2015 Borneo – Amanda Hawkins

God’s Love

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. – 1 John 4 :18-19

This was my first mission trip. If I had to describe what was the best part or had the most impact, I would have to say it was experiencing God’s love. This was also the theme of the testimony that I gave in Borneo, but it seems like God still wanted to show me more.

I saw and experienced God releasing physical healing on a daily basis- not just through others, but through my own hands as well just by asking and praying that God’s will be done. Our team was welcomed with open arms, lots of delicious food, and great company. I’ve never experienced hospitality quite like the people of Borneo gave. They don’t have a lot, but they gave everything. They took us in their homes, treating us like family, all of it joyfully given.

God also showed me how much family means to Him, and how family is not only honored in Borneo, but relied upon. Families are connected to one another in so many ways. They worship together, they eat together, their kids play together and they live side by side. They depend on each other and stand by each other. Our team as a whole experienced all of these things together. God showed us signs and wonders beyond imagination. His Love was showered on each and every person that we prayed for. God loves each of us and I am still amazed how good of a Father he really is. One thing that I learned about this particular family model is that there is a chief and he makes all major decisions for the families as a whole, including which God they are to follow. This really disturbed me, I thought are they even Christians? But God told me that I should still pray in faith. We all continued to pray blessings and healing over each and everyone who asked.

However, one thing in particular that personally impacted me was how I connected with the grandmothers of in Malaysia. On the third day of our trip we were eating breakfast and the grandmother of the house came outside and pointed to her back and sat down. We realized she wanted us to pray for her. We gathered around her and prayed for full healing. She was healed! After we finished, she turned around and hugged me. That particular hug felt so familiar. l instantly identified it with my own grandmother. I became so emotional. I truly felt my grandmother’s presence and an overwhelming sense of love. I felt like this was God’s way of showing His love just for me, just between He and I.

About 4 years ago, I lost my own grandmother. She was very strong in her faith till the day she died. As I was dealing with several issues in my own life, I fell away from my own faith. I remember some of our discussions growing heated: I felt like she was too narrow minded; she needed to embrace change and not allow religion to dictate her life. My grandma would scold me sometimes, and it irritated me even more. “Amanda Leigh you know better,” she would say. Looking back, I was so selfish and self-absorbed. I was at a party when she went into the hospital, and I chose not to say good-bye when she died. I have regretted it ever since. She loved me so much.

When I was home this past summer, my mom found a journal that my grandmother had kept when she started dating my grandfather over 70 years ago. But some of the latest en-tries were about me- how she was worried for me, how she prayed for my happiness, how she wished that I would follow God’s will for my life and not my own. She doesn’t know about how different my life is now, and how all of her prayers are coming to fruition. She prayed in faith every night for me. God showed me not only how much my grandmother loved me, but how much He loves me. Through every hug I received from the grandmothers in Borneo, I felt my own grandmother’s love and forgiveness. God has done some amazing, tangible things in my life this past year, but I sometimes still have a hard time believing He really truly loves me. But through my time in Borneo, I’ve learned that He really does love me and that He loves the people of Borneo just the same. As I was reflecting on this trip, I am still in awe of God’s goodness. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He wants more for us even that what we could ever ask for. Please pray that every person we prayed for in Borneo experiences Gods love beyond comprehension, and that each person continues to seek God in every aspects of their life!

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