God was putting his plan in place before I even knew what was happening. I had just joined St. John’s United Methodist Church, and my husband and I were in the process of visiting Sunday Schools. One Sunday, we randomly visited the Open Doors Class. During the class, the teacher off-handedly mentioned the book The Narrow Road which was about a missionary named Brother Andrew. I thought to myself that sounds like a good book to read. Almost a year later I saw the sunday school teacher in the nursery, and I asked her again for the name of the book. I quickly purchased the book, and my journey began... Brother Andrew’s story was inspiring. The things that he accomplished by listening to God’s call was amazing. When he was truly doing something God asked him to do, God took care of every one of his needs to get the job at hand done. (I thought this was interesting because we sometimes use God as a wishing well, but when we are truly following God’s wishes to help others; then, he will help us do THAT job). In other words, if God tells us to do something, then he will help us get it done. Some of the amazing things that happened in the book were:
* Brother Andrew's damaged leg was healed when he prayed to God that he couldn’t do mission work with a hurt leg.
* Brother Andrew’s mission work was to take Bibles to persecuted countries where Bibles were
not allowed. Guards would not see smuggled Bibles when they were right on the seat of his car.
* If his money for missionary school was about to run out, the exact amount came to him just in
One of my favorite story took place during Brother Andrews time at missionary school. Brother Andrew and the other students were asked to do local missions as an assignment. The students were divided into two groups. They were given no money, food, or housing. They were told that they were not suppose to ask churches or any people for help and were asked to trust that God will provide. This was just an exercise meant to teach them how to trust God completely. This didn’t mean that the missionary school thought that people/charities should not ask for donations; the school just wanted them to put all trust in God. The students were also expected to tithe. Brother Andrews group tithed at the beginning of each week no matter what challenges they had. The other group planned on tithing if they had enough after they fulfilled their own needs. Interestingly, the group who tithed no matter what, always had enough for themselves and the missions, while the other group was constantly running out of money and supplies. God seemed to always answer the needs of Brother Andrews group no matter how small. For example, his group was suppose to bring a cake to an event. The group was panicked about how they were going to get the money for the cake. They even considered doing something they hadn’t done yet, which was asking people for donations. Just when the decided against asking for others help, they received a package in the mail. Inside the package was a cake sent to them by a loved one! The giver did not know they needed a cake; she just thought it would be a nice gesture!
After reading the book, I began to pray and said to God that I want to do what He wants and asked Him to tell me what it is. I figured if I really listened, I would see some amazing things happen just like Brother Andrew. Basically, I was asking God to call on me. Then God started talking...
Right after I read the book, St John’s started “The Call” series, which was suppose to help us learn how to hear and answer God’s call.
* Songs from our church bands were about “The Call.” This is another amazing occurrence because the band does not know the sermon topics when choosing songs.
* I picked out a veggie tales movie for my son to watch not knowing that out of all the Bible stories, this movie was about Jonah trying to push away God’s call.
* I was showing my son pictures from his Children’s Bible, but we weren’t reading the words. The bottom of each page had a one liner prayer. I finally randomly read one of the prayers. It was asking God to help us listen to his call!!
These events happened over and over so I knew God was telling me he is going to call on me. Then I started thinking what was God going to tell me to do. I was afraid that God was going to ask me to do something I don’t want to do. What in the world was he going to ask me to do? I still don’t know everything, but I know that I have become more aware of the needs of others. Every morning I try to remember to pray for help seeing the needs of others. Since then I can honestly say that I have randomly helped more people now. Before this, I wanted to help, but I was too busy in my own little world to even notice the need. I take the time out of my day to visit my elderly loved ones more often, I more frequently notice when my family and friends need a helping hand, and I joined a service group. I know I can do more, and God has been showing me more lately to let me know what I am suppose to do.
I am even writing these stories because in response to answering God's call. After reading the Brother Andrew book, I wrote down some of my talents that I thought God could use. One that I enjoy is writing columns for the Rock Hill Herald. I thought perhaps I can use my joy of writing to do God’s will. Soon after I began to contemplate writing my stories, Rett mentioned during a sermon that a person’s call story is one of the greatest witnesses. A persons personal story is only 2nd to the Bible when you are trying to witness to someone. This, yet again, was another way God spoke to me. How amazing that as soon as I thought about writing my stories, Rett started talking about how important it is to tell our story!
So I began writing down my stories. Now, if I was stronger I would not have needed another nudge from God, but unfortunately fears and doubt began to creep in. I had written some of my stories, but I began to think do I really want to share these stories with others. Just when I started backing away, God called me again. It took two sermons. Twice literally right after I started doubting, the sermons talked about answering God’s call and even emphasized telling our own personal stories. The words and phrasing used spoke to me so clearly that I got chills, and I could feel my eyes widening as I heard these sermons. So here I am writing down one of my stories and sending it in for God to do his will. -Lacy Ngo