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This Thursday I'd like to give thanks for testimonies. Since last Wednesday, I have been blessed to hear four testimonies of God's work.

On Wednesday last week a lady who had taken Bibles to China came to the school where I work to share her experiences with the primary aged children. Her enthusiasm for the people of China and her passionate expression of her experiences held their attention for nearly an hour and a half! On that day I was struggling with worry about the outcome of my compensation case (the outcome ended up being another cause for thanks). It was a blessing to be re-focused on God and upon those in more difficult circumstances than myself, and it helped me to realise anew how much I have been given. I especially enjoyed her account of her visit to a Chinese woman who lived in poor conditions with a dirt floor. This woman welcomed her with great joy and affection, attempting to communicate although she did not know english. She shared her few possessions with her, including three apples from her winter store. Such examples of generosity are always an inspiration!

A few days later I heard the testimonies of two Chinese women at a World Prayer Night. It was good to hear first hand from those who have experienced Chinese rule. One woman shared how her parents and other close relatives were ardent communists. She also shared about devoted Christian women in Malaysia helped her to come to know Christ. This was an inspiration to love people in a self sacrificing way. Both woman shared struggles in their Christian lives which were a reminder that we can all face similar struggles no matter which country we come from!

At church on Sunday a woman was baptised. She shared her life experiences, which included many traumatic events such as rape, divorce, prostitution and having to place her children in foster care. She had even conceived as a result of rape and given the child up for adoption. It was a blessing that she was willing to be so open about her life. It is good for Christians to be reminded of what we are saved from through God's grace, and that God's kingdom is open to all who repent and believe. It was a reminder of God's power to save.

I appreciate it that God moved these women's hearts to share about his work in their lives. Their testimonies were a challenge to me to be more open about what God has done in my life, so that others can be encouraged. I don't like to go around talking to much about past events, or to give unnecessary details, yet I also need to be open to God leading me to share. We all need to be willing to share the power of God in our lives, both in conversion and afterwards, so that others can give thanks with us.

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