Yesterday I gave you a Testimony night teaser. So I guess I should fill you all in 🙂
The fact that I got to share a testimony at all kind of blew me away. I never get chosen to do these kinds of things. The only thing I would ever really get called out of a group for is academics; I’m a super-nerd. But anything that was more than just good grades – those character awards, the honor to speak, the ones I really wanted…I didn’t get those very often. So I was fully expecting someone else to be up there speaking on behalf of our team, and was excited to be cheering my head off for them. Then during our team debrief last week, we had time to practice what we were going to say to people when they asked for an outreach testimony (an exercise that I’m very thankful we did). We had two minutes. So I stood up in front of the team, and told my little story, and everyone started crying, so they voted on the spot that I would get to share at testimony night. It was so unexpected and so special to me, just a tip of the hat from God, that it made it to my journal that day.
Of course then this week the school leaders told our team leaders that we should really pray about it as a team, so it was all up in the air again. It disappointed me a lot and I actually really had to do a heart check. I had to check in and make sure it wasn’t a pride thing, make sure my thankfulness to God for everything He’s done was in no way dependent on this little nod. So I gave it back to Him and released my disappointment, but He decided to bless me anyway and the team all agreed that they still wanted me and one other girl to share.
So I got to go up in front of our whole school and all the summer schools who are about to go on outreach and a bunch of the staff and tell them about a very simple prayer that I prayed back in Pahoa.
A lot of the ministry we did there was in the micro-shelters next door. A bunch of us would go over there frequently to hang out with the residents, get to know them, and play games. We worked there from 4 pm to 8 am every Saturday and Sunday. We’d poured into all of the residents and seen their lives soften so much over our time there, even thrown them a love feast. We just loved everyone. So on my very last day working there, I was sitting with one of the ladies who lived there, playing RumiKub (as we do), just chatting with her, and she mentioned that she was having a lot of anxiety and just couldn’t figure out what to do next. Her time in the shelter was supposed to be temporary and she was supposed to be looking for a more permanent home, but she couldn’t really see any obvious options and couldn’t muster the motivation to really put in the work necessary to get a place. So, being a missionary and all, I asked if I could pray for her, and she said yes. I just prayed a simple prayer for peace. That God would help her release her burden to Him and give her peace in its place. Probably no more than two minutes. Then life went on. Probably never would have even thought about it again, except that a couple days later our team leader got a phone call from a local pastor who also served in the shelters. He asked who on our team had prayed for this lady – she said a blonde YWAMer had prayed for her and her life had been completely transformed! What?! My little prayer?! He said that she had profound peace in her life now, that she’d found the motivation to start looking for places, and that she was even sharing the gospel with her grandchildren, friends, and even the other residents at the shelter! !!!!!!!!!! This was SUCH a big deal to me because I’ve prayed many, many prayers in my life, but I have almost never actually gotten to see the fruit. (Except from you, mom…I know you’re going to take exception to this. But I think God gives moms extra faith in their childrens’ prayers to encourage them, so it doesn’t count 😛 ) Hearing how much her life had changed changed my whole perspective toward every single one of those prayers. It just gave me faith in all of them. It was like God was saying, “I hear you every single time. And I answer every single time, even if you don’t see it.”
So I got to share that little nugget and we all got to hear the testimonies of our classmates. And once again, guys, they were awesome! Deaf ears getting healed, blind eyes seeing, whole families getting saved, God supernaturally translating a sermon so a couple of kids could get saved, lives being changed, lives being saved…it was amazing!
And then we danced, because that’s what we do in Fire in Fragrance. But guys, this is the best part, ANDY HUTCHISON STARTED IT. None of you know how big a deal this is, so I will tell you. Andy was the Paraguay team leader, so he was my outreach leader as well as school leader for all of lecture phase. The Paraguay team was big on dancing, we had a good time together, but Andy would ALWAYS demure. He insistently refused to dance. It was so frequent a conversation that I semi-jokingly made it my #1 outreach goal to get Andy to dance during our time in Paraguay and Brazil. I literally commissioned the team to carry on that legacy and get a video of Andy dancing for me when I transferred over to the Puna team. Hallelujah, God hears our prayers! haha I just had to laugh at God’s little wink. Even though I went to Puna, I still got to see Andy dance, and in person! God’s sense of humor is great.
As if that wasn’t enough, as we were leaving the tent, I was talking with a little group about our outreaches, and one of the guys who had gone to Papua New Guinea was sharing story after story after story about the crazy healings they’d seen. He himself, however, was walking with a limp because he had recently hurt his foot. Eventually, one of the others in the group had had enough and said, “well can we pray for YOU?” So all of us gathered an prayed for his foot. After one prayer it felt slightly better. After two there was even more improvement. After the third prayer he was so excited! He said there was barely any pain and it felt strong enough to work on, which was awesome because he had been wanting to raise some funds during this time but had been unable to work. Folks, outreach is not the only time for testimonies! (Obviously, I know you all know that). This is all just the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime! Pumped.