Saturday, November 8, 2008

Testimonies!

Everyone has a story to tell. About why they think the way they do. Why they act the way they do. What they've learned.

This week, in God's mercy...in His kindness, and in His encouragement to me- I got to share mine to over 300 people within 3 separate occasions. How humbling it has been to not only HAVE a story to tell...and be reminded of it so often...but to have the opportunities I've had to TELL it. And to see the Gospel at work-- because it is IN this beautiful Gospel that, apart from heaven, the glory of God is in its highest density. And when we behold His glory, we are changed.

And now, in case you haven't already heard it, I'll share it with you as well. So you have an idea of what these kids are hearing.

Ever since I was little my parents have told me a story about this little girl in our church. It has had such an impact on me.

She was born without a right hip socket. When the doctors went to count her fingers and toes and make sure everything was ok, they went to click her hips into place, and the right one wouldn't. Our hips are a ball and socket joint. The ball was there. No socket.

Her parent's didn't know what to do. They weren't sure she would ever walk. Would she be in a wheelchair? Would she have to use crutches? Did this mean surgery?

On a Sunday night, the pastor of our church went to their house. He felt like the LORD told him that He was going to heal their daughter. So he showed up, and told the parents that he was not there only to pray, but that their daughter would be healed. Well, he prayed. And nothing happened.

No fireworks. No magic. No fuzzy feelings. He must've left their home being so confused.

The next day the little girl was scheduled to get X-rays. The dad was a nurse and knew the doctor who was doing the X-rays. When the doctor came in, he asked the dad, "You think I have too much time on my hands? You don't think I have enough to do?"

The parents looked back and forth at one another confused. They looked back at the doctor. He said, "She's completely fine. Nothing's wrong." The parents were rejoicing and worshiping God for healing their little girl.

Now, I know we can hear stories like that and immediately be skeptical. How much has the story been changed since its original telling? Maybe there was a mistake? But for me, wondering these things has not been a problem. Because you see, that little girl...

...was me. Yes, I was born without a right hip. And by God's grace, I was healed when I was four days old. I walk now. I did gymnastics for 9 years with no problems whatsoever. Everyday when I stand up, I'm witnessing a miracle.

So growing up, believing that God existed was a no-brainer for me. When I would begin to question, "God, are you real?" I would feel His whispered answer, "Do you walk?"

But simply believing God is real, isn't enough. Knowing He has power didn't mean I had a relationship with Him. You see, I'm a sinner. The Bible tells me not to put anything before God. And daily, I put myself before Him. MY desires. MY wants. ME FIRST. It tells me not to lie. I've lied. I've told flat out lies and I've told white lies. They're all the same: lies. It tells me not to covet-- which is just a fancy word for wanting what other people have. Countless times, I've looked at things people have, or relationships people have and I think, "I WANT THAT."

Because God is holy, and perfect and can't sin, He hates sin. He hates wrong things. And sin needs to be punished. The Bible tells me that I need help. MAJOR help. I need someone to come and take care of all the wrong stuff I've done. Someone who's never sinned. Someone who's perfect.

God is also love. And He sent someone who never messed up. Jesus.

Jesus who is God, lived a perfect life, and came to earth to be punished for all the stuff I've done wrong. My lying. Putting myself first. My jealousy. He died on the cross and God the Father poured out all of His anger onto Jesus instead of me. And so God has forgiven me. And now He loves me passionately because of what Jesus did for me in His life and on the cross. God tells me that I'm no longer counted "guilty" for my sin.


So can you see why I believe in God? I'm walking! He loves me and that's why I'm in Wales- because I want to please Him and He wants me here.

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If you have not yet put your faith in Jesus Christ and accepted Him to be Your Savior- confessed your sin to Him, and repented of it and received His complete forgiveness...I urge you with a STRONG appeal: please do so now!

Sin must be punished because God is just. And if you don't accept Christ's punishment for your sin, you will bear your own judgment for eternity.

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We've heard a report that one of the boys from the CU Toms and I went to on Wednesday at lunch has been really affected and "bothered" by my story. Even as I was telling it, this boy was weighing on my heart. Even more so after we left. Toms and I prayed for him on the way home. He looked like he didn't want to be there. He's not a Christian yet. But he's been raised in a Christian home, and continues to go to the Christian Union weekly meetings at school. Apparently, he's been asking loads of questions since Wednesday...and I have been praying so much for his soul. I can't tell you how encouraging this has been to hear.

Also, Toms was asking the CU what sort of evangelistic stuff they've been doing-- how are they "trying to reach their mates with the Gospel?" He really challenged them in what they're doing. And this has had a tremendous affect on them. We were told that everyone's coming up with ideas and they've been talking about having a Christmas party and inviting their friends and sharing the Gospel with them...unbelievable.

Last night at VJ, I was on the Bettws bus to pick up the kids from the high school. I saw three at the bus stop and thought, "Bummer. Oh well, at least we got three." Then I saw a few more standing under a nearby tree. "Oh yay! More than three!" And as we rounded the corner, a total of TWENTY ONE year 7s ran to the bus to get on! We had to make two trips to get them all to the church! So, its working!!! The mission of us going into schools to invite kids to Christchurch events so they can hear the Gospel is WORKING!!!

Last night, at the end of Dave Taylor's message, he had Dan share a story about his little daugther, Caitlin, who had to have major heart surgery when she was just months old. She nearly died on several occasions. He talked about Jesus' power and comfort in that season. Then I briefly shared my hip story again. Afterwards, I was getting loads of questions and comments-- one Bettws girl told me that she started crying when I told my story in Assembly on Thrusday. Another girl told me she went home and told her dad and he was SO AMAZED.

The Bettws boy who gave me the Galaxy chocolate bar the other week followed me around all night. I invited him to church on Sunday and he asked, "Will you be there?" I said yes, and he assured me he'd come. Along with another boy who I got to know on our Kingswood weekend. Oh, I so hope they're there. Tomorrow is a visitors Sunday...its a little bit shorter message and we serve lunch at the end. Last visitors Sunday we had over TWO HUNDERED visitors. UH-MAZING.

All of this to encourage you- your prayers, your financial contributions, your support, encouragement, care...it is bearing fruit! Thank you so much for your love-- and for embarking on this mission with me. I pray you are encouraged!

1 comment:

Marvin033 said...

One word: WOW!

`Kayla