“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16)
Over spring break, I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to the Navajo Reservation in Kaibeto, Arizona. Spending time in a new place and interacting with individuals from a different culture taught me many valuable lessons, and it opened my eyes to see how God’s love is all around us. During my time there, I was able to attend a church service that greatly impacted my life.
At church, Pastor Stan Patterson discussed the importance of sharing our testimonies. I had never heard a sermon fully devoted to the topic of testimonies, but I was excited to learn about the impact our testimonies can have.
Testimony is a powerful tool in sharing what God has done and is continuing to do in our lives. In fact, at the Navajo church I attended, the first portion of the service was dedicated to giving individuals in the church the opportunity to share their testimony in front of the congregation. The testimonies that shared were different from what I expected, though.
I have always thought of a testimony as somewhat of an unchanging story. I saw it as the story of what took place in one’s life up until finding fulfillment in Christ – and ending there. However, in listening to the testimonies of others, I realized that our testimonies are continuously changing as we grow closer to Christ and experience life with Him.
Pastor Stan read Romans 12:1, which says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” When we sacrifice ourselves, this is when God uses us. Our lives become not our own, and we are able to live according to God’s plan.
It is important for us to realize the value of our testimony. Not only do our testimonies represent us coming to Christ, but they can also continue to bring others to Him when we share them. According to Pastor Stan, once accepting Jesus into our hearts, we are to go home with our new lives and share our testimony in order to be a missionary where we live.
God often calls us to do things we are afraid of, but He will always provide us with His power. While we may be shy about sharing our testimonies, we ought to be bold and share them when the Holy Spirit calls us to.
Everyone’s story of coming to Christ is unique, and that is what makes it so special. After attending church, my team and I traveled to a couple’s home with Pastor Stan. The daughter of this couple had reached out to Pastor Stan, because she wanted her parents to hear the story of Jesus and have the opportunity to be saved.
It was an honor to meet this couple. They were each in their nineties, and they had been married for over 70 years. They had lived incredible lives and took great pride in their people and culture. The man, Yodell, was a World War II veteran.
Yodell and his wife Sarah were both experiencing health problems. They struggled to hear and to understand our language. However, with the help of their daughter translating, Pastor Stan was able to communicate to Yodell the story of the gospel, resulting in him accepting Jesus into his heart.
It was incredible to witness this man coming to Christ and to be a part of his testimony. Even at his old age, he was able to find new life in Jesus. After learning about testimonies, this experience validated the immense impact a testimony can have.
Traveling to the Navajo Nation was an experience I will never forget. Although my time there was short, it was very impactful to encounter God’s love in a new way. The lessons I learned on this trip will greatly influence me going forward, as I strive to be bold in sharing what God is doing in my life.
Grand Canyon University fosters a community that is united in carrying out a mission that centers on following Jesus Christ in word and deed. To learn more about GCU, visit our website.