Out of My "Comfort Zone" in Nicaragua

July 31 2007 / ShareHim in Nicaragua-B, Jun. 15 - Jun. 30 '07 #175
by Lori Sherbondy

Personal Testimony of Lori Sherbondy.

Life is never boring when a person decides to serve the Lord. God has a way of getting someone out of their comfort zone and having them do things they had been certain they would never do. As someone who hates public speaking, crowds, and being the center of attention, I never imagined I would preach an evangelistic series. However, after a series of events, I found myself in Nicaragua with nine other students from Southern Adventist University.

For the first few days of the campaign, I was too scared to have the audience even raise their hands or stand to make a decision for Christ. I was afraid that nobody would do what I had asked. My leader and most of the other students from Southern had been having their pastor or elder do the appeal after they finished the sermon because Nicaraguans are excellent at appeals. They are very direct and they typically carry out their appeals for 15 or 20 minutes. I thought it was a wonderful idea to have someone else do my appeals. However, when I asked my church elders, they discussed it and said, “No, you need to do it!” Three different times I asked them, and they always gave the same response. I knew that this was God’s way of trying to get me out of my comfort zone.

One night when I arrived I knew I had procrastinated long enough and that it was time to make an appeal. The elders told me to make it about 10 to 15 minutes long. I had no idea what I was going to say! I was so scared that I was shaking and I felt nauseated. I really poured my heart out to God and I told Him to speak through me and take my fear away.

As I watched the video of Jesus before my sermon, I saw Him healing the blind and casting out demons. I said, “God, if you can do that, surely you can put words in my mouth!” That night it truly felt like the Holy Spirit took over. At the end of the sermon God filled me with so much peace. I suddenly wanted those people to know about God’s love so badly that I no longer cared what they thought of me. My fear was gone and I shared with them many things from my life that I hadn’t planned on sharing. God just kept giving me things to say. I asked everyone to come forward to make a decision for Christ and nearly the entire church eventually came forward. As I watched, I thought to myself, “I can’t believe I wanted the elder to do this.”

As a result of the campaign, my little church had two baptisms and about ten to twelve people who decided to prepare for baptism. However, I believe that the biggest change that God made was in my own life. Without an experience such as this, which I was completely incapable of doing on my own, I would never have so greatly felt my need of God. When I saw what He could do with me at the meetings, I realized that God could do incredible things with every area of my life that I surrendered to Him. I learned how to really search my heart and keep nothing from God. After all, how could I stand up and ask people to surrender everything to God when I hadn’t? Though my time in Nicaragua was definitely not easy, I’m thankful that God sent me there to take me out of my comfort zone and learn things about Him that I never would have learned in my cozy life at home.
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