I have 2 exciting stories to share with you!
#1. Last time I fasted was more than 4 years ago and I fasted because I wanted to experience what it means to be hungry physically. It never crossed my mind that it was a personal sacrifice for the Lord.
Just after the whole conversation with my father, I cried out to God asking Him what to do and where to go. I couldn't quite hear His voice because, frankly, I gave up and I think God realized that I hit rock bottom. Then, it started to happen. I started to hear from God, "My beloved child, exactly how far are you willing to go for Me?" "How much are you willing to risk for Me?" Being true to myself, I answered, "I'll go anywhere, I'll risk everything for You." God reminded me that there's so much more, that this is just the beginning. Soon after that, I felt God commanding me to fast for the first time in 4 years to show my willingness. So I did and this time, I had a greater reason. For 30 hours, I asked God to break me and build me up again. I wanted to show my communion with and dependence on God. Again, God spoke to me by putting a verse in my heart. Philippians 1:21: "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." So simple, yet hard. The timing was perfect; I had just left for a conference where students came to search and encounter God first-hand. God started to break me physically and spiritually.
#2. Last day of the conference, during free time, my friend and I met a freshman who was alone. We exchanged names, walked around for about 15 minutes, and separated. (He did not want his name to be known here). Later that evening during worship, we had an altar call, in which we publicly invite students who wish to make a new spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ. The speaker invited the students and I sat there looking left and right with excitement and impatience. Seconds later, I spotted a familar face standing up; it was the freshman that I met! My heart filled with joy and all I wanted to do was go up to him and give him a hug. So, I did! During closing worship, I went up to him with a smile, hugged him, and welcomed him into the family. I said to him, "Welcome to the family, brother! I'm glad to have met you over the weekend!" He replied by saying, "Thanks. I was so scared... So many peoeple [here]." I gave him another hug and praised God!
However, I was so curious to hear his story and after worship, I went up to him and asked him to tell me his story. He sat me down and began to tell me.
You see, he comes from a Muslim family background. He attended an Islamic school, learned to read Qur'an at an early age. As he was growing up, he had strong faith but since the summer of 2014, he started to doubt and question his faith and exactly why he believes what he does and considered himself agnostic. During this doubting time, one of the staff members of InterVarsity met him, got to know him, and invested into his life. Soon, searching for answers, he was invited to one of IV's bible studies and started attending weekly. Not too long after that, his bible study leader, knowing his situation, encouraged him to pray. He prayed to Jesus for the fear of his family disowning him. 2-3 days after he prayed, the things he prayed for became true. Turns out, his sister was well aware of his spiritual stuggle, yet still accepted and loved him. More Christian students began to enter his life and showed him love. As he was searching for answers, he was invited to this conference and God answered his prayers. He came to conference because he "wanted something more." I think he found something great. Someone amazing: Jesus. Seeing him come to Christ was a reassurance and reminder from God.
This is why I'm [still] going. This is my passion and joy.
Continuing from my last blog, past 2 weeks has been the toughest weeks of my life. After the conversation with my father, I hit the bottom and I was honestly ready to quit. My friends reached out to me in concern and prayed for me. However, what got me through was one constant thought to myself: "Did God really put me where I am now just to have me stop here?" During support raising, I'm starting to learn just how much faith I have in God and just how far I'm willing to go for Him.
God heard my cries and answered me. And God is calling me to be a witness for many more.
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20