About a year ago the Lord began to close doors of ministry I was pursuing such as chaplaincy in the public school system and mentoring eighth grade students at a local school. This was frustrating since I truly felt the Lord leading me to minister within schools with the Gospel of Christ but every application was eventually rejected.
Those painful experiences helped me realise the Lord didn’t want me to minister in this way (He later answered that prayer by allowing me to teach Religious Education classes) so I began seeking His Will. Prayer and research of volunteer ministries in the area brought me to the Practice English Group; which is a meeting for those who recently came to Melbourne and wanted to work on their conversational english. Since getting involved in this ministry our little group has gone from meeting twice a month to every week and has a reputation for being one of the loudest meetings in the library.
Because some of them won’t be there for our last session next Tuesday the group planned a party for me complete with food from at least six different countries. Having a massive meal with my dear friends was a blessing but what happened before the meal actually meant more to me. Once I got there they excitedly told me it was a party in my honour and before anyone ate any food I had to say “Grace.” So Buddhists, Hindu’s, Catholics, and Agnostics bowed their heads and closed their eyes as I prayed to the one true God with a massive smile on my face.
The Lord brought me to this small ministry because many of these people have an idea of religion but don’t know Christ. Since learning I am a minister they have started bringing all their hard questions about God every Tuesday which has given me dozens of ministries to share the Gospel. I can remember one week in particular when one of them asked me how my beliefs where different from Catholicism which was followed by a forty-five minute conversation about Jesus Christ.
At the beginning of this ministry my heart was still a bit frustrated about not being able to minister in schools, but today I wouldn’t give it up for the world. There is more liberty and open doors to share Truths of Scripture in our group than could ever be found in the school system..as well as a hunger to know what God’s Word teaches. This doesn’t change the fact that its frustrating when God chooses to close a door but it’s an incredible encouragement to know that when this does happen, He always has something better for us. As I hugged my students goodbye this morning I couldn’t help but thank God for closing the door of ministry that was so important to me.