A "Get-Well" Card Brings a Mother to The Meetings

September 18 2007 / ShareHim in Kalimantan (Borneo), Jul. 13 - Jul. 28 '07 #195
by Dana Connell

Personal Testimony of Dana Connell.

The stories of the tangible visible evidence that God was working in people’s lives are numerous. In Balikpapan there were 10 sites located around the city and even dispersed far into the country. By the end of the trip it was clear that each person was the perfect fit for their site—more evidence of God’s providence. When people ask about the ShareHim sponsored trip to Indonesia, I share individual stories of the thankfulness of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Catholics, rich, young, old, and poor for sharing truths from the bible that I, growing up in the Seventh-day Adventist church for so long, took for granted. Like most mission trips, it seems that I was blessed more than I feel that I contributed to the people.

There were three items I found myself consistently reflecting on during my visit. The first was the faithfulness of the members to come to the meetings and also their involvement. My site had a maximum of 8 visitors. Most nights it was closer to 3-4 visitors, but the members were there every night. The kids, the teens, and the adults—almost each one was involved at some point in the meetings. Each one had a willing spirit to help out in an area, and if it they were asked right on the spot, they were available. God taught me, through their attitudes, that if I am willing and will just open my mouth to speak or to share, He will provide a message, a song, an illustration, or even just encouraging words.

The second item that stood out was the culture of giving. Last year, I prayed that God would teach me to be more giving. Throughout the year, people came into my life that were such giving people and this trip seemed to heap on the blessing of what it means and looks like to be giving. The people of Indonesia just love to give. During the second week, an eleven year-old would bring me different food gifts: jag fruit, boiled green bananas, lychee, mango juice, or fruit salad. They were simple yet thoughtful gifts. People heaped on gifts of clothes, bags, friendship blankets, and traditional souvenirs—even a hair cut. Very few people had much money, but they still wanted to give something. They gave to show appreciation. They gave to solidify remembrance. They gave simply for the delight of giving. One girl wanted to give me her favorite CD. Another girl gave me her school ID card and a hair clip. And everybody echoed the statement, “Please don’t forget me.” I told them I wouldn’t forget them for they are a part of my life, and we’ve invested in each others salvation story.

The third item that stood out was how often the small things were the significant things. Three sisters came to my sit—ages 13, 15, and 17. The youngest came consistently. The oldest was having thyroid surgery. Unable to visit right after surgery, I sent a get well card with well wishes, prayer, and sentiments of looking forward to seeing her again. A few days later, all three sisters were at the meetings with their mother. For nie years, a church member had been visiting this family and she said, “It’s a miracle. It was your card that brought the mother here.” Later, I visited with the family in their home. We played chess and chatted. Then mother, an English teacher, even invited me to speak to students at the public school about any topic. All of this was because of a little get well card.

Three people were baptized from my site, and two more were re-baptized. There weren’t as many people hearing this message for the first time as I’d hoped, but God brought who He wanted to bring to those meetings. I’ve been discovering that it is Christ working through a person that makes the message come to life. I pray that more seeds of hope and affirmation were planted by just the small things.
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