Krista Baer shared an account of her mission travels with the Coffee, Chat, and Connect Sunday School class this morning. Almost 50 people attended her informative and inspirational presentation. A detailed account of her travels is available on her blog:
In Church, Krista gave this uplifting and inspiring talk … a story of how great God is that he can work through our doubts and skepticism
Krista’s Talk (MP3 format): Click and Listen Here
The text of her talk follows:
Hello members of APC!
My name is Krista, as Pastor Bill mentioned, and it’s really such a pleasure and honor for me to be here with you, this body of believers, today. I grew up going to this church, and I’m very grateful for the people of this church in how much support, interest and love you’ve shown me over my 24 years. Thank you so much.
There’s a story I want to tell you all. In 2016 I went on an 11-month mission trip through Southeast and Central Asia, Greece then ending in Morocco. As you can imagine, it was quite an experience and I did learn so much and God gave me many incredible memories and tales to bring back to the US – and to you guys. And the story I want to tell you, which is about belief and having faith, actually starts off with me as a skeptic.
One hot day, in Kolkata India, my team and I decided to go get lunch. After getting lunch, we split off, us girls going back to the guesthouse and the guys going out and about in the city. A couple hours later, the guys returned. And they had a story…and a fire in their eyes.
“I saw a man begging on the ground”, said our leader, “so I stopped to pray for him. Then another guy saw me praying and approached me when I was done, saying ‘Please come with me, I want you to meet someone.’” They all walked and walked and came to a laundromat in the middle of a skinny, unpaved alleyway. The laundromat owner and the man who brought them there talked for a little in Hindi before the owner turned to our leader and began pointing at his foot. The man who brought them there, told them he had been having foot problems for 7 years and now he wanted them to pray for his foot. So they prayed for his foot. And slowly, the pain went away. The owner looked at them shocked and asked them who they were and what they prayed and all these questions. My friends told him about Jesus, who we believe him to be and pretty soon there was a crowd of people around them, listening to their discussion. Other people began asking for prayer. And Jesus healed them. “Jesus must have healed 20 people today!” my leader exclaimed excitedly.
We were all celebratory and giving thanks to God. But man, did I have questions: why did Jesus chose to heal them? Did my friends tell them the Gospel? Isn’t salvation more important than healing? What kind of prayers were they praying? Did my friends feel anything abnormal as they were praying?
A piece of me was intrigued and curious and wanting to be a part of it, but the majority of me was cautious, wary and wanting to be left out of it. I felt conflicted and so I did keep out of it. I did believe God still performs miracles, right?
A couple days went by, most of my friends then having gone back to the same alleyway at least twice, coming back to our guesthouse with story after story of people who claimed to have been healed of neck, back, knee, ankle, eye, chest, stomach, throat, hearing problems which some said they had been dealing with for DECADES. Decades of pain gone after 20 seconds of prayer. It was a healing epidemic. And all the while I fretted and sat back and listened from a distance.
But I was becoming curious. My mind didn’t understand but parts of it were starting to feel hungry to be a part of it regardless. My faith was wanting to be tested, to be stretched.
So on our last day in Kolkata, I decided to go with my team to the alleyway. Friends, we prayed for people for 4 hours nonstop. And person after person after person would, when I was done praying move the part of their body that hurt 20 seconds before and would slowly….look up at me….eyes wide….almost as if they were saying “how…..?” Some people asked me what I said or who I prayed to. I got to tell them that I prayed to Jesus, that Jesus was the one doing all of the work, that I was just being a vessel for him to use in that moment.
I got to pray for so many necks, knees and backs that I lost count. My voice and feet were all but dead by the end, but my heart and spirit were so so alive and free. Looking back, I really had no idea what I was doing, other than exercising my faith. There was nothing special in my prayers. I still don’t have all of the explanations, all of the answers to why God healed over 600 people in the days we were in Kolkata. It’s something I still want to ask him someday.
But here’s what I want to leave you all with. I learned a powerful lesson that day about belief: God really can move mountains with faith, with belief and trust, that is as small as a mustard seed. The only thing I did that day was have the smallest amount of faith, and God moved mountains in so many people’s lives. Much like the woman with the bleeding problem who touched Jesus’ robe, I just believed a little and God healed.
If you’re like me and are quicker to ask questions and let others take the first risky, faith-testing step before you do, maybe this might be a good time to stop and reflect. Examine your life. Are you missing out on something miraculous God might have wanted you to be a part of from the beginning? Are you forgetting to walk by faith and not by sight? That’s what happened to me. I wonder how many other people would have been healed if I would have volunteered to go to the alleyway sooner? I’m not sure if that’s a legitimate question or not, but nevertheless it makes me wonder. I don’t want to miss out on living an abundant, faith-filled life with God because of my unbelief, and I pray that none of you miss out either.