Sometimes I’m in awe that God would put such wonderful people in my life. Today as I share this testimony with you, I am blessed to even know people who would surrender their ENTIRE lives for Jesus. Full and complete. Children and family and ideas of life. If you know someone that has given their lives to share the Gospel, encourage them today. They need it.
**This person chose to remain anonymous.**
One of my favorite hymns is “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”. Every time I hear it I start to cry because it reminds me of the surrender that God has asked of me in my life, but especially this amazing ride that I have been on for the past 11 years. 12 years ago, God asked my husband and I to serve Him above all else, to dare to go where others didn’t want to go. His promise came with Psalms 46:10 which says, “Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted on the earth” The step was scary, the surrender was tough. I recall sitting in our tiny newlywed apartment in my hand-me-down chair that was given to us by my husband’s Grandfather and crying out to God to please don’t call me to go overseas. He was specific, he was persistent, and I knew if I didn’t surrender I would regret it for the rest of my life. Since that day of His call, it has been so exciting! God has done some amazing things in and through us. He has molded and shaped our character (although we still have a long way to go!), he has drawn us closer together as husband and wife, he has given us three beautiful girls to raise, and he has disciplined us for our good. We have also seen so many baptized, heard of many more come to faith in a part of the world that has little to no access to the Gospel. We have seen God’s kingdom grow with our own eyes and seen Him at work! The church among people group we are trying to reach has grown by leaps and bounds even in an 11 year span! We have been blessed with amazing friends who were like family and God provided for our kids to have aunts and uncles and cousins and to have people to celebrate holidays with every year. We have seen amazing places around the world and seen God’s beauty in ways that I never thought I would!
It has also been tough and at times very discouraging as we had a dear friend and ministry partner tell us he wouldn’t work with us anymore because we couldn’t pay him, dear Christian friends of ours have been persecuted for their faith, many friends have rejected the Gospel, we were followed by police everywhere we went at one place we lived because they were suspicious of us, a friend’s 13 year old son died of a rare type of cancer without hearing the Gospel (to my knowledge) and more than likely is spending eternity in hell, dear family members have died while we were away, and at many times we wanted to leave, to walk away from what God wanted for us. But over and over, he has told us to surrender. Surrender to my idea of what life was supposed to look like, surrender to not seeing family but every 18 months to 2 years, surrender my kids English education, surrender my agenda, surrender my American ways and sometimes holidays, surrender my rights. To give it all up for His sake. I can tell you He is worth it all. It’s not about where you live, or what you are doing as an occupation, God has to be worth it all to you. He just does. Lots of people told us before we left 11 years ago that it would be our call that would keep us here, but that has not been the case, its the fear of God and our love and obedience to Him that has kept us. Knowing Him in the best times of our lives and the worst has made it so worth it! He loves us unconditionally and always promises to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ask or imagine according to His power working in us. (Ephesians 3:20)
As you go about your day today, I pray that you would listen to God’s voice and dare to ask Him where He is working in your neighborhood, workplace, your kids school, and to obey Him as he uses you for His glory! Surrendering to Him always is worth it, because we serve such an amazing God!