When I was a teenager, I read about Adoniram Judson and his missionary exploits in faraway Burma but never in a million years did I ever think I would be there ministering to the same precious people!
This trip wasn’t without its challenges; a lost and then found I-phone (a story all its own in which I continue to Praise God for!!), eleven different plane flights, sleepless nights and jet-lag, the unknown, a fall in the river (while trying to get a good picture 😊), power outages (the norm), wondering if what we had prepared was what the women needed to hear, working with new partners, a team member who had to drop out at the last minute because she contracted shingles.
But these challenges were nothing compared to what we saw God do!
There are moments in our lives when we know, without a shadow of doubt, we’re exactly in the right place at just the right time. This trip was one of those moments for me. God confirmed again in my heart the calling He gave me three years ago while on my first trip to Southeast Asia. I remembered so clearly how I felt after leading that first women’s retreat. I told God that day . . . “I know this is what you made me for and I love it! There isn’t anything I’d rather be doing in all the world than this. I will go anywhere, do anything, put up with anything to be able to do this for the rest of my life!!!!” God again renewed that desire in my life as I watched these women grab hold of the teaching from God’s word.
Even as I was preparing for these messages, I clearly felt God’s direction and illumination. I have used a train to illustrate what we put our faith in here in the states with many women but as I have begun to travel, I’ve realized this illustration doesn’t translate well in other cultures. Since February last year I’ve been praying that God would provide a new way to explain this truth and He not only gave me the illustration but it’s something that is easily transferrable around the world! I am in awe!! And it’s things like this where God is continuing to deepen my faith and trust in Him.
This past week, as these women learned, I was challenged as well:
- Faith isn’t just something we say, we must live it! Our actions show whether we truly believe or not. They show what we are putting our faith in. If I say, “I trust God.” But then turn around and worry, worry, worry. I’m not trusting.
- We all carry around invisible burdens, like fear, shame, finding our identity in other things/people instead of claiming who God says we are. These burdens weigh us down and trip us up, mire us in the mess and keep us from running the race God has set for us.
- Shame can be one of our biggest unseen burden. It causes us to cover-up, to wear masks, and keep us walled in from God and those around us.
These simple ordinary women have the power to change their worlds for Christ. Many of them live with daily hardships we can barely begin to imagine. And yet God sees them, knows them and loves them dearly. What sacred space it was to come alongside them and walk with them for a short time. I will treasure these moments and hold them close to my heart even as I pray for more opportunities to walk alongside God’s precious women.
Spilling His Grace,