If Balaam's Mule Can Speak Up, I Can Too

November 11 2008 / ShareHim in South Africa, Oct. 17 - Nov. 1 '08 #333
by Linda Tsibulsky

Personal Testimony of Linda Tsibulsky.

I just came back to Kiev, Ukraine from doing a ShareHim series in South Africa. It had to have been one of the most exciting and fulfilling experiences I have ever had.
In Kiev, I teach English for a living and share Jesus on Saturday night at video class at my home for people who are interested in free English. A couple of times a year, I preach a sermon at my church here which is an International church and I sometimes teach SS. I haven’t had any theological training.

In the Adventist church, it has been my experience that people who take an active part also have heard the prophetic messages many times and have probably taken part in giving Bible studies. If that describes you, you really should consider preaching a series of ShareHim meetings. If I can do it, I know you can, too.

The best thing about ShareHim for me was that it helped me to refocus on God and the Bible. There was no way to do it without spending most of my time preparing. That included editing the pre-made sermons to make them mine, including adding parts of my testimony. If we have come to Jesus, the only way there is through our life experiences and if you’re like me, a lot of them get forgotten along the way. In editing practicing and attending the daily meetings to learn different pointers and hear others asking their questions, a lot of those experiences came to mind along with feelings they gave me that I hadn’t experienced in a long time. It reminded me of the incredible things God had done for me in the past. Whenever I gave an appeal, it was like I was giving it to myself to re-commit to the Lord. One night, I invited people back to their first love and I felt it breaking my heart because I know that I so need that close relationship in my own life.

There was no time during these meetings to worry about the everyday concerns. During the time I was there I had a severe ear infection and was taking antibiotics and pain medication for the better part of two weeks, but I found that while I was at the meetings and preaching that I didn’t even notice it for the most part.

There were glitches along the way. My friends from my church in Ukraine didn't get their luggage with all their clothes for the meetings and all the electrical cords for equipment for almost a week. Sometimes my computer didn’t want to connect with my projector. One night the electricity went off a couple of times while I was speaking. At my friend’s site, they started off with no electricity one night because someone had stolen the copper wiring. Whatever problems cropped up, the Lord took care of them. It was wonderful! For sure, it gives you confidence that you can do it.

Pastor Dobias, who was the ShareHim leader for our 22 sites told us one day that the ladies didn’t have to worry because they hadn’t been anointed by the church because, as believers, Jesus had anointed us, to go into the world and preach the gospel, and that’s so true.

For me, coming to South Africa was such a great experience too, because I was able to have two friends from my church to come with. Nadia and Natasha were supposed to come as support people. Nadya (not yet baptized) would do health talks and Natasha would do children’s ministry. Natasha is our pastor’s wife. When we got here, they needed Natasha to preach at another church so Nadya went back and forth between our two churches. Nadya hasn’t made a commitment as to when but she’s sure she will be baptized soon. The trip so blessed her to see people committed to taking the gospel around the world. It blessed me that way, too. When Natasha’s husband saw her signing up, he signed up too and will go to Mongolia along with another young man from our church. Just the fact that we went has others in our church more interested in missions than they have been in a long time. I think this trip gave all three of us a confidence we haven’t had before.

As if spiritual blessings weren't enough, we got icing on the cake too, the beautiful Indian Ocean to walk along in the morning (first time for Natasha and Nadya to see an ocean). The day after we finished our meetings, we went to a preserve and saw (no exageration, I stopped counting at 60), at least a hundred elephants at a watering hole in a national park. What a sight!

The people we met there were so wonderful, too. The pastor at my site has four churches to pastor and a lovely family to care for with six adopted children, most with special needs. It was a delight and a privilege to work with him. On the some of the nights when Nadya wasn't there with the health talks, he taught about the sanctuary (one of the members had a model she put together.) The children made us an art exhibit from the topics they heard about at the meetings.

It's my understanding that between all the sites in Port Elizabeth there were 375 baptisms on the last day of the meetings and 400 more preparing. My site probably had the fewest with 8 and some more making decisions for re-baptism in the future. But I don't think it's the numbers God is so concerned about, it's each individual precious soul. I believe Jesus would have died for me if I were the only one and I believe that about each of them and each of you.

If you’re having reservations about doing something like this, whether you’ve been walking in faith for a long time or even if it's still pretty new to you, step out of the boat. Peter walked on water and as long as you keep your eyes on Jesus, you can too. I love the story of Balaam’s mule. If the Lord could use that mule, He can use me too. And if He can use me, He can sure use you.
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