Testimonies are significant in missions
Megan Fate Marshman explores John 4 and explains the importance of individuals’ stories. | Amanda Sakowski/THE CHIMES
“Everything that happens to you is never meant to end with you,” Megan Fate Marshman said when she opened session four of Missions Conference 2016.
Marshman explored the story of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 and invited students to pray with her before she delved into the story.
‘When I say pray with me, I mean pray with me — not listen to me pray, “ Marshman said.
Marshman emphasized the importance of every individual’s life to God no matter how insignificant they may feel. She also urged students not to wait for a specific job opportunity or other occasion before they begin to proclaim the Gospel to others and live out the unique purpose God gave them.
“Don’t wait for a job opportunity to start living your purpose — today matters,” Marshman said
She explained how Jesus had to go through Samaria in order for a divine encounter with this woman to occur and explained how God similarly uses divine encounters in our lives as opportunities to minister to others. Marshman said these conversations often begin with simple questions, such as when the Samaritan woman asked Jesus why he would talk to a Samaritan like her, even though he was a Jew.
Marshman shared her own stories of divine encounters she had with a man on a plane and a student at a coffee shop and illustrated how God uses divine encounters to further his purpose.
She also explained how Jesus simply listened to the woman and stressed the importance of listening to others during these times. In addition, she encouraged students to listen to anything God might say to them during those moments.
“We must listen to what Jesus proclaims to us before we proclaim it to others,” Marshman said.
Marshman said many students like the woman may be thirsty for acceptance and often wonder why certain things happen in their life. She stressed the importance of seeing past this insignificance and becoming who we truly are in Christ.
“Worry about becoming what’s true of you,” Marshman said.
She ended with a story of a girl who was hit by a boy on a playground and did not understand why, yet her father held her in her arms and simply loved her. In addition, her dad rode the slide with her over and over until she conquered her fear.
Marshman described how, like the girl, we often wonder why certain opportunities do not work out in our lives or why certain things happen. However, God often uses these circumstances in our lives to help us truly minister to others in our mission fields and is always there beside us.
Marshman returned to the story of the Samaritan woman and showed how Jesus significantly impacted the woman through his divine encounter with her. She then explained how this woman became one of the first missionaries as she proclaimed Jesus’ name the others and the ways he impacted her life.
“She begins her testimony with the very thing she was running from before,” Marshman said.
Marshman closed the session by encouraging students to realize they can significantly impact the world with their testimonies.