Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” this week I have had to fight through the exhaustion and rain to rejoice in the Lord. Looking back on the last week I can see how sweet God has been to me and my teammates. He has answered so many prayers, and He has loved me in my weakness.
At the beginning of this week Kaycee and I went to the mall to get lunch and run some errands. Once we finished we realized we had half an hour before we had to leave for a meeting. We prayed that God would let us share with some girls during this time. Before Kaycee finished her prayer, I saw two girls sitting in the food court. We went to see if we could sit with them and talk. During this time we got to share the gospel with these girls, and it was amazing how the Holy Spirit gave us the right words at the right time. We also got to pray over the girls before they left. When we finished the conversation we checked the time, and we saw that it had taken exactly half an hour. God answered our prayer down to the minute.
When we left the mall we took a rickshaw to meet with some of our friends for a Bible study at a coffee shop. Three of our non-Christian friends met us at the coffee shop to read the Bible and talk about it. Since the tables were so small, Austin and I sat in the back to pray while Kelsey and Kaycee led them in reading the Bible. Towards the end of the meeting, Kelsey had to leave because she wasn’t feeling well. I stayed with Kaycee to finish the discussion. It was awesome to see how God was giving them understanding about the scripture, and how they were able to repeat the gospel back to us. Two of the three girls want to meet again to read the Bible and talk more about Jesus.
On Wednesday we had our team D-Group meetings. During this time the girls were studying Philippians 2:12-18.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
In this passage Paul reminded the Philippians that their salvation is through God, and God alone gives them the will to do His works. He also tells them that we should look different because of our salvation; we should stand our from the darkness and “shine as lights in the world.” This is not done through us but through the power of Jesus Christ. At the end of the passage Paul tells the Philippians to hold fast to God’s Word. He also tells them that even if he has to pour himself out as an offering to God, he will rejoice, and the Philippians should rejoice, too. This is reminder that I need to be willing to give up everything for God; I need to be willing to pour out my life as an offering to Him. I can praise God and rejoice in Him for these truths!
Thursdays are our sabbath. During sabbath’s we try to do things that are fun and where we get to spend time bonding as a team. This week we took the train to the southern part of the city. From there, we boarded a ferry to visit and island off the coast where we could explore ancient caves. The ferry ride was a little over an hour and was absolutely terrifying. There were moments when I thought the boat was going to tip over because it was rocking so much. It probably wasn’t the best idea to take a small ferry during monsoon season.
When we got to the island the entire walk up to the caves was a market. There were so many people trying to sell us things as we made our way up to the caves. When we finally reached the top of the hill we saw tons of baby monkeys! They were so cute, but the larger monkeys were somewhat intimidating. When one of my teammates had a sprite, the monkey growled at him, baring his teeth, and chased him until he eventually threw the Sprite. A different monkey stole another one of my teammate’s water bottle. On the ferry ride back it started to rain, so we were soaking wet by the time we got home that evening. All in all it was a good day, and it was fun getting to spend time with my team.
On Friday morning I led devotion. God led me to read some scripture about worship.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
that you might comfort me.
“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day:
“Give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.
“Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
Our life should be a song of worship to God. Whatever we do should be for His glory and in praise for who He is. After talking about these verses we sang songs of praise to God. God created music so we could praise His name with beautiful melodies. After worship, we spent time in prayer as a team.
Friday afternoon, Austin, Kaycee, and I went to the mall to share since it was rainy. On the way there our Uber driver spoke good English (which rarely happens). Our ride to the mall was pretty long since traffic was bad, so we had time to talk to Him about Jesus. It was awesome sharing the gospel with Him, and he even said he would read the book of John in the Bible. When we got the mall all of us were pretty tired, and we didn’t really want to talk to anyone. We took some time to pray, and we asked God what we needed to do while we were there. We also asked God to give us people to talk to while were there. Kaycee reminded us that our purpose is to be with Jesus, so she suggested we go to a coffee shop in the mall to read the Bible and spend time in prayer.
After we had been there for half and hour, Austin started a conversation with a woman sitting near us. Austin is truly gifted in making friends and starting conversations. Her friendly personality and loving nature makes it easy for people to open up to her. After they talked for a few minutes I jumped in the conversation, too. We both got to share the gospel with her and talk to her about Jesus loves her.
After that woman left, two more women sat down and we got to talk to them. God was literally putting people right next to us that spoke English and were willing to hear the gospel. It was amazing how He was able to provide in our weakness. Even though we were tired and did not feel like talking to people, God provided the people and the words to say. When we were leaving the mall, Kaycee told us she was praying while Austin and I were talking. She said she would pray specific prayers about the conversation and God would answer them almost immediately. We were working together as the body of Christ to share with these women, and it was all possible through our mighty God.
On Sunday we went to a new church. During the sermon, the pastor talked about not only sharing the gospel, but training people to be disciples of Christ. It was really awesome! We then went and met our team for lunch and rested during the afternoon. That night we went to share near where we live. Austin, Kaycee, and I got to share with two girls and three of their guy friends. It was really awesome getting to tell them all about how God loved them enough to take the punishment they deserved and die on a cross for them.
While I have been tired this week, it has been awesome trusting that God with give the strength and energy I need. We saw God move as He answered prayers and guided us in conversations as we shared throughout the week. Even in my exhaustion I have been able to rejoice in the Lord!
- Pray for the people we shared with this week to come to know Jesus.
- Pray for the believers in South Asia to share their faith boldly.
- Pray for my team to glorify God in everything we do, and that we share the gospel boldly.
- Pray for me to fight to know Jesus more everyday, and for me to be joyful when I spend time with Jesus.