Over the past year, I’ve been a student in the Antioch Discipleship School. To wrap up our year we took a two-week mission trip. When we were told we were going to work with refugees, I imagined lifting people from boats. “Perhaps not”, I thought quickly, when the leaders explained that we would be helping the refugee population in Belgium and northern France.
It was amazing to have the opportunity to go to Calais to spend a day at the refugee camp there. People there were living in tents, hoping to somehow get access to the stability of more prosperous countries. Some of these people had been so beaten and battered it was painful to even look at them. It was such a privilege to pray with some of these people and help them in any way I could.
In Brussels, the refugees tended to have more permanent accommodation, often in church-run accommodation blocks. Our team sought to build a sense of community by playing sports and games with the children for example. It was amazing to see the joy this brought with just a simple act.
Our team was also involved in street drama and prayer outreach. One day, we went to a shopping centre. I sensed God leading me to sit next to a lady who I soon discovered was in the midst of chemotherapy for breast cancer, exhausted from this and saddened by her hair loss. She told me that no one knew her pain, no one could experience her pain with her or could take her pain from her. At the risk of offending by correcting her on all three points, I explained that how Jesus identified with her suffering and how he died in order to heal us spiritually as well as physically. We prayed for healing, at first, she didn’t feel anything. So we prayed again. And again. Finally, she felt the presence of God as a burning sensation in her chest and head and weirdly she developed an insatiable itch on her scalp — I felt this indicated her hair beginning to re-grow. She also felt an inexplicable peace and joy. We hugged and danced together in the shopping centre as we both knew God had just healed her. She left to tell her family just that!
These are just a few incredible moments from this trip. While God didn’t complete the “to do” list I set Him, I realised he had a much bigger agenda. He showed me the importance of not praying for outcomes but loving people as He does, following His leading and having faith that He has got the rest covered.