Posted: September 4, 2021
His Testimony Shared By: Elana Brownfield
Romans 10:14-15, New International Version
"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Completely blessed. That's how I feel regarding having had the opportunity to serve God on the 2021 Uganda mission trip. Prior to the trip, other thoughts were running through my head. Thoughts like, "How will God use me?" and, "What do I have to offer the people of Uganda?" I wasn't thinking about traveling during Covid, encountering complications, or whether or not I would get sick while I was there. God had already told me that I would be completely protected. The thing I didn't know was what He wanted me to do while I was there. I also wanted to know why He asked me to pack certain things: lotions, toys for the kids, and even some specific songs He asked me to put in a playlist that wouldn't require wifi to play. All I can say now is that God never ceases to amaze me. He brought together and used these things, myself, and the other members of the team like a perfect masterpiece.
Prior to this trip, I had never before given a message to a large group of people. Being a high school art teacher, I had much experience speaking in front of a classroom of students, but that's not quite the same. However, God was able to transform my experience speaking to a room of students into a vehicle to deliver His words to whole villages. The second day we were there, He started talking to me about a message He wanted me to deliver regarding the fruit of the Holy Spirit. I was honored to deliver this message to a village a few days later. I also shared my testimony to another group of villages at a women's conference a couple of days after that. I was surprised at how calm and unstressed I felt both times. God prepared me well and removed all of my fears.
One of my favorite experiences on the trip involved the way God would have us use the lotion I had brought. After I spoke the fruit of the Spirit message, Coria and I washed the hands of the village women, prayed over them, and then put lotion on their hands. I felt so honored to serve them in this way and to show them how special they are in the eyes of Jesus. The photo you see here was taken soon after this. Notice how I am holding the hand of a village woman in the middle of the photo. This woman grabbed my hand right before the photo was snapped, symbolizing the bond she felt with me due to this act of love.
God also used me effectively on this trip by giving me the task of praying for others. Prior to the trip, God had asked me to work as a volunteer for a Christian phone prayer line for about a year. He also had me read many books about prayer and spiritual warfare. I got the opportunity to put all of my knowledge and experience with intercessory prayer into practice many times during the trip, both by praying over the village people and by interceding for the team.
God used this trip to strengthen me spiritually and bring me joy through the time I spent with the other team members. He gave us the opportunity to fellowship together before and after many meals. We laughed, we cried, we bonded, and we encouraged each other in our faith journeys. Some of the songs God had asked me to put on my playlist were shared during these times. The lyrics of one of these songs say: "Make me your vessel, make me an offering, make me whatever You want me to be. I came here with nothing, but all you have given me. Jesus bring new wine out of Me" (from New Wine by Hillsong Worship). That's what Jesus was doing with us--He was making new wine. When new wine was put in animal skins during ancient times, the new wine expanded and stretched the wineskins, and that's what God did with us. He stretched each of us in different ways in our spiritual walk with Him.
I often pray for God to make me an empty vessel for Him to use any way He wants. I pray that I can be His hands and feet, that I can see people the way He sees them, and love them the way He loves them. God answered my prayers in profound ways on this mission trip. I am so thankful and honored that He would choose to use me the way that He did. He truly is so good! In fact, the song Goodness of God by Bethel Music was running through my mind constantly two weeks prior to, during, and after the trip. I can honestly say, just as the song does, "I have lived in the goodness of God"!
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*The Fruitful Women creative team retains the right to edit and publish or not publish any testimonies that are submitted.