I'd lived in Southern California for several years. Then I started thinking about it and realized I don't know any foreign languages. I'm really bad with bugs. If there's fleas in a house, they all look at me and say, "Dinner! Oh boy!" I'm really scared of spiders. Once again God's logic and wisdom seemed to surpass my fantasies. So I headed out to California.
My first assignment was teaching Backyard Bible Clubs. We'd get the kids together, do crafts and talk about Jesus and the Bible. We stayed in a house with a built-in swimming pool in the backyard. A familiar setting for me. I did get an ear infection from the pool, so there was some suffering : ) At one of the clubs I asked the children to raise their hands if they wanted to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They all did. So I'm thinking maybe they didn't understand me. So I asked again and then asked, "Are you sure?"
They all did. Later I asked my partner if that was real. She laughed and said, "Yes." Her parents were missionaries so I felt like she was an expert on this. Even the director asked if the numbers were correct. It wasn't until a few years later, I realized that I can't save a soul. Only Jesus can. It was His work that took place that day not mine. He just let me be part of the experience.
The next adventure came when the Director told me I had to stand up and give my testimony in front of a Church of about 2000 people. If I didn't, I would have to go home. I usually act first and think later but not this time. I stood up behind the pulpit and forgot my name. Did you know your knees really do knock when you're scared? They do! I'm fairly certain my brilliant red complexion frightened some of the folks. Then this verse came to mind,
"... the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say." Luke 12:12
So I silently asked the Holy Spirit to give me words to say for the first time. I felt relaxed and the words flowed out. I knew my testimony but it came out so simply and easily. It really sounded good : ) I repeated it over and over in my head afterward so I'd remember. Then a guy I'd never met, came up and asked if I would be speaking again. I looked behind me to see who he was talking to. There wasn't anyone there. So I speechlessly nodded.
I'm really not a great speaker or anything. It was the Lord's doing. I am very grateful He let me be part of it. After the Summer, I continued to tell my testimony in Churches. They were always asking me to get up and tell it. Then for some reason the requests stopped. I'm sure that's a part of God's plan for me too, maybe He wants me to do more writing. I will always have a deep love for the Southern Baptists, they led me to Jesus. Taught me to have faith, and share.
When we moved to the Northwest, the Church wasn't the same. So I tried other denominations. Ok, so I had a lot of boyfriends while I was in college. After we broke up, it was so awkward- I'd go to another Church. By the time I met my husband the only one left was Presbyterian. We were married there. It turned out to be a great Church. So there it is, I'm not a super-saint, just me.
Remembering all this, gave me lots of giggles.
Maybe that's one of the reasons I love the story of the woman at the well so much, she had many husbands. Thankfully I only married one.
You can see in the Bible how Jesus sometimes chooses people who keep silent to do His work. Like when Mary "treasured things in her heart" after Jesus was born. And John was quick to listen after the "send down a lightening bolt" comment. He also chooses people who can't keep their mouths shut, like our favorite Apostle, "Peter." After Jesus and the woman at the well finished talking, the woman went and told everyone she knew what she'd experienced. I'm sure this was what Jesus wanted. He has plans for us all, and knows all about us.
39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.
She said just enough to lead others to seek Jesus. She shared her testimony.
42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”
Knowing Jesus personally is what being a Christian is all about. All of our lives and experiences are different. He is always the same. It's great to hear other people's testimonies.
You can read my testimony by clicking the link "About my faith" on the right side of my blog if you like. Through all my Church hopping, I continued to read the Bible and pray in a quiet time almost every day. It's so important to keep reading His Word that's where our personal relationship with Him begins. He's not looking for eloquence or perfection. Just honesty and a desire to know Him. I'm living proof, He'll take anyone : )
Feel free to comment if you think of something.