Updated: Sep 6
My name is Sam and I work as a Civil Engineer in Dunedin. I love snowboarding, wakeboarding, surfing, and kiteboarding. I am married to Kate and we have a Springer Spaniel named Baxter. I also have a passion for mission work.
In November of 2019, I went on the Elim Mission trip to Nepal. Each morning on the trip we would have a devotion and prayer time, typically on the roof of the place we were staying overlooking the area.
'In the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.' - Song of Songs 2:14
One morning we had a devotion about responding to God’s calling. I felt challenged by this because I have always struggled to hear from God. I grew up in a Christian family and have always believed that God speaks to people -- I had just never heard it for myself. I told the team about the struggles I was having, and they offered to pray for me. I was half-expecting an almighty booming voice from God however, in reality, I felt no change.
Later that same day we were up at a mountain village church visiting with and praying for the locals. Our team leader Tony asked me, “Have you heard from God yet?” to which I responded, “No. I kind of just feel the same”.
Tony is a cheeky kind of guy and said to me, “We have to challenge God. Why don’t you pray for this lady”.
This frightened me as I didn’t know her, I didn’t know her situation and we didn’t even speak the same language!
But I did it anyway because what did I have to lose?
While praying for this lady I got a vision for her which felt strange because I didn’t know if it was my own thoughts or was it something from God. I told the vision to our translator who shared it with the lady, however, I was still doubtful as to whether it was really from God.
Later that week we visited another small community in the mountains. This community was oppressed in their faith by the non-Christian villagers where they were living. We split into 2 groups to maximize our time in the area visiting the locals. Grant and I went with one of the boys from the village, who could speak English and visited several houses. Each house we visited we prayed with the people living there.
At the first house, Grant said to me, “I’ll start praying and you see if God speaks to you.” Again I felt very nervous but trusted that if God wanted to say something He would. Again, I got a vision. I asked the translator to tell them what I had seen, but still I had doubts as to whether it was really from God -- except the same thing happened in this village at 5 other houses!
Near the end of the trip while in Kathmandu, we attended a church service. Blake and I went out to the Youth Ministry to see if we could help and see how they do it differently from us in NZ. They were having a graduation ceremony for the youths who were now old enough to join the adults in the church.
While we were sitting there I got a vision for one of the boys up the front. This one felt different from the others because we weren’t praying and nobody had asked me for it. So I said to Blake, “I think I have a vision for one of the guys up the front.” Blake told me I had to go and talk to him. After the service, I went to talk to the youth and I asked, “Do you speak English?” to which he replied, “Yes”.
I thought: "Bummer. I can’t back out now."
So, I told him, “I had a vision of you in a train station or airport. You had a bag and you were heading off on an adventure”. I could see that he was starting to tear up so I asked, “Does this mean something for you?”. He told me, “Well last night I was watching a movie about a guy who went traveling, so I prayed to God if he wants me to go traveling, I need to be told”.
It blew me away that God could speak through me in such a meaningful way.
I learned from this experience that God will speak to us, but we need to be willing to listen. Usually, when God speaks to us it won’t be in a big booming all-powerful voice, but the quiet voice that you don’t expect, like for the boy in Kathmandu. God wanted to use me to give him a message. For myself, God wanted to teach me a lesson in obedience and that he has given me special gifts and has a specific plan for my life.
For anyone who would like to hear from God I would recommend you pray and even have someone you trust to pray with you. Then challenge God and trust that He will come through. If you don’t take the risk you will never know.
Finally, listen for the quiet voice - God usually won’t always holler so you need to be listening.
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