God can and does use whoever He needs to expand His Kingdom for His glory. Back in 2006, I was part of a community development outreach team that went to northern India to teach in schools and work with the local community. During our time in northern India we stayed in the home of a Muslim family. They knew who we were and why we were in India, and were okay with the fact that we were Christians. The people we stayed with were very influential in the local area, and our relationship with this family allowed us the opportunity to go and teach in places that would not have been possible had we been working on our own. The family we stayed with was open to what we shared with them and with the community. The wife in the family is a very influential person in the area of education. Her influence and reputation allowed us the opportunity to go into a few schools and incorporate Biblical principles in our teaching.
We also had the opportunity to teach English to two of the girls who were living in the home where we were staying. Their parents were supportive of the idea, but they did not want us teaching their daughters from the Bible. Instead we taught them some of our favorite songs about God and the Bible. While we weren’t able to teach them directly from the Bible, the songs we sang conveyed the Bible’s message, and the girl’s parents were okay with that. As time went on we would occasionally hear them singing the songs to themselves throughout the day. Our team was always encouraged when we would hear them singing because not only were they practicing English, but they were also proclaiming the truth of God’s Word.
Over the next 8 weeks many doors were opened for us and we had many opportunities to to teach the Bible to the members of the community. Throughout our entire time in India trust was built and God’s Kingdom grew in a dark place.
God puts different people in our lives all the time. We don’t always know if someone we meet will become that “person of peace” for us sometime down the road. A person of peace (in my definition) is a person, or even a family, who have influence in a particular area. Trust is built up over time, and opportunities arise that wouldn’t have been possible without that person’s status or influence. An example of a person of peace could be a school principal, a mayor, a tribal leader, or even a doctor. Basically, it’s just any person who has enough influence or respect in an area that they can provide opportunities. People are our greatest resources.
Matthew 10: 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.
Image Credits: Matt Farrel