It was a normal Thursday in Papua New Guinea.
We woke up sweating and didn’t stop until the sun was below the horizon. There were island-wide power cuts from 6am to 6pm, which meant no refrigeration, no fresh foods, and no fans (a.k.a. no relief from the heat).
Regardless, our Discipleship Training School (DTS) team was in high spirits as we prepared to go on the streets to share the love of Jesus.
This was a weekly occurrence. Organised ministry proved to be difficult to… well… organise, so we ended up going out on the streets on many days. We would go into populated areas of the town, split into groups of two or three with one of our local contacts with us and go.
This Thursday, I was in a group with all girls. We prayed for a few minutes, then walked to the beach.
This beach was where the hopper boats arrived each day with goods from other islands.
It was a beach where much commerce was bought and sold—fruit and veggies, meat, handmade items… but also drugs... and people.
Our local contact pointed out the area where prostitutes hung out looking for business. We met two women there and began to sit with them on the beach. They were open to hearing about Jesus, and we began to share with them.
We shared how God never shames us, but actually sets us free.
How He died for them, so that they don’t have to live in bondage anymore.
How He is real and alive, and cares for them more deeply than anyone else ever could.
I shared my story about how I used to run to relationships, to money, and to comfort to satisfy me and it never did.
How the ONLY thing that satisfies is Jesus, the ONLY thing that actually healed me was Jesus. How the answer to the longing of their hearts is JESUS, and He is free and available to anyone who asks.
One of the two women was so moved by this moment.
She made a decision right then and there to commit the rest of her life to loving Jesus.
She prayed from her heart for the forgiveness of her sins, and for Jesus to become the focus of her life.
But that wasn't all.
Our contact, Emma, explained baptism to her. How when you go into the water, all your sins are washed clean and you come out a new person. It is an outward declaration of the commitment that was made.
The woman said she wanted to get baptized—right then and there.
My teammate, Carmen, and I hopped into the sparkling ocean with this sweet woman, and got to help be a part of God writing her story.
We watched her dignity be restored.
Her identity began to change from object to daughter, from slave to free, from hopeless to hopeful.
It would have been easier to stay in the “safe” part of the beach, but instead God brought light into the darkness. Our simple “yes” on a hot day changed this woman’s life for the rest of eternity.
That is why saying “yes” to following the call of Jesus is so worth it.