It was the summer of 1990 and I was 13 years old. And I will always remember it as the year of beginnings for me.
The previous year my best friend Usarian Skiff had gone with a group called TWO (Teen World Outreach) for several weeks in the summer to Australia. He came back excited and changed. I wanted that for myself!
So in the summer of 1990 I too went on a trip – but to Scotland! Why Scotland? Because of a sign? Because someone told me to? Because I heard God’s voice? Nope. I just thought it would be really cool to go live in a castle in Scotland. And so I did. 🙂
We did alot of mime street performances followed by altar calls. I even remember leading two people in a sinners prayer that summer! Looking back now, 23 years later, I’m not sure how effective of beneficial that ‘hit-and-run’ style evangelism was – I can only trust that God used our sincere efforts to glorify Him and made up for our many weaknesses. And isn’t that what He continues to do today?
Two major things happened during this trip which is why I will always remember it as The Beginning.
First was that I got hooked for missions. After that trip normal life would never be as satisfying anymore.
And second was that I was prayed for and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In hindsight I strongly disagree with how it happened though! The person in charge of the meaning put heavy pressure on us, all young teenagers, to receive the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues. In fact the message I heard was that if you don’t speak in tongues then you don’t have God’s Holy Spirit living inside of you. That’s bad theology.
However just as God has repeatedly used me despite my shortcomings He also used that person and event for my baptism in the Spirit. Thank God for that!!
Looking at this last photo I can hardly believe how young and shy I once was, haha. 🙂