One Sunday morning in May of last year, Hannah Diamond stood in the aisles with other Mid-Termers at The Church at Brook Hills surrounded by friends, family, and the church. They prayed for God to bring people into her path who needed the gospel and for God to use her to make Christ known while she served overseas that summer.
Shortly after that prayer, Hannah walked off an airplane into the hot sun of Brisbane, Australia where she would live and work for the next five weeks of her life.
A Journalism student at Samford University, Hannah joined a team of college students at the University of Queensland. Queensland is home to 50,000+ students, many of whom are from other countries throughout Asia. Hannah’s job for five weeks was to engage the students studying there with the gospel.
“The day I met Rae, she was sitting at a lunch table in the cafeteria. We started a conversation and immediately became friends,” says Hannah.
Rae was from a small village in China. She had come to Australia to study, but was still adjusting to Australian culture and making friends had been a challenge. Hannah and her friends quickly brought Rae under their wings and began spending time together.
“Rae loves to hike and hang out, so that’s what we did,” Hannah says. “We just kept inviting her to things, and she kept saying, ‘yes.’ We really enjoyed each other’s company.”
Each time they hung out, Hannah used the opportunity to share the gospel. And while Rae didn’t completely reject it, her posture was always a that’s-good-for-you-but-not-for-me type of sentiment. Hannah and her friends pressed forward, as they knew that God had given them this friendship. They trusted He was doing things in Rae’s heart that would cause her curiosity about these truths to grow.
Hannah gave Rae “The Jesus Storybook Bible” one day and read her a few chapters. Rae didn’t seem too interested in it, but Hannah gave it to her anyway.
To Hannah’s surprise, Rae came back a week later and said she had gone home and read the entire book by herself. They were able to discuss the stories, and as the days went on, Rae became more curious about Christ and the things she had read in the book.
“Every single one of the first 20 days of my time in Australia, I heard prayers, talks, and sermons on Genesis 12:1-3 – this truth of how the nations will be blessed through those who have been blessed,” Hannah shares. “It was incredible to be in a place where, literally, the nations had congregated. And to be in a city where the gospel exists and they can have access to Christ.”
This encouragement from the Word urged Hannah on, as she knew that friends like Rae could hear the story of Jesus and take it home to share with people who otherwise would not have access to it.
Rae has not yet believed. But when Hannah returned to Birmingham, Rae’s interest in Christ was continuing to grow, and she had become rooted in a group of believers who took on the task of continuing to faithfully pursue Rae with the gospel.
Hannah reflects on her time overseas:
“I don’t know the eternal impact I had or that my team had during my five weeks there in Australia. I will probably never know. But I do know that there is joy in intentionally spending time with others who have never heard the gospel and in being obedient to share it.”
Without the Global Offering, Hannah would not have been able to meet Rae and share with her.
“I want Brook Hills to know that what they gave to the Global Offering is going toward real missions,” she says. “I am so grateful for the sacrificial giving, otherwise I would not have been able to go.”
Hannah continues to pray for Rae, specifically for her to remain curious and for God to continue chipping away at her heart so that she will see her need for Christ.
We want to join her in that prayer. We also pray for God to continue using our faith family to send more from our home base to strategic areas of the world where the story of the gospel may be shared – and we would be faithful to boldly proclaim it.
Hannah Diamond is a senior at Samford University and has been a member at Brook Hills for two years. Part of the Global Offering was used to support Hannah personally this past summer as she served as a Mid-Termer in Australia.