2016 Nepal – Ruth Lee

Don’t Give Up Hope

Because we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
– Romans 8:28

Before I begin my testimony, I’d like to thank everyone for supporting our team financially and through your prayers. Because of everyone’s love, we were able to go, serve, and come back safely. As some of you may know, this was my first missions trip and it was truly unforgettable. I saw God work in miraculous ways, and was able to develop relationships with the Nepali people and New Philly church leaders. Even though there was so much destruction caused by the earthquake last year, the Nepali people have an unshakeable faith in God. My team was inspired by what we saw and I hope my testimony can convey God’s presence in this nation.

A famous quote states that Satan tries to kill in infancy, what he cannot touch in adulthood. It’s an expression often used at New Philly to describe the enemy’s attempts to foil God’s plans. This expression was particularly applicable during my missions trip to Nepal. I realized that the enemy tried to steal my hope and joy at the infancy—the beginning—of the trip. He knew that once God’s plan progressed, nothing could intervene and stop all the healings, ministry, and relationships that would develop by the very end. But our God is always victorious, and my testimony is how I learned to walk out in this victory.

On the first ministry day in Kathmandu, Nepal I was scared, but also excited because it was the infancy, beginning, of the missions trip. I knew the Holy Spirit would show up and that God’s presence would fill the room. When we started the first of two services that day, the worship, testimony, sermon, and altar call were so powerful. Seventeen people came up to receive prayer and two started to speak in tongues. We took a break between the two sessions, but I suddenly started having a mild epileptic seizure. I’ve had seizures for eleven years. They’ve decreased in severity since a brain tumor was successfully removed a few years ago, but epilepsy has always been a source of anxiety sometimes.

I was discouraged, but with the help of my team and Brock, my team leader, I picked myself up and prepared for the next service. Despite the seizure, I was determined to intercede and see the congregation touched by the Holy Spirit again. The next altar call was for healing. I knew immediately that God was giving me an opportunity to pray for those who had headaches and neurological problems like my own. Eighteen people came up for prayer, eight of whom were healed completely. Our team praised God for all that He had done and headed downstairs for snacks, but shortly after, I had a second seizure.

I was frustrated, and my thoughts started to question the special grace that is available on the missions field. Where was this grace for my health? I thought that since the supernatural was more prevalent during missions, maybe God would heal me in Nepal or at least protect me from these episodes. All I could feel was disappointment towards God as tears streamed down my face. I no longer wanted to share my testimony because it was about hope for my healing. How could I share about hope when all that was left in me was discouragement?

However, shortly after, Pastor Caleb, our team preacher, told me that he wanted me to share my testimony the next day. I had been preparing myself to tell him that I had no desire to share because I didn’t have the strength. But he told me something that really encouraged and compelled me to share. He said that my testimony was powerful because it wasn’t over yet. The hope that I carried was different because I was still waiting for my testimony to come to fruition. Even though I still have seizures and disappointing moments, I still have faith for healing. In that way my faith is only continuing to strengthen, and it is in this place that I can be a source of real encouragement to the local congregations.

If you ask any of my team members, the next day of ministry was the hardest. There was apathy and a lack of response to the children’s ministry songs, sermons, and my testimony. But for me, it was one of the most dynamic and momentous days, because God came and healed my heart. As I shared my testimony of hope, I saw a mix of distracted youth, but attentive adults. Regardless of who was paying attention, God was speaking life over me and renewing my hope. He was breaking off discouragement, and helping me believe that I would be healed. That day created a domino effect as God provided continuous opportunities to share my story and encourage others. I felt like myself again and God gave me more confidence to pray and speak life over others. Regardless of how satan tried to distract me or the team members during the rest of our trip, I’m glad to report our faith only god stronger, and Satan failed to hinder God’s plans. I now know on a much more practical level what is means to be more than a conqueror, which was our missions theme this season. I was able to face hardship, but learn what it means to overcome in the place of faith and trusting in the Lord. I know this is a lifelong lesson that I will always apply, but I know it is also a prophetic breakthrough for the people of Nepal.

The Nepali people still see their broken homes and many still live with broken hearts. Even many of the native pastors’ hearts are devastated and heavy. But it is God who is our source of living hope. Financial resources are helpful, but faith-filled prayer is the most powerful. My prayer request is that the love offerings we gave, prayers we sowed, and the God encounters released would multiply and spread throughout Nepal. Pray that Nepali Christians would experience deep inner healing and rise up as salt and light of the world. Pray that even in the midst of pain, the youth and adults would bring revival to the nation. Because we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, and have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Because we know that the Nepali Christians are more than conqueror through Christ Jesus. Thank you!