I had always wanted to be a nurse. To use my skills and passion to take the gospel to areas that needed physical and more importantly spiritual healing. I didn't know what that would look like but I knew that I had to trust God and open my hands to His plan. I began working in the Emergency Department at a local hospital and three years later knew it was time to follow God further into the unknown. I quit my job, said goodbye to my family and now fiancé, and headed to the Middle East alongside two other women.
The six months spent working with refugees were some of the most heavy but rewarding times of my life. To see how God had been preparing me in the ER in Birmingham to walk alongside suffering and sickness, and to not shy away from the burdens of those hurting. God had been strengthening my heart to hold the hand of a mother who had lost a child in the war, to steady my hands as I performed CPR on a dying man, and to provide words of healing to families who had suffered more than most know in a lifetime.
When we would go on medical visits people would look at us and ask why would we ever leave America to come here. This was my favorite question, because I could then look them in the eye and tell them that we came because Jesus told us to, that Jesus wanted us to come and share with them how he loves them and gave his life for them.
There were times when fear struck in deep, when the Enemy wanted to cripple us to stop sharing about Jesus. One night we were getting ready for bed and we heard bombs dropping across the border. We felt the shake of the explosions and the heaviness of lives being taken without knowing the true Savior. So we did the only thing we knew, we huddled in a corner and prayed. There were mornings when I didn't want to get out of bed, not knowing if we could be taken hostage that day, not being able to go outside alone or at night, but this forced us to rely on God in a way we never had before. To rely on Him to give me courage to walk outside. To dig down deep within and ask ourselves, is this worth it? Do I really believe this enough to die? Yes. And when you reach that place, the place where you would sacrifice your life to share who Jesus is, that is true freedom. To know that they can kill my body but not my soul, that I am ambassador for my King and will walk on in truth because the captives need to be set free and Jesus' love is our battle cry. And when the days were long and our hearts were weary and we felt like we had nothing more to offer, God would provide. Water, food, shelter, laughter, fellowship. When we felt we had nothing to give to people, he provided words of healing and love through Bible stories. And when the suffering seemed too deep, he always provided hope through Jesus. Through all of this loss and sorrow, and war, God is using it to break down barriers in the Middle East, to cause people to look deeply to see if what they believe is true. He is harvesting the soil for the seeds to take root. And God didn't need us, but he allowed us to be a part of His story, to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the suffering, and to bring hope to the lost.
Michelle spent six months as a Mid-termer with The Church at Brook Hills. She is currently serving at a local hospital and preparing for her wedding this winter.
The Global Offering supports sending members from The Church at Brook Hills all around the world. If you are interested in serving Mid-Term (2 months – 2 years) like Michele, or would like to participate in relief work among refugees please contact us.