This picture taken in January 2018 brings pain to my heart.
It’s of a local park in the center of Barrouallie where I’ve held countless bible clubs, shared the Gospel with many children, and won them to Christ.
It used to be a part of my daily routine to the point where adults living nearby would sing the chorus of a favorite kids song when I walked by…..
But now I avoid it altogether.
The major issue is there’s little or no control of the park. There may be one or two adults there, but they won’t help keep the children in line. So it’s filled with fighting, profanity, and continual disrespect. I would go there daily because the children respected me. But over time they started become more and more disrespectful.
One day while teaching a bible story an older girl began throwing small seeds from a nearby plant at the back of my head. I tried to be calm and continue teaching but it wasn’t possible as she continued to do so (she found it funny). Knowing laying my hands on the child would compromise my testimony, I simply packed up my bag, and never came back.
In that moment I knew God had closed the door of ministry at the park
It’s never enjoyable when God closes a door of ministry. We are tempted to try to push that door open in our own strength! Yet that won’t accomplish anything useful. All of that energy expended trying to change the Will of God is simply wasted.
It is far better to walk away (at least temporarily) then return if God re-opens the door of ministry. In the meantime, we focus on the doors of ministry God has opened!
My heart still aches for the children at that park and part of me wants to reach them with the Gospel. But I rest in the fact that God knows what’s best, and nobody can open a door He has closed.