Made for Something More
“I’m not merely flesh and bone, I was made for something more…” These are lyrics from a favourite song of mine – Alive in You. When I hear them I am reminded that God has a unique plan designed for each of us and I think life really becomes exciting when we begin to understand what this plan is.
I met Neville Barnes back in 2015. He asked me if I would consider joining that year’s Xplore team. Before then I hadn’t really had much involvement with mission or evangelism and the idea of going to share Jesus with people who had no idea about Him frightened me. I didn’t think that I had the right skills to confidently approach anyone. During my first Xplore weekend in Sheffield, God showed me just how wrong I was! I was out prayer walking with a group and suddenly I realised I had this new excitement that was bubbling up inside of me. Xplore has helped me to realise that this has been part of God’s plan for me all along. Once I understood that it isn’t down to my ability, but it’s about being open to be God’s vessel and to trust Him to guide me into all that He has in store for me, my whole attitude towards mission and evangelism changed.
This is now my third year with Xplore and my first year as a leader of my own online group and I absolutely love it! We have just had our second Xplore weekend of this year in Ireland. As well as looking forward to meeting part of my online group in person, I was so excited and expectant to see what God was going to do during this time together! On the Saturday, after spending time together in prayer and worship, we all travelled down into Sligo town centre. There we split into groups and each group was involved with different ways of sharing Jesus’ love in the local community. There were many activities to choose from, with opportunities to bless and pray for people. I was ready to do whatever God asked of me and I was eager to get started!
As well as handing out sweets, lighting candles with people and sharing our stories, there were these tiny carved crosses with John 3:16 and the word ‘believe’ carved into them. We could hand these out to anybody who might be interested. I wasn’t particularly drawn to them at first (I’m more a sweet person!), but God asked me to take one cross. I asked Him why and He told me that He had one person in mind that I needed to give this cross to. So I put one in my pocket and joined in with another activity. Throughout the day I kept my eyes and ears open to see who this person was, but I didn’t hear anything from God all afternoon. I felt puzzled by this… Who was this person? When all the teams came together to share testimony, I wondered if I had missed my opportunity and I felt disheartened.
Afterwards we all agreed that we were going to go to the pub to watch the rugby and I had been warned that it would be packed. Much to my surprise we walked in and the place was empty, except for one man sat at the other side of the room. He looked up and caught my eye and straight away God said to me loud and clear, ‘That is the person I want you to give the cross to…’ Again I was nervous, but I asked one of the other leaders to come with me and together we approached him. I gently explained I was a Christian and told him all about God’s desire for me to share the little cross with him. He sat and stared at me and for a moment, his face filled with emotion. He then shared a story with me about a recent operation he had days before. During this operation he had died in the operating theatre and he believed that God had brought him back for a reason! He also shared how he had once had a cross he had given away to somebody else. We suggested that maybe this cross was to replace that. He was very touched that we had come over to speak. We offered to pray with him, he gladly accepted and as we prayed we could see how much all of this meant to him. It was a very special moment for me.
During my time with Xplore, God has shown me that when we are willing to listen and obey then He can move powerfully in people’s lives. It is a privilege and I am excited to see how God will use me next!