"Kelly, can I talk to you for a second”, my Kickboxing Coach asked pulling me aside after class.
"I've been worried about you. You didn't come Tuesday night because you said you were fasting. Is everything okay?"
I told him that everything was fine explaining how I was just praying and fasting for two specific things in the lives of my friends.
My coach is a Muslim, so he knows all about fasting.
"Wait, so you didn't fast asking God for anything for yourself? Hmm..." he pondered that for a minute and then asked again, "So what are you exactly? I mean...what do you believe?"
*angelic chorus sings in the background as the room gets brighter*
So, that night I told my kickboxing coach and the owner of the gym all about Jesus. After a moment of silence, my coach smiled from ear to ear. He put his hand on my shoulder and said "You are just such a nice person. You bring such a positive energy to this class. You're so sweet. I'm glad you are here."
*angelic chorus sings louder*
Praise the Lord! I left the gym that night feeling a sense of favor in that place and asking the Father for more opportunities.
So, I was sparring with a gal who is maybe a freshman in college. We were doing some self-defense techniques. All of a sudden, she held up both arms, flexing her muscles and proclaimed, "I feel so strong...I feel like a god!"
She asked me if I recognized this one word in her language, which I didn't. So, she explained, motioning her arms up to the sky and then to herself
"It's when god becomes human."
*My brain and heart explode*
Without hesitating I said, "You mean like Jesus?"
She responded, "No, no, no, not the prophets...like when god becomes a man."
Again, I said, "Yes, like Jesus."
"You believe in god and Jesus?" she asked.
"No, I believe Jesus is God. I believe they are the same."
"Huh”, she said looking thoughtfully. "...I've never heard that before."
After that, we returned to practicing.
*Seed planted. Praise the Lord!*
My friend and I decided to check out a breakfast place that always has a long waiting line. As a Sabbath treat, we set out to see what all the fuss was about. After being seated, I began rearranging my things and our waiter introduced himself.
Then, I first noticed my friend’s face of concern before looking up at this guy—who was staring directly at me and eagerly smiling—not exactly the standard procedure here for a waiter with a female guest. Then I realized why...he's in my kickboxing class! We'd never introduced ourselves or barely said a word to each other in class.
Suffice it to say, we got amazing service that morning.
He made comments to his co-workers and to my friend about how I am a good person and how kind I am to everyone in the kickboxing class. When it came time for the bill, he smiled at us while tapping his chest and said, "You can buy next time. This one's on me."
*Oh my heart, tummy, and wallet!*
A colleague recently came to visit. She also kickboxes. So, naturally, I took her to meet my coach. The two talked for over an hour and a half.
*Aaaah, must be nice to speak the language fluently.*
On the walk home, my colleague said, "I've met a lot of coaches. He really seems like a good man." She explained how my coach really enjoys having me and my friend at his gym and how he wants his gym to be a place where people enjoy working out. For him, it's not about the money.
Also, he told my colleague that if anyone ever makes us feel uncomfortable, he will tell that person they need to find another place to workout. He wants my friend and I to continue to come there because we are really positive people.
My colleague looked at me and said, "Kelly, regardless of how you may feel before kickboxing practice in the evening, you should consider the fact that the Father has given you great favor here, and the enemy hates that. Be mindful of that. Watch how the Father will open even more doors here."
Do you have a kickboxing gym? Not literally, but more so, do you have a place where you can find moments to share your faith?
Encompass encourages global workers to find places where genuine relational bridges can be built. For Kelly, it was a kickboxing gym. She went into that place with a mountain of prayer behind her and God blessed her in that place. You don’t have to live in a foreign city in Western Asia to do this. You can do it right where you are.
Find that place, pray for favor, and see God use you mightily!