Trusting in God while sick

Raphaela Hofer | Chile

Raphaela Hofer is a young woman from Switzerland. In February she joined OM Chile's six month missionary training where she focused on studying God's word and serving Him and his children in the streets of Santiago. She tells the story of a special day in ministry.

It was one of those days you just want to stay in bed. I didn’t sleep well, my nose was running, my throat was hurting and swollen and my eyes were heavy.

I didn’t have the flu; no fever or anything, so there was no real excuse, but I was so exhausted. I spoke to my ministry leader and told him I didn’t feel very well and maybe it would be better to rest a little. Instead he answered, “Why don’t you come to the prayer meeting and afterward you can decide whether you want to come with us to do street evangelism or not.”

I felt a little better as the day went on, and I went to the meeting. I still thought it would be a better decision to stay home, spend some quiet time with God and rest. The problem was that a lot of other girls in the team also didn’t feel very good and so I felt guilty for staying behind; why should I get a special treatment? So in the end I decided to go and to trust in God that he would give me the necessary strength during the program but especially rest afterwards.

It started horribly. As part of the programme we split in groups of three or four people. One person had their eyes blindfolded and was standing with their arms wide open with a sign at their feet, reading: "I trust in you. Would you give me a hug?"

The other people in the group would then go talk to the people that hugged the blindfolded person and ask them why they would hug and trust in a stranger. They would then start explaining that God is the only one we can fully trust.

Theoretically this was the programme, but somehow it just didn’t work out. People were walking away too fast, or soon after the conversation started we didn’t know how to go on and get deeper. I was getting very discouraged and started thinking, “I should have stayed home. What am I doing here? I don’t know what to say, I am afraid, I have no trust in God; what good am I to serve anyone here?! And I’ll come back late and feel even worse and I'm going to be very tired tomorrow.”

My thoughts started to go in a negative circle. But I decided to interrupt that circle and pray that God would step in and help me. Just moments later I saw a young man, standing nearby watching. I felt that I should go and talk to him, so I went and asked him what he was thinking.

He said to me, “From the moment I entered this place and could see your friend with arms wide open from afar I felt Gods presence.”

I was so overwhelmed. God was actually here and He was working! Even though we might not be able to talk to the people, He could touch their hearts anyway. After that conversation I noticed how people’s faces would light up after receiving the hug. Truly, God’s presence was there!

The evening ended with a deep conversation and prayer time with some social work students and a talk with a man who was also on the street to evangelize. We asked if we could pray for him and he opened up his heart and told us about his worries and struggles. I was able to share something of my past to encourage him.

When the team met again for a short debriefing, everybody was happy and energised. They had similar experiences with God and, like me, had completely forgotten about their health issues. God is so great!

Published: Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Credit: Raphaela Hofer
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