Step Out & Thrive Ministries with Bethany Boring
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I love Peter's experience of walking on the roaring sea with Jesus. But the thing is, Peter's story is often misunderstood. Do you have a step you need to take?

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Just Start The Conversation: Stories from Ukraine Series

This post continues the “Stories from Ukraine” series! To view the first post and read from the beginning, CLICK HERE 

 

 

June 21, 2018 

 

 

I’ll never forget the moment I stopped walking, looked right at my teammate George and said, “I feel like the Holy Spirit is telling us to go talk to those two women sitting there on the bench. But I’m scared. I don’t know what to say…”  

 

 

Our mission that day was to simply walk through the town and hand out flyers about the festival we were planning for Sunday. I follow directions, most of the time. I can easily go off course. I have a drink coaster that reads, “Easily distracted by shiny objects.” It’s true, but the object that I love to distract me is getting to know complete strangers. I love to go away from what is comfortable and be stretched.  

 

 

I noticed these two women from the very beginning of the sidewalk. They were older, but I just felt drawn to them. Of course, I waited until the last possible moment to say anything to my companions. I expected my teammate George and our translator to just wait for another opportunity.  

 

 

Nope. Not my group! 

 

 

George’s eyes twirled with excitement. He could see God moving and he led the way over to the bench where the two ladies were seated.  

 

 

My mind began to spin.  

 

 

My heart began to pound. 

 

 

I was already sweating a bit, but I lost more calories at that very moment.  

 

 

I began to plead with God, “Please put the words in my mouth. Please don’t let me sound like an idiot. Please have a purpose for this conversation…” 

 

 

George began the conversation as we discovered what these two ladies were doing, sitting on a bench in the middle of the day (something you don’t see much here in the USA). These ladies loved feeding the stray cats. They had each cat named, knew his or her temperament and enjoyed knowing that they could provide for them on a daily basis.  

 

 

Both women mentioned that they attended church and “worked hard doing good for God.”  

 

 

I watched as one woman clung to her cross necklace. She rubbed the cross as her eyes glanced at the track we presented to them in Russian. The track focused on the grace God gives so that we do not have the impossible task of earning our salvation. As her eyes moved, her hand began rubbing her cross faster and a bit nervously.  

 

 

As the conversation continued, two more ladies joined the group as we shared about Jesus, the cross, the salvation gift and of course the empty tomb. Our conversation just flowed naturally! Filled with laughter, questions, answers, and sharing.  I felt more alive in this conversation than I had most of that day. 

 

We can see God work powerfully when we leap out of our comfort zone. 

 

 

The conversation began to get a little quiet and I honestly thought we were done.  

 

 

Oh no. It’s never that easy, is it? 

 

 

One of the ladies asked me about my eyes and my short right arm. Thanks to the earlier practice I had at the airport, God allowed me to share my testimony.

  • I felt like God wanted me to share that each lady in this group was known by Him, just like they knew everything about the cats all around them.
  • I shared that God wasn’t distant and hard to reach.
  • I prayed that God would wrap His arms around each woman in this group, hold them close and sing softly over them.
  • I prayed that God would become closer than a friend and more than a Savior.  

 

 

I had my eyes closed during the prayer (again, easily distracted by shiny objects, remember?).  

 

 

I asked if we could take a picture and the ladies all agreed. They made me promise that I would share that this is from Poltava, Ukraine.  

 

 

 

 

“And now you have also heard the truth, Bethany, the Good News that I saved you. And when you believed in Me,  I identify you as My own by giving you My Holy Spirit, whom I promised long ago.” 

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬. 

 

 

After we said our farewells and walked away, George stopped and told me that the ladies were all in tears during the prayer. In a culture where it is not normal to show emotion, this was huge! God moved and worked in ways I literally did not see!  

 

 

God took my fear and made me realize that He guides the conversation, not me. The pressure is off. People want to be known and understood. When we can offer them our time and an open heart, God can move mountains.  

 

 

I couldn’t quit smiling the rest of that day thinking about my new friends and the best-fed cats in town!  

 

 

God, grant me the courage to go and just start the conversation.  Praying the same for you to today! 

 

 

Dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!  

About the Author Bethany

Hello and welcome to Step Out And Thrive Ministries! My name is Bethany Boring and I am proud to be called a child of God before any other title or role. I am a mom to 3 amazing boys. I enjoy writing for this Step Out And Thrive community and walking with you as we venture through the ups and downs of life together. I am an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor, Certified Human Behavioral Consultant (DISC Personality) and an author. As always - dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!

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