Calling All Hinsons

"…that they should seek God…" Acts 17:26-27

Testimony Tuesday {Susan Edition}

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I have tried to post this 6 times and it posts blank…here goes again!

Well Hello Tuesday!

After blogging a lot last week and school starting back this week, I haven’t had a lot to say or much time to say it.
But today I would like to introduce you to my new friend Susan. We met Susan and her husband in July when her church was coming into the trailer park to do a week of VBS. She has a heart that beats  for Jesus and missions. They have just welcomed their third beautiful little girl into the world. Enjoy reading how God used an unexplained nudge for ESL to change her world!

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To start I would like to pose a question to you…how many of you can identify with this statement? “If you would have told me X number of years ago that I would be where I am and doing what I am doing today…I would have laughed in your face!” And when this statement happens because you gave Jesus full control of your life, it’s an absolutely amazing adventure! (I’m pretty sure that’s why He doesn’t let us know the big picture, we can’t handle it…we would run from any thought of it.)

My name is Susan and here is part of my story…well, HIS story He is writing in my life.

In this world of getting ahead and being at the top where having the best equals happy and successful, let me share with you about a revelation I once had. This revelation is not something I found on my own…it’s WHO found me or better yet, WHO made me aware of HIM. And it completely changed that “success” for me.

We can start back in 2002, my life was good…very good. I had just completed the Management Training Program where I was selected out of 26 applicants for a well-known company. I had been promoted to a very nice cushion job, was making good money and LOVED my job. I was awaiting the position of Assistant Vice President in the Training Department which was the position I had been hoping, planning and preparing for.

Background…Let me say, I have been in church since I was 2 yrs old. At the age of 7, I went forward in church to ask Christ into my life. Throughout my teen years, I was obedient and disobedient to things I knew about God – but did I have a true relationship with Him? No, but I knew who HE was…but you know, Satan knows WHO God is…but has no relationship with him. (Just keep that in mind)

It wasn’t until a point in my life where I found myself in the midst of the biggest trial in my life and where Satan was attacking me in so many ways…(Genesis 50:20) that I heard that soft whisper calling me, drawing me. And that’s when I gave up – I gave up my life to the One who gave His life for me. This was mid July 2002. God used this trial to bring me to my knees and humble me – and on the beach alone – yet in front of God and creation – I said “Lord, I give up. Here I am, do as you please with me – I can’t do it alone anymore!” But was the trial over? NO. Did it get any better? NO. Did I win? Many would say NO. And at the time, I thought not. However, it was just the beginning!

During this time, I began to know my Lord, to feel my Lord, to wait in anxiousness of what He was doing in my life. In all the trials I came upon, He was already there – as always–and had it taken care of. (Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”) I began to see Jesus daily, just as if He were wearing a coat. And so began the journey of my new life. (2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”)

Two weeks later, I noticed an announcement for ESL Training in the church bulletin, and for His reasons alone, began an odd curious desire in my heart for this. I had no idea what it was but I felt the constant nag. I dragged my feet till after the deadline, somewhat on purpose. (I am so thankful God doesn’t give up on us, aren’t you?) I finally called and class was full (whew) but I was told they would call if someone cancelled. It happened fast – someone cancelled so I signed up for it and also agreed to help the administrator by driving two other ladies from our area to the training.

So, with God and His humor, there I am riding with two 70 year old women to this training. Let me tell you, these ladies chatted away while I drove, saying to myself “What am I doing here? Why am I with these people, going to this place I have no idea of and for ESL –whatever it is?” Once at the training, we had to go around the room and introduce ourselves, give the name of our church and why we were there. Out of 15 people, 12 stated they wanted to start an ESL program at their church, or to start ESL class in another country, or to be a missionary. Wow! I simply said “I have no idea but obviously God has something in mind.” (gulp)

Our first small attempt at ESL had no success (in our eyes) but what it did…it opened doors to put me involved in a small homework center at our church for Hispanics, then to lead a Hispanic ministry at our church in 2004, which turned into a yearlong ministry for a small growing Hispanic church. During this time, God created in me a heart and desire for Hispanics like never, ever before – and it happened when I gave my heart, soul, and mind to Him. You see during this time, I felt that I needed to learn Spanish because of my passion for these people and my mission with these people. And then it began. I had a sense that one day I would be living in another country, a Spanish-speaking country. I had no idea where, when or why…but I knew it. And He was preparing me little by little.

In 2005 on a 20 hour flight to a mission trip, God placed two ladies together who had previously been trained to lead an ESL ministry, still had a desire, and were seeking God’s will. We shared our stories and desires and decided to let God show us while praying for His will. And while on this mission trip, God gave us an opportunity to witness to a guy there who had been attending English classes at a church. We immediately knew what that nudge inside meant. Back at home, we had numerous requests directly about English classes–confirming over and over. Doors began to open while we were researching, meeting, and planning–it was so obvious!

Okay, so let’s back up a little to this perfect cushion job that I had and loved. All during this time, on this job that I loved so much…my desire began to fade and fade. I changed from loving my job to dreading going each day…my heart was somewhere else on things MUCH greater. When performance reviews came, my manager sent me questions to complete (this is where the rubber meets the road.) The questions were your normal review questions…except one that jumped out…Where do you see yourself in 5 years?….oooh….what a question, especially with the feelings I had been having. Much prayer and thought went into this. As I carefully wrote the answers, I prayed over it more and more. The day I was to turn it in, I went to lunch, prayed over it again and headed back to work. Pulling into the parking lot, a car beside me had a bumper sticker which stated only the reference Joshua. I knew it was all ok. I had no reservations about turning in my answers along with my request to transfer to a different department (with much, much less pay) but it would put me in a department where I would be able to learn Spanish – where my heart and desire was.

My manager was shocked to say the least and still tried to get me to stay and made me aware of the offer for the Assistant Manager position that would be coming shortly (the one I had been wanting for the longest time). I explained God had a plan for me greater than this, and it wasn’t fair for the company if I were to stay there knowing I needed to be somewhere else. She accepted my request for transfer and less than one month, someone resigned from the exact area I wanted to go for me to learn Spanish…and it all began to take place. Was I nervous?! YES!! But I knew it was the right thing, God had me in His hand.

In January 2006, we opened our doors to the first ESL class and had over 26 students sign up that first night….we were all shocked, amazed, and humbled…and ready for the adventure and all that God had planned. Our focus at ESL was giving English classes and sharing God’s love in the class, the lessons, and at break time. We prayed for our students before, after and during break. I taught the advanced class – not a large class but consistent students and a specific one…who would later accept Christ –His name is Narcizo.

In 2007, a courtship began between Narcizo and myself. Later, he proposed and we got married in 2008. We moved and lived in Mexico for the first three years of our marriage. There in Mexico, we had a homework center and taught English classes. Simply amazing…as to what God had been preparing me for.

There are so many other God stories inside this much summarized story…maybe you will read about it in another Testimony Tuesday.

But for today…it’s your invitation to know, truly know, My Savior and to have a relationship with Him. Not only know He exists. (Remember I told you, Satan knows God also…but doesn’t have a true relationship with Him.) What about you? Do you know He exists…or do you have a relationship with Him…and KNOW Him? And to know when you completely trust Him and put your life in His hands…you will know complete joy wherever you are and whatever you are doing. And by the way, this world knows nothing of the true joy and success that comes when put your complete trust in our Savior Jesus Christ.

Psalm 37:4
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

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