I remember the day I was asked to be a speaker at the ICA Made Over Women’s Conference in Surabaya, Indonesia. I felt excited, honored, and privileged to have this great opportunity. I held my teaching responsibility in great regard with prayer and study for what God wanted to speak to the beautiful women of Surabaya. My focus was serving. My question: What do I have to give by Your grace Lord? I prayed for unfailing energy, health, love, and the ability to articulate an intelligent and meaningful sentence after flying across the world for 30 hours to reach my destination.
But all the time I was focused on asking God to help me serve the people of Surabaya, He was focused on what I could receive from them.
Pastor and author, Jonathan Martin writes:
“It turns out that knowing how loved we are by God makes all the difference in the kind of people we will become.”
The people of Surabaya showed me a love and acceptance that broke my heart wide open. It was the genuine, sacrificial, unfailing, accepting love of Jesus that reflected through them into my life. What I had to offer was minimal to what I gained.
Before my trip, I believed that being the giver of the love and acceptance of Jesus was the most powerful thing I could do for women and men I would serve in Surabaya, but in the end, the most powerful thing I could do on this trip was to learn to receive love.
Without the ability to receive love, we have no reservoirs of love from which to give love to others.
It is true, we are changed when we know how loved we are by God. I am thankful for all my new friends in Surabaya for being Jesus to me when my intention was to serve you. You are a gift from heaven and I have tucked away in my heart forever!