“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7).
Suzanne made me promise that I wouldn’t make her give her testimony because she didn’t want to stand up in front of people. I assured her that I never made anyone share their testimony on a mission trip but she should write it out in case the Holy Spirit prompted her to share so she did. When I asked for three testimonies for Sunday, Patsy volunteered then complete silence in the van. Finally, I hear, “I’ll do it”. I was so excited. I said, “Suzanne, is that you?” She said, “Yes, I don’t have a choice.” What a blessing she was to me, our team, the church members; and I’m certain the Lord was pleased with her obedience.
As we drove to the downtown area late on Friday night to do street evangelism with those who live and work on the streets, Rosemarie said, “I’m so scared.” We met David (pictured) who heads this ministry and others from the church; we prayed, filled our tote bags with brown bag “dinners” and our pockets with scripture cards and began walking. David asked for two to go with him to see a man that lives behind the train station. Rosemarie said it felt like someone pushed her to go. She described seeing a handsome young man with white teeth unfold from his blanket to accept their kindness. She hugged him and said “Jesús te ama”. Afterwards when she grabbed me and began sobbing, I knew she was no longer scared. Her eyes and heart had been opened like never before to the needs of others and their need for a Savior. “Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you” (I Samuel 12:24).
Judy feared flying and not fitting in with the other ladies. If she had let that False EvidenceAppearing Real stop her, she says she would’ve missed the greatest blessing, when God broke her. Now she’s collected 530 Bibles for the Costa Rican people. “There is no fear in love” (I John 4:18).
Susan shared the Gospel with the girls rescued from human trafficking while we helped them find the verses in their new Bible. These young mothers (ages 11-18) have lived unfathomable lives but all the answers are in God’s Word. “Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart” (Jer.15:16).
Kandie was apprehensive about going on a mission trip without her husband but she prayed through and was so excited to share with others the life changing power of God. She saw it in those that graduated from God in Action rehab center where men come that are addicted to drugs and alcohol. For the first 30 days, they do nothing but read the Bible. How exciting to see the four that graduated from the 8 month program as well as those who had hit rock bottom and were now beginning or renewing a relationship with Jesus Christ. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear” (Psalm 27:1)?
Geana said she was fearful the week before we left but everyone in her path encouraged her to go. She was so thankful she went and didn’t miss the blessings the Lord had in store for her. This young man set up the soccer shot, stepped aside & let Geana kick it in. She was overwhelmed by his humility & grace.
My stomach was in knots when this customs agent checked one of my bags containing new children’s underwear, backpacks & MoonPies. I convinced him 50 orphans needed new unders but he wasn’t sure about the MoonPies. I only lost two! “Fear not, nor be afraid of them” (Deut. 31:6).
Christie has been on 10 mission trips but she said this one was the best. It had to be the hardest because she shared how God gave her the desires of her heart, her husband and sons. She went on to tell that she lost her spouse last year and even though she doesn’t understand, she trusts God, who has now given her a ministry to widows. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Patsy was afraid she wouldn’t know what to say or wouldn’t be brave enough to share the Gospel but she was obedient to His still, small voice that told her to go and to share her testimony. She said, “My greatest blessing was to share my testimony, knowing there are others like me and that God has brought them through too. ” Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).