Half of my family (Ben and Liz) have been gone for the better part of a week on Liz’s 8th grade mission trip to Panama. I miss them, to say the least. But I am also very proud of them, the rest of Liz’s class and all the parents/teachers and their work sharing God’s love with the Panamanian people. They have been laboring diligently laying concrete flooring, painting at a church, serving food, working with children, giving their testimonies, playing handbells during a worship service…and having some fun eating octopus and snorkeling in the Caribbean. What a life-changing experience. And how amazing that our students experience the fact that the Body of Christ extends past their church, their school. The Body, brothers and sisters, believers in our Savior extend to Panama as well–different in culture, language, experiences, but united in Christ.
To prepare for their trip, Liz’s Bible teacher had the students write their stories, their testimonies of how they have come to know Christ and when they put their faith in Him as their Savior. Liz was asked to share hers in front of our school’s middle school during chapel services last week. With her permission, I share her story:
February 11, 2015
I have been taught how to live as a Christian ever since I was very young. My parents started having nightly prayers and devotions with me at a young age, and I have gone to church ever since I was a newborn. I have gone to a Christian school since I was three years old, and I first put my faith in God and Jesus as my Savior at age four. When I was about eight I was baptized, but my relationship with God wasn’t personal yet. It wasn’t until after my church’s summer camp that my relationship with God really started to mean something. At the camp, the preachers taught us a lot about what it means to have a “quiet time”, which is a time that you spend with God, reading the Bible and praying to Him. I decided then that I would start reading my Bible every night and writing about what I read in a journal that I keep with my Bible. It has been amazing what God has showed me through His word, and I am so glad that I have that special relationship with God and have Jesus as my Savior.
Being a Christian gives me peace through hard times because I know that God will take care of me and will forgive me if I make a mistake. One of the hardest times of my life was last year when my grandpa died suddenly from cancer. God gave me peace in that hard time because I knew that my grandpa had put his faith in Jesus only weeks before he died, so he is now in Heaven. My favorite Bible verse that also helps me through some rough or stressful times is Matthew 6:34 which says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” This verse tells me that I need to trust God to take care of tomorrow, while I just focus on living for Him today. God will help you with any trouble you might face, as long as you are living your life for Him. That is what it means to be a Christian to me.
I am ready to see my family again and hear of their adventures. But perhaps most important is that they are in God’s hands doing the work He has for them. And I, like Liz, am learning to not worry but to live for God today trusting Him to care for my family.