An eleven year old girl and her mother were in a market one hot afternoon several miles away from the small village where they lived. The Indian sun showed no mercy as they gathered the few things the family needed. Suddenly the little girl heard a commotion on the other side of the market. Curious, she walked nearer and found that there was a man preaching about a God named Jesus. Fascinated, she and her mother stayed and listened for quite some time. As the sun began to slide down the western sky, they made their way home to their tiny hut in the little village. Being a small hut with no running water and no bathroom, the little girl had to go outside to use the restroom during the night. As she walked in the darkness, she struck a tree branch and a great boa constrictor fell on her and began squeezing. In a panic, the little girl cried out to the snake god, the moon god, and the tree god, but none of them did anything to save her. Suddenly she remembered the preacher in the market and she cried out to Jesus to save her. Immediately the snake loosened its grip and slid off into the woods. Excitedly the girl ran back into the hut and told her parents about the miracle that had just occurred. The next day they went back to the market, found the preacher, and asked him to come teach in their little village. He did and today there is a Seventh-day Adventist church in that small village in India, all because a little girl remembered the words of a preacher in the market and cried out to Jesus to save her from a snake.
Our God is a God of miracles, is He not? Taking a class from Pastor Mark Finley over the last couple of weeks, I have heard this and many many other stories of the miraculous power of God. We have been going through the book of Acts and looking at how the early church grew. We read about miracles and thousands of baptisms and it's easy to think that these things just aren't possible today. Yet God is still working, sending His Holy Spirit to soften hearts and drawing people ever closer to Him. Looking around us at the communities where God has placed us it's comforting to read the promise that God gave Paul when he was discouraged in Corinth. "Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city" (Acts 18:9, 10). God is longing today, just as much as in the book of Acts, for people to turn to Him and be saved. If God can use a snake and a preacher in the market, God can certainly use us to reach the people "in this city."