Giving up her dreams for God’s

Sarai Peña | El Salvador

In Isaiah 55:8 it says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD” (NIV). Many people have lived this verse and have had it change their whole life.

Every year OM El Salvador holds an outreach called ‘Desafío’ where people seek to know God more and are challenged to accept the call He is making on their lives.

Michelle, a 22-year-old woman from El Salvador, heard of OM through a friend who invited her to attend Desafío. Afterwards she shared, "I fell in love. I fell in love with something that I never believed I would fall in love with…missions, and from that moment on God has been working on me with this desire to get involved and prepare me more to serve Him in the mission field with the support of OM.”

In 2017, two years after her first outreach, Michelle heard of another opportunity with OM: Desafío in Panama. This time she would take the message of God to those who had not heard it before in the Ngäbe Bugle region of Panama. Feeling very drawn to this opportunity, she contacted the OM El Salvador office for more information. Michelle's question to God was, "Why are you sending me on this outreach?” God's answer, found in Matthew 28:19, was very clear, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (NIV). It was at this time that the process of 'going by faith' began.

Finances

Many times God’s great power is minimised and doubts about Him begin to arise when finances become an obstacle to mission work. It can prevent people from doing what God has commanded them to do in this world, but God always surprises those who trust Him.

For Michelle, finances were her biggest challenge. She had only seventeen dollars, but a deep desire to attend Desafío. The days began to pass and still nothing happened. Frustration came, along with sadness and anger. The day arrived for the Desafío informative meeting. Michelle attended with a sad heart, but that day was encouraged once again, as God reminded her that going was not a matter of money, but of faith and that it was God's plan for her to go. In one week God provided enough for her to go through relatives, friends and acquaintances. 

God’s faithfulness was so great that He provided from the shoes she would wear to the bath soap she would use. Once again, the grace of God is so great for His children.

Desafío 2017

Michelle had many expectations for the trip, including: bringing the gospel to the unreached, learning ways to share the gospel, training herself as a missionary and simply to serve. During her time in Panama, she not only gave to God His service but also learnt many things about God in her life through the people she went to serve.

One of the experiences that marked Michelle’s trip and made her reflect on the grace of God was a conversation with a small girl. While they were playing, Michelle began to ask her small friend some questions. “What is your name?” “My name is Lisbeth,” responded the girl. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “Like you,” Lisbeth responded. In this moment Michelle’s heart began to beat loudly, but she continued speaking and asked, “why do you want to be like me?” Lisbeth answered, “because you are good, and you look like Jesus.” Michelle’s eyes filled with tears as she wondered how is it possible that someone wants to be like me? Being a sinner, someone who comes from a life lived in the world? “But I remembered that the grace of God only took me from that life, saved me, forgave me, but has also given me the opportunity to be a new creature and now I can reflect Him,” said Michelle.

God’s Call

When Michelle received Jesus Christ into her heart, she asked God, “What ministry do you want me to serve in? As a teacher, preacher, evangelist?” Everything but a missionary. But her dreams changed to become those of God's and now her greatest desire is what God has always wanted for her: missions.

Michelle shared, “After Desafío, I felt something like the irresistible grace of God, that moment when we cannot resist coming to Him and loving Him. I am preparing for missionary school for six months. I don’t know where God plans to take me to train me, but when He calls me to the mission field I will be ready to serve Him in the best way to bring the gospel to the unreached.”

Please pray for Michelle as she prepares to work in the mission field and that God would raise up many more Latinos to go bring the gospel to the least reached.

Published: Thursday, 26 October 2017
Credit: Sarai Peña
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