In our recent mission trip to the Philippines, everyone on the team is rostered to preach. My turn came on the fifth day, where I would teach the teachers in the campus ministry. Up to that point, I had very severe stage fright. My mind would just blank out completely when I had to speak to a crowd. I could not think of anything when I realise that there are so many people looking at me and listening to me. Therefore, whenever I had to speak publicly, I would prepare a full script beforehand, word by word. And I would follow it strictly on the day because if I changed my wording even a bit, I would not know how to continue. So on the fourth day when I was rostered to share my testimony to a group of prisoners, I read out the full script I had prepared. And I planned to do the same when I was to preach the next day. Yet my teammate encouraged me not to look at the script constantly, but to interact with the audience more and make them feel more engaged. I said okay but struggled so much in my heart, because I cannot imagine how I could do this.

The next day, before I was to preach to the teachers, I prayed to God for help. I was reminded of one of the revelations He gave me before: to forget about myself and focus on Him. When I tried to shift all my attention to Him, I felt a relief of burden: I felt truly happy that I am so useless in so many ways, I felt truly happy that I was such a nervous and timid girl in the world’s eyes who cannot even speak before a crowd, because God can use such a useless person such as me to teach people that the things of this world is nothing and that it is Him who made all the difference. God often uses the weak to shame the strong, to remind the world that HE IS GOD. Even if (and especially if) I am the least and weakest, God can do amazing things through me to glorify Him. When I thought about this, His peace entered my heart. As I preached, I felt His presence so strongly that I was naturally able to put everything behind. I gradually forgot about myself and let Him speak through me. The result was so good, and I could see some of the teachers really touched. Although it was a very long and tiring day, I was so refreshed and filled with joy because I knew He was with me that night.

1 Corinthians 1: 27-31, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Amelia Mao
Bachelor of Arts
Uni-Generation UQ5, Hope Church St Lucia