A featured story from Engage DTS 2015 student, Aria from USA, who recently was on an outreach to Nepal and India.
We hear this word all of the time, but what does it really mean? The dictionary defines it as “who or what something/someone is.” I think that it is more than that.
As followers of Jesus, our identity comes from whose we are and not just who we are. As followers of Jesus, our duty is to tell others whose they are as well. God gave us many opportunities to do that. We got to the lepers, widows, and beggars who they were and whose they were.
Over lecture phase most of our team got new revelations of who they were and most importantly whose they were.
This enabled us to go to the orphans, widows, and lepers and pour identity over them.
GOD LET US ENCOUNTER THE PEOPLE THAT NO ONE ELSE WANTS TO SEE.
GOD LET US ENCOUNTER THE BEGGARS WHO HAVE BEEN PUSHED TO THE SIDE.
One day a woman with leprosy was getting her wounds cleaned which is a painful process for some. She was lying face down on the table as the wounds on her backside were being cleaned and scraped. Our leader leaned down and told her she was beautiful. She refused to believe as we continued to tell her she was worthy and beautiful. She didn’t want to believe to a point of tears.
THE ATMOSPHERE WAS SHIFTING FROM REJECTION TO DAUGHTERSHIP.
AS SHE WAS AT HER WORST AND MOST VULNERABLE SPOT, GOD THE FATHER CAME IN AND USED US TO TELL HER HOW MUCH HE LOVED HER.
Another testimony was when we brought 7 beggar children into McDonalds. This may not seem like a big deal but if you know anything about India you will understand how amazing this is. The security guards told us they were not allowed in the mall, but we told them that they were with us. We walked through the doors of McDonalds with 7 dirty little children behind us.
ONE LITTLE BOY DIDN’T EVEN HAVE PANTS ON.
We sat them down at a table and bought them fries and ice cream cones. I will never forget the smiles on their faces. For only about $5, we let these kids know that they are deeply and dearly loved sons and daughters. They are worthy enough to eat at McDonalds. Their identity doesn’t come from the opinions of security guards, but from their heavenly Father.
During our stay in India we learned a lot about identity. We learned to give up our comforts for the lost and the broken. We played with beggars, we cleansed lepers’ wounds, we taught in prisons and painted orphans’ nails, and we even worshipped Jesus on a boat in the Ganges River.
We used what God taught us about ourselves to show others who and whose they are. God used our team to bring love and identity to those who are cast out of society.
NOTE from us: One of the key values in Engage DTS is that people need to know whose they are who they are BEFORE they can fully love other people. If we try to love others in our human strength we will fail, the love will run out, it will be too hard. But if we love as a response to the love God has shown us and from the overflow of how we are loved, then we can go anywhere and love anyone.
Engage is about engaging with who God is, who I am to him, engaging with community and God's heart for the nations ... we are called to reach out to the nations, but it MUST come from us know God and who we are to him first. Do you know who God sees you as? What you are created for? ASK HIM!