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Should We Be Surprised?

“Tammy, all your life you have been ashamed and embarrassed. Now you have a way to make dignity for all others. Trust me. Trust me. Open a dignity center.” Thus spoke God to Tammy Jewell. She knew very little about the Bible and she hadn’t gone to church in close to 40 years, but she always believed Jesus was real. “Oh my God, a prostitute, a broken prostitute?!?” she thought to herself. Tammy had been raised in extreme poverty and quit school after the fifth grade because she was dirty and bullied for it. Then sold into human trafficking at a very young age, she lived much of her life tethered to prostitution by the invisible chains of addiction and intimidation before escaping its confines. But now she kept hearing God’s voice “clearer and louder each day.” “Father,” she said, “if it’s you, then you know my education’s only in the fifth grade.” But God persisted in His call: “Tammy! If you listen to me, Tammy, you will provide [dignity to] hundreds and thousands of others. Do not worry about your education. Do not worry about the money. Do not worry. Do what I’m telling you to do.”

Jesus surprises us. Returning to Jacob’s well from the village of Sychar, His disciples “were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, ‘What do you want?’ or ‘Why are you talking with her?’”1 But then why should we be surprised by One who will not let the cultural conventions of human construct isolate Him from His people whom He loves? If Jesus never engaged us face-to-face or heart-to-heart, how could He preach good news to the poor . . . bind up the brokenhearted . . . proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners . . . or comfort all who mourn”?2 Of course, God speaks to us—He loves us. And as we long to hear His voice, even more so does He desire for us to trust Him and do what He says.

Tammy did. In 2015, she opened God’s Hygiene Help Center (GHHC) in Columbus, Ohio, which now serves between 400 and 500 people each month from their primary location. GHHC has added two more help centers in the meantime and now partners with other service organizations and government agencies in the area. Plans are underway to collaborate with still more support organizations and to provide hygiene products—and the dignity they provide—through additional help centers. All because God spoke, and Tammy heard. Tammy obeyed God, and through her, One has blessed hundreds. Should we be surprised?

Father, You speak to us because You love us. Find us to be humble that we would hear Your voice; find us to be faithful, that we would trust and obey. In Christ we pray. Amen.

1 John 4:27
2 Isaiah 61:1-2

3 replies on “Should We Be Surprised?”

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