In many instances in the life of an individual, one is faced with a decision whether to persevere against the odds or simply throw in the towel and run away from the obstacle... this was the case when we went out on the mission field with Every Tribe Missions! We, together with our youth group, had committed to going on the mission field to minister the Gospel to those who would otherwise not hear it. When we realised just how cold the weather was; that we would have to pitch up tents and sleep separated from hard ground by a mere mat that's barely over a centimetre thick, thoughts of going back to convenience seemed to flood our minds more and more - and I speak for both the first-timers and those of us who had been there before! Yet we found our bodies moving into action with every passing second.
I can still clearly remember camping around the fire, singing "How Great Is Our God" and really meaning the simple yet powerful words of truth that He indeed is a great God, with our hearts determined to praise Him. The entire group abandoned themselves in true worship to the King, "filling up" before an eventful day of ministry the next morning.
The ministry begins... we walked unfamiliar, long distances in order to share the Gospel with the community. Some homes welcomed us with warm hearts open to receive; while we were met by resistance as we entered other households. To watch the faces of people glow with such radiance after accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour was simply priceless. So many people were delivered from influences of darkness that had bound them since their lives began on planet earth. People were healed from all sorts of diseases.
I remember one experience of going to a house where there was an old man bound in a wheelchair in his room; a neighbour who was assisting him welcomed us at the front door of his house. There were four of us in the team so two group members went to speak to the lady helping in his home, while the other two of us went on into the room to speak to the old man. We soon established he was saved and was very involved in his church. He told us that he landed up in a wheelchair because he was bewitched by someone who was jealous of him as a young man playing soccer over 30 years ago. He had read of healings in the Bible but believed that if God had wanted him out of the chair, He would've healed him already; therefore he would "carry the cross" of being in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. We prayed with him and then told him that upon our return later that afternoon he would be walking on his own without assistance. He was astonished that young people were sacrificing their holiday to minister the Gospel and had such 'bold' faith in the healing power of God. When the other team members went to check on him later, he was walking strong! And that testimony was just one of many that took place during the trip.
The truth is: many encounters of sharing the Gospel are uncomfortable; you never really know what to expect. You're met with all thoughts of doubts and questioning whether or not the hearers will receive the Gospel, particularly when you even have time to think about it. But eventually you realise that it's not about you but it's all about Christ being made known to all; it's about plundering hell and populating heaven. Right there and then you face a decision point of "fight or flight", whether you'll persevere in faith and do what's right or give up and quit... The lost people deserve an opportunity to get to know Christ, just as much as us believers have received that great joy. It is our duty to go into all the world and preach the good news to every creature of the human race (Mark 16:15) in any way possible. One of the awesome ways in which we were privileged to do that was through one-on-one ministry in the mission field; in some remote areas.
The greatest testimony for us still remains... seeing the youth ignited by the fire of God and going out, impacting their surroundings. No amount of money could ever compensate for the freedom found in knowing Christ and watching the youth get passionate about the true, uncompromised Gospel of truth at their own will!