2015 Bangladesh – Izelle van der Merwe

This is Eternal Life

And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. – John 17:3 ESV

If I could sum up my Bangladesh missions experience in one word, it would be “Life!” Christ is the only Way, the Truth, and the Life. Wherever our team went, we could see how the Lord would bring life to those to whom we preached the Gospel, and how He would bring to life those who were sick that received healing.

Before the trip I had a few expectations. One of those expectations was a personal encounter with the Lord. I had prayed and asked Him to heal my heart from wounds that I had experienced in the past. God was faithful in answering my prayer. Every time Pastor Emily, our team preacher, would preach, I was in tears. I felt like every message was not only for the people, but directed at my heart as well!

One moment in particular that stood out to me was during our last service at Pastor Bijan Biswas’ church. Pastor Emily preached on the woman with the issue of blood. In order to engage the entire congregation, our team acted it out. I was asked to be the woman with the issue of blood and Matt, our videographer, was asked to play the role of Jesus. Before we started, I told the Lord that this was going to be a prophetic skit for me. By touching Jesus’s (Matt’s) garment, I was trusting that I would be healed for what I had been contending for. As we started acting out Pastor Emily’s preaching, I was surprised that I really began to cry. When the time came for me to touch “His garment,” I reached out in faith and felt a warmth come over my body as something shifted in my heart and mind. The entire scenario is very difficult to explain as it was very supernatural, but I truly believe that God healed me in that moment.

In the presence of Christ, no past disappointment or pain can stand. He has allowed me to drink from His Living Water and I honestly want nothing less! The congregation was also blessed by the Word and many received Christ as their Lord and Saviour at that service. We laid our hands on people to receive healing and the Holy Spirit moved powerfully.

I honor the native pastors that we had the privilege to meet and partner with during our missions trip. These men are filled with a zeal and love for the Lord and the lost! Please pray God would continue to strengthen them even in the midst of the persecution that they face. Pray that He would grant them wisdom and discernment as they minister amongst the Hindu and Muslim villages. Pray that every person that received Christ as their Lord and Saviour would mature and bear lasting fruit! His Kingdom has come to these precious people!

I have seen Him work among the broken, lost and forgotten for an entire week. Jesus Christ is so beautiful! There are no sufficient words to describe the glory, majesty, and satisfaction that is within Him. This is Eternal life: beholding, knowing and treasuring Him!

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