By Lizzie Thomas
I stared into her red, puffy eyes and she stared right back. I felt nothing but annoyance towards this five-foot-three, dirty-blonde-haired, brown-eyed girl standing before me with tear-stained cheeks. No, that’s not completely true—I felt disgust as well.
The disgust stemmed from the fact that the person before me was a hypocrite. She spoke of faith and Godly provision, but in the back of her mind was doubt. And when the going got tough, that doubt became all too visible to those around her.
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, slowly exhaled and took another look. The same disgraced eyes still stared back. I threw one last dagger-filled glare at the mirror and then tore my eyes away from my reflection and took the couple steps to the bathtub.
I closed my eyes and put my head on my knees—as if this small gesture opened a door, the events of the last year came flooding over me.
I was encouraging a Sunday school class to get more involved in helping orphans. I was approached and offered $2,500 to go on a mission trip. I was searching for the right trip to no avail. I was applying for a passport. I was sitting in the car explaining to my dad I wanted to go to Thailand. Then, I was sitting alone in my room looking down at my journal. Paying careful attention to the fact that I only had half of what I needed.
I knew God had provided the first donation. He had provided it before I even had a passport or a trip. But now, that was all I had, literally. I had no savings, and I was behind on my bills.
Next, my mind took me to a phone call with my sister. She was asking how I was going to pay for everything, and I was calmly reassuring her God was going to provide it. He had already started providing for this trip; He wouldn’t just stop! My stomach churned at the thought that I was wrong. At the thought that God wasn’t going to send me on this trip after all. But no, there were too many things that showed me God was behind this. Too many things!
Then I was crying to my other sister. It was three weeks before I was supposed to leave, and the only change was that I had caught up on my car insurance. I was telling her how afraid I was that God wasn’t going to give me the money I needed.
A week later, I was depositing $2,300 into my bank account. Exactly what I needed to purchase my plane ticket. I had a wonderful visit with my parents and was happy to be returning home. I was praising God as I filled out the deposit slip. All I needed now was food and spending money, and I was certain God would provide that as well.
My mood almost immediately turned upside down for the next two days when all electronics turned against me, and my ability to go to Thailand was endangered. Banks, phones and websites would not work properly… and I could not purchase my plane ticket.
Grumbling, I readied to give God a piece of my mind. I was angry that He led me so close to a trip only to take it away. I was angry I would have to go tell everyone I was wrong—God wasn’t sending me on a mission trip. And I was angry that I was angry.
However, when I finally calmed down and confronted God with my concerns, the strangest thing happened. I still had that feeling in my heart that I would be going to Thailand.
God was just doing it His way, the way that showed without a doubt that it had happened through Him and nobody else.
I’d like to say that when all the holds were taken off my account, I bought my ticket with no problems, flew to Thailand, saw hundreds of people saved and was back in time for supper. However, that’s not the way it went down. God had something quite different and even more amazing planned.
When all the problems cleared, I was able to get a ticket and finally send in my visa application. In barely over a week, I would be on a plane out of Texas, through Qatar and into Bangkok on a trip God had been showing me for a year.
My visa arrived three days before my flight. And the rest of the money? God provided that as well. Two days after my plane ticket was resolved, one week before my flight, I walked into the church building. After church was a business meeting, and it just so happened I was one of the two topics of the meeting. The pastor’s motion was to give me the $1,000 I needed for food.
When the meeting finally started, the first thing the pastor did was pull me up in front of the church and announce my trip and the amount of money I needed, and then he asked if anyone would second his motion. Almost immediately, four people were fighting over being the one to second the motion. My jaw dropped like a sack of potatoes, and before I was able to remember how to close it, the people voted unanimously to give me the money I needed. I could have fainted right there, but I managed to get myself back to my pew, thankfully.
Before the meeting was over, I did a quick tally of how much God had provided. The answer was that he had given me over $5,800 for this trip alone, not counting the money to pay all my bills. AND all of this money had been given to me without me asking anyone but God. There was no way anyone could take credit for sending me on this trip. Not even me!
This whole event was a rollercoaster of emotions. Nothing was as it should have been, and even a week before my trip there were doubts that I wasn’t going. But these things showed me how faithful God is and prepared me for the lessons to be learned on the trip. When I came home, my views and heart had changed.
On this trip, God showed me very clearly that I need to use the voice I have and speak for those who can’t. So, I have a testimony to tell. But it isn’t about me, it isn’t about the many conversions, or what a blessing God gave ME. Although it was a great blessing, that isn’t where the story ends. It’s about THEM—the hurting, desperate people God introduced to me. And it is about HIM, our wonderful Lord, who picks the most unworthy and sends them to bear witness to His glory.
To read more of Lizzie’s testimony from her mission trip to Thailand, visit her blog.