The Potter’s Clay

“My life is in you Lord, my strength is in you Lord, my hope is in you Lord.” These song lyrics really became what I witnessed in India. I went on my first overseas mission in summer of 2016. My team and I went to the district of Rampur in the state of Uttar Pradesh. I had been anticipating my India mission trip about a year before. As I prepared for my India mission trip, I made sure to thoroughly memorize the gospel track and bible verses as we were assigned weeks in advance. I became impressed at myself for how quickly I memorized everything word by word. On the first day in the mission field, it was my turn to share the gospel so with all the confidence in myself I began to share. During the gospel presentation, I forgot one verse and I had a booklet I was going to use for the children but I only held it and completely forgot to use it. As I made the call to accept Jesus, around 12 people accepted Jesus. But I wasn’t rejoicing over that, I was instead thinking about how disappointed God must be that I forgot that one verse and was unfocused. Throughout that day I had that internal struggle with myself and as I shared with my team I felt so much love and support and encouragement. And in my private moment with God as I prayed He just spoke to me and said, “Marifer, you gained 12 souls for my kingdom, if there’s anything you’ve done right in your life it’s this.” And at the same time my teammate Claire had a worship song playing and the lyrics said “you tell me that You’re pleased with me,” and that’s where God really broke me. I felt so much love and encouragement in His presence. Despite my mistakes and flaws, God still is able to use me and it’s really nothing of myself but all by His grace and mercy. The next day I decided to surrender my pride in my memorization. It was hard and I really didn’t know how to exactly do something like that. But as I was assigned to present the gospel, it began to rain. There was a porch with a rooftop so we decided to gather everyone there. It was God’s divine appointment because more people came to shelter themselves from the rain. As I started to share the gospel, I really began to fall in love with it. I gained so much assurance and confidence in who God was and the words flowed and God began to stir in my heart. Many people in that village accepted and after the gospel presentation, the rain completely stopped. I was able to see God’s perfect faithfulness. On the third day, I got attacked by mosquitos, and my ankle had a reaction and started swelling. This was also the day we went to the highest village. By the time we got to the top, I felt so weak and to the point of passing out and I had left my water bottle in the car. As we arrived however, I was so blessed by a man in this village who was lame and mute. He was so eager to see us and hear our message. When he heard us he came walking on his hands to the very front of where the people gathered. When we sang an action song, he was the only person who clapped for us. He accepted Jesus into his life and his first words were “Yeshu, Halleluya,” and “Amen.” I was so blessed by his heart but at the same time I felt short of breath and very weak. I was hoping we’d just go back down so I could rest but Pastor Negi said there was a school a few steps up that we should share the gospel too. My team knew I had a heart for children so I was afraid I would get chosen to share the gospel because I had no ounce of energy left in me. I figured since Claire knew I wasn’t feeling well she wouldn’t call on me to do the gospel presentation so I only had to smile and make it through. As we started with action songs and body worship, I felt a rush of energy rush right through me. We sang, “my God is great, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do.” And as I sang that song, God revealed exactly that to me. As long as I obey, even my fragile health can’t get in the way of His plans. After the song was over, the energy just left. Then Claire introduced me to share the gospel. In my mind I prayed, “Lord please give me strength.” I remembered to grab the children’s booklet and again God gave me a rush of energy. Every word I was able to say with complete assurance as I witnessed God working in me in that moment. As I made the call to accept Jesus, 26 people accepted. Because God has given me a heart for children, I was so focused on evangelizing to them. Later, my team told me that all the teachers and even other villagers had also accepted Jesus. God revealed to me in this moment that He has a much bigger picture for me than I do. I am so limited, but God’s grace and sovereignty is limitless. When I choose to obey, He works in even the areas that I overlook. After the gospel presentation was over, my fatigue and ankle pain came back. As I asked God why He couldn’t heal me like He was doing with the villagers we prayed over, He just spoke to my heart and asked me how much I was willing to sacrifice for His will. It’s easy to praise and smile when there’s no pain, but the molding happens when I choose to worship and obey despite the pain. Through this missions trip God just really molded my heart and is continuing to do so. God was so present in this missions trip and I’m so thankful for my team that loved on me with a love that’s only God’s. The Lord knew I needed this amazing team and I’m forever thankful for each and every one of them. God willing, I’ll be going back to India next year. All glory to God.