I had to lead a missions team but I was crippled by the fear of preaching the gospel
A month before my second trip back to Country J, the ministry who we partnered with informed me that they will be holding a youth conference with 200 youths in attendance with my team and I as their guest speakers. “You, team leader, will be giving a powerful message!” the pastor excitedly shared with me. His anticipation only made the pit in my stomach grow bigger. 200 youths! What do I have to share with 200 youths? I was barely an adult myself at 24. I did the only thing I knew to do – pray and ask God for what He wants to accomplish through the youth conference. I did not even know where to start my prayer, but remembering the words of Mama Heidi Baker, I told the Lord, “I am a coin in your pocket, spend me however You wish.” I never expected how He would spend me in the trip to come.
One of the challenges I faced was to be bold in sharing the gospel – I could approach people to ask them if they wanted to receive healing, but it was an absolutely paralysing task to ask if they had wanted to receive Christ. On the second night of our trip, we were brought to a night meeting in a village church. People came to hear the message and were delivered, the sick healed, and before I knew it, I had closed the meeting. An older lady on my team came up to me, puzzled, “My dear, why didn’t you give a call for salvation?”
It didn’t take long for that opportunity to arise as the much talked about youth conference was happening the next day. Rise, take up your mat, and walk – spiritual, mental and physical restoration was the message that I felt the Lord dropped in my spirit. Many thoughts flooded my mind as I shared the word; signs and wonders follow where the gospel is preached. First in the spiritual, then in the natural.
“Would you trust me?” The soft voice of my Master beckoned for me to let go of control and allow Him to bring His restoration to the people on all three fronts. Isn’t it strange how pride gets in the way, lies to us that it’s our own “talents” that people get saved, experience healing and breakthroughs? Having repented the night before, I closed my eyes – partly in fear that no one would respond, partly to help me focus on Him. And I gave the salvation call.
Hands shot up across the room. The team scrambled to the front and back of the room, trying to count the hands raised. More than 100 youths received Christ that day, but God was not done yet. After the sinner’s prayer was said, our team gave a call for healing through words of knowledge. One of the words given was pain in left leg. A young man made his way to the front and said he is the one who has pain in his left leg. He gave me his backstory: a year ago, he got into a motorcycle accident and crushed his left thigh. He had to undergo surgery to fix the bone in place. Since then, he has been unable to walk without a limp, run or jump.
Testimonies from Dr. Randy Clark of God healing people with metal in their bodies came to mind. I shared them with the young man and together, in faith, we declared healing over his leg. I was quite apprehensive at first; what if he doesn’t get healed? Again, the voice of my Master beckoned, “Would you trust me?”.
We prayed once, then twice, and then three times. Each time, the young man experienced a slight improvement in mobility and decreased pain. By the third prayer, he was doing full squats with tears in his eyes. He had not been able to squat for a year before we prayed! Before we could ask, he started jogging on the spot and then, he took off, sprinting around the hall, end to end!
The miracle changed the atmosphere in the room, suddenly more and more people were coming to the front to receive prayer. You could feel the faith level in the room shoot up and many more received their healing that day.
Since then, the youths who responded in the service have continued to follow Jesus, even deciding to become pastors and evangelists after they have finished their studies!
Through the trip, I realised that despite my initial giving in to the fear of man, I was still deeply loved by the Father and my own teammates. Like Peter, I was given a second chance. It is not my human effort that causes people to say yes to Christ; all we are called to do is to be faithful in sowing seeds and create opportunities for people to respond. May we all grow bolder in sharing with the world who our wonderful Saviour is, and for many to come to know His kindness and goodness!
Zoie Esther Chow
Image credit: Kimberly Yang