My name is Grace Kwack and I will be sharing my testimony with you today. Before I begin, I’d like to say a very big thank you to Pastor Caleb and Jennifer. Throughout the four years of being in Lampang house church, I have received so many blessing from them. It was so nice being welcomed every week with a smile and so much warmth. They have provided me and other house church members with so much love and created a safe space for us to share about our lives and be vulnerable. I am very grateful for Jennifer’s home cooked meals and Caleb’s visits to our universities during exam time. The greatest thing I am thankful for is the way they showed me what it means to have a servant heart. I hope that I can become a shepherd like them who carries a servant heart everywhere I go.
Last September, I had an amazing opportunity to go to Hawaii to attend a Discipleship Training School for six months. I spent three months in Hawaii learning more about the bible and the nature of God. It was a period for me to expand my knowledge about God’s word and have a better understanding of His heart for me. After the three months lecture phase, I went on a mission trip for another three months to a small country in Europe, called Kosovo, and also to an island in Greece to serve in the refugee camps. Being in those countries I was able to experience so much of God’s grace and his love for the nations. The six months that I spent away from home were very memorable and my life was transformed by the truth of God’s love. I truly believe that those six months were one of the most precious times of my life.
I returned home earlier this year in March and my transition period was more difficult than I had expected. When I came home, I didn’t have a job and I wasn’t in school, so I spent most of my time at home for the first two months. I think I was afraid of losing the intimate relationship that I had built with God during my time away from home. For that reason, I spent a lot of time reading the bible and reflecting on my relationship with Him. The thoughts of being a shepherd had crossed my mind for a couple years but I ignored those thoughts because of my endless excuses. My main excuse came from the fact that I am a university student who lives away from home. I didn’t believe that it would be possible for me to serve as a shepherd. However, during the two months of being home and seeking God, the thoughts of becoming a shepherd returned. My time spent in Hawaii, Kosovo, and Greece was absolutely incredible that I actually had my own plans to return to Hawaii to serve as a staff member with YWAM. I planned to graduate university as soon as possible so that I could return to Hawaii and I also wanted to go to South Africa to attend a bible school. Eventually, these plans became another excuse for me to not become a shepherd. Considering taking on the role of a shepherd and wanting to leave home brought tension to my heart and I began to feel uncomfortable.
One day, I was doing QT and came across Ecclesiastes chapter three. This scripture talked about how there is “a time for everything” in our lives. It emphasized how God brings us into different seasons in our life according to His plans. This made me reflect and realize how much I was trying to control my own life. I was planning for my future based on my own selfish desires. That’s when I decided to ask God, “What season am I in? What time is it in my life?” After seeking for God’s answer, I came to understand that the six months I spent in Hawaii, Kosovo, and Greece was a season for me to grow, learn, and be born again. The two months I spent at home was a season for me to rest in God’s presence and embrace His blessings.
For the next couple weeks, the thoughts of becoming a shepherd kept returning to me. However, instead of discomfort I felt a lot of peace and excitement about serving. I felt that God was placing this in my heart and came to the conclusion that now was a season for me to obey the Lord by serving as a shepherd without resisting His plans for me. After this, I asked God to provide me with confirmation so that I’d know that this thought wasn’t coming from my own impulsive feelings.
I am so thankful because God provided me with three confirmations. The first was through my mom. After deciding I wanted to serve as a shepherd, I had shared this with my mom and the very first thing she said to me was, “Wow grace, my prayer request has been answered!” Hearing this, I felt so much comfort because I understood that God was not only placing this in my heart but also answering my mom’s prayer request. After this, I spent a couple weeks praying more before sharing with Pastor Caleb and Jennifer. What they told me was that during the time of Daniel fast earlier this year, one of their main prayer requests was for our Lampang house church to multiply. Hearing that their prayer request had been answered too, I felt more peace in my heart. However after speaking with Pastor Caleb and Jennifer, I began to feel anxious, worried, and doubtful about becoming a shepherd. Things began to feel more official and I started to question whether I could be a good shepherd and whether I had what it takes to be one. But right at that moment, when I felt so much distress, God provided me with His last confirmation. He spoke to me directly through His written words. As I was doing QT, I came across Proverbs 23:26 which read, “My child, give me your heart and let your eyes observe my ways.” When I read this, I felt that God was saying to me “Grace, don’t be afraid, just give me your heart of wanting to serve and watch what I can do with it.” That was when I decided to give my heart of wanting to serve completely to God.
I believe that God has called me to be a shepherd in this season of my life. Although being a shepherd will not always be easy and may bring difficult times, I trust that the Lord will provide me with wisdom and guidance. Please pray that I may become the shepherd that God wants me to be. Thank you.