but this trip was even further outside of my comfort zone. It was a medical mission trip made up of all nursing students/practicing nurses… and I’m in the business field. So there I was, getting ready to go on a trip with a bunch of medical students I didn’t know (who were all 5+ years older than me), to a place that I’d never been, to serve people in a field that I had no knowledge about… and did I mention that almost everyone else knew each other? To say the least, this was out of my comfort zone.
But the Lord is faithful and the Lord is good. And the thing is, when we trust Him beyond our own ability and control, we’re able to experience His provision. In this case, I was able to trust Him despite my apprehensions, and experience His faithfulness. The trip ended up being phenomenal. I was able to connect with the team, find a niche in the medical clinic, and above all- be God’s hands and feet. It was utterly amazing seeing Him work through the week. We were able to see around 1,200 patients in four days, treating illnesses, giving medications, and testing vision. I had the opportunity to meet some amazing people while I was there. One of the nights, a bunch of the Dominicans and some of the members from my team just sat around sharing our testimonies and what God is doing in our lives. It was humbling to be a part of such an amazing community and mission.
But the only reason I got to be a part of something so amazing was because I trusted God beyond my comfort zone. I pray that you girls will allow the Lord to work in your lives, and that you will follow Him beyond what is comfortable and familiar. I know that it’s hard and it can be nerve-wracking, but the Lord will bless you and take you farther than you could ever imagine.
Raelene Harris is a spicy as they come- in her faith, her hobbies, and her style! A lover of the arts and aesthetics, she seeks to use her passions such as photography and music to glorify God and build relationships. As a 2017 intern, she is thrilled with the opportunities to expand His kingdom.