40 Days Testimony: Brianna
When I left for 40 Days, I was a little bit afraid. I trusted that God had a plan for me, but to travel to a completely foreign country, alone, without knowing anyone who I would be meeting on the other side was frightening. I knew that this would be a time that God would use to grow me, and maybe to reveal the calling he has for my life. I knew that God could use me in this time to be a part of changing hearts and changing the world. I did not know, however, that God would use this time to transform my own heart. In the time that we have spent here already, our group of 12 has toured all over the city of Quito, attended three prayer services at 5 am, fasted for 40 hours, finished two books, organized an evangelism event in the park in downtown Quito, rode on 10 different zip lines, spent countless hours together, and have grown into a family. We have only been a team for 16 days, just over two weeks, but it feels like we have known each other for ages.
The amount of growth we have experienced in this short amount of time is amazing. We have grown in our spiritual lives through the practice of disciplines – prayer, study, and exercise – every day. We have been able to witness the ways that God is working in the 40/40s that will be heading to Manta this week, and we have been inspired by the passion and love for Christ that they exude. We have spent hours in classes discussing and growing in our knowledge of what it means to be a follower of Christ and to pursue God. We have grown by spending time in prayer and worship, collectively and as individuals.
For me personally, I have felt God growing me in prayer. During the prayer and worship services that we have been able to be a part of, the presence of God was tangible in the room with us. When I opened my mouth to pray, I felt words flow out of me in a way that I had never experienced before. I felt the boldness that comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit. I am finding that as I spend more time with God in prayer, I am comforted by his presence. If I go without spending this time with God each day, I feel the absence of it in the other areas of my life. I am realizing now more than ever how important prayer is in the life of a follower of Christ, and how I have been lacking in my communication with God up until this point. But thankfully, God is transforming my will and my desire to be more like his the more I spend time with him.
I expected that during these 40 days God would reveal some sort of grand calling to me. So far, this hasn’t happened. But God has revealed other things to me. As we have been learning about the call to make disciples, God has stirred the passion inside of me to take the things I have learned here with Extreme back with me. I want to share the love that I have felt with those who don’t know it, whether that is here in Quito, or in my hometown in California, or in Oregon while I am in college.
God is speaking and moving in miraculous ways here. The thought that we have 24 days left together both saddens me and excites me; I am sad that that is all the time I have left with these wonderful people, but I am so excited to see how God will continue working in my life and transforming from me from the inside out as I continue to pursue him in my time here, and when I return home after this 40 Day Experience. Brianna is one of the participants in this years the 40 Days Experience. 40 Days is literally a 40 day long mission trip that takes the participant onto the mission field to learn about spiritual disciplines and discipleship while having the opportunity to work directly with the 40/40 Church Plant Missionaries their same age. Read more about the 40 Days Experience by clicking here if you'd like to learn more.