Testimony can seem like a rather intimidating word.
When we started talking about the trip to Wears Valley 2 weeks or so ago, Rick encouraged all of the team to be open to share their testimony at some point during the trip. He didn't use those words though. Instead, he asked everyone to think about their life. To tell a story about their life before Jesus and what he has done in their life now that they know Him. For the first time, this idea of sharing seemed so feasible. And I know I was not alone. I know this because during the next step of our meeting, we were to find someone in the room that we had never talked to before and share with them. Empowered to simply tell a life story with Jesus in it, I watched people all over the room turn to their neighbor and willingly open up.
Those stories were continued this week. We heard stories of traveling military families, stubborn family members, anxiety, depression, sickness. All of these restored by hope found in a loving father. No. I did not say a happy ending with lots of money and virtually no difficult decisions, but restored hope. These stories display refinement, the kind that is not easily obtained.
You think your story is boring. You think it's not quite finished, buffed and polished, ready for telling. Maybe start with listening. That was my role this week and at lunch one day someone asked me. Telling someone how much you depend on Jesus is definitely a conversation starter.
We finished the day with Covenant Community Church that meets at the ranch. It was so nice to gather in that cozy room and sing to the top of our lungs in praise. In the same room that we earlier had indulged in chilli with fritos and cheese sprinkled on top or shared testimonial stories that had mysterious water pockets gathering in that lower shelf of the eye. Such a warm presence in the room at Pastor Wood encouraged us and prayed over us.
We are already missing the beautiful mountains covered with a spectrum of color changing leaves.