Every week, we share stories about the amazing ways God is at work around the world. We hope that you’ll be encouraged by these stories and inspired to greater involvement in God’s Great Commission to go out to the world – near and far – and train, instruct, and baptize people in Jesus’ Name. This week, we start off by hearing from Ann who overcame fear and was strengthened by God as she ministered in India:
All I can say about the whole India trip is that it was incredible! God’s glory was manifested everywhere we went.
On the first day, the bus dropped us off, and I suddenly saw all my American friends all disperse and I was left all alone with a translator who had never done door-to-door evangelism before. Before we knew it, there were 20 people standing around us and my translator looked at me and said, “Sister… share.”
Now, prior to going to India, I had shared the Gospel one time.
I told my interpreter, “I don’t know what to say,” in the hopes that he would help me out. But it was God who helped me out, as I prayed, “Lord, You’re going to have to do this, because I don’t have the strength or words to do this right now.”
Sure enough, I was able to speak God’s word. Within just a few minutes, the translator turned to me and said, “They believe.”
I replied, “They believe what?”
“They believe in Jesus and they want to accept Him.”
All I could think was that this was totally God’s doing. I had nothing to do with it. We were filled with awe as we prayed!
I learned that throughout my life, I had put limits and restraints on what I thought God could do. But, my experience in India challenged all that. God proved, that day, that He could use little old me, and we saw dozens of people accept Christ in the first two days.
But by the third day, I had convinced myself that if we followed the simple program that had worked the previous two days, then we would reap the same results.
That’s not how God works.
God’s glory cannot be digested, analyzed, put into a box or program. It wasn’t about us saying the systemized words or repeating the perfect spiel, but instead simply letting Him do His work.
2 Corinthians 4:6 says:
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
I saw proof of this verse, as we obeyed Him and He filled us with His joy!
Ann learned that it’s always best to serve the Lord out of the strength that He provides, not from relying on our own abilities. When we serve out of our own strength, the spotlight is put on us; but when we serve out of the strength that He gives, all the glory is given to God!
Next, we hear from Laura who spent three weeks in India and Bangladesh experiencing God’s comforting voice, hearing Him through the Word, and seeing God work through her:
Before leaving, I was really struggling because just a couple months before our trip, one of my best friends died. I really wanted to focus on God during the trip, but it seemed that all I could think of was the loss of my friend. Then I remembered a song that was on a CD that my friend’s mother gave me that says:
The whole world is talking, drowning out my voice
How can I hear myself with all this noise
But all this confusion just disappears
When I find a quiet place where I can hear
One clear voice
Calling out for me to listen
One clear voice
Whispers words of wisdom
I close my eyes
‘Till I find what I’ve been missing
If I’m very still, I will hear
One clear voice
I’m always searching for which path to take
Sometimes I’m so afraid to make mistakes
From somewhere inside me stronger than my fears
Just like the sound of music to my ears, I hear
One clear voice
The whole time while I was in India, I kept searching for that “one clear voice”. I seemed to be surrounded, instead, by distracting noises. It’s almost like we can become numb to God’s voice because of all the distractions we keep around us.
Then I read 1 Kings 19:11-12
11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.
It was in that gentle whisper that God spoke to Elijah, and it’s often how He speaks to us today!
Several days after I returned home, I received a letter from India from a man who said right off the bat that I didn’t know him and that he and I had never met. He is a paraplegic, and was speaking with his brother recently. Now, I had met his brother and had given him a Bible. In the Bible, I had written – and I don’t know exactly why I did, other than it was God’s prompting –
“Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.
I then wrote, “I hope you find what you are looking for.”
Now, I had done this in several people’s Bibles while on my trip, so I still didn’t know exactly who this letter was coming from. But he wrote that for 15 years, he had been searching for God and now, thanks to the Bible that we had given his brother, he had found Him!