Mission Arlington: Never give up on anybody

As I think about my time as a semester missionary at Mission Arlington, I am reminded of one simple truth: Nobody is beyond redemption.

No matter what people do in their lives, no matter how messed up they could be, and no matter how they act during your Bible study, none of that matters. God wants them, regardless of their condition.

During the Christmas season, Mission Arlington reaches out to the community by opening a Christmas store where parents can shop for their children—for free. One can only imagine how much of a blessing that is.

I was working with a specific apartment complex one day and was taking a group of people to the store. Along the way, four women tagged along. The entire way, they were talking about vulgar things—everything from which club is hot to their last romantic encounter. I tried hard to turn the conversation to spiritual things, but my efforts were not working.

Finally, we make it to the store where everything changed. At the Christmas store, before anyone can shop, they are told about the gospel and reminded that Christ is the true reason for the season. In all honesty, I was frustrated with the four women, and my heart was pretty hard toward them at that point. I didn't think they would change or even listen. I remember praying: “God please get a hold of these ladies, because I know I can't. If not, just keep them quiet so that others may hear.”

It was in that moment God reminded me Christ died for all. He told me to keep praying for them and reminded me that he loved them. I was broken. How could I forget that God can touch the hardest of hearts? I had that heart once.

By the end of the gospel presentation, the ladies were all tearing up, and all four surrendered their lives to Jesus.  

Richard Zapata, a nursing student at South Plains College in Levelland, served at Mission Arlington with Go Now Missions.

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