Tell Your Story
By Kate Berkey - August 2, 2018
Posted in Stories from NMC
For the past three years, you have entrusted me with some of the most precious things you’ve had to offer: your stories. You’ve entrusted me with your moments of glory, the moments of deep joy, the moments that led you to belly-deep laughter. You’ve entrusted me with your moments of suffering, the moments of wounds and scars and pain, the moments of tears. You have entrusted me with your everyday moments, the moments that almost slip past us, the moments that seem fully ordinary, average, mundane.
You’ve entrusted me with the moments that make up your stories.
It has been humbling. It has been honoring. It has been beautiful.
Every week for three years, I’ve been privileged to sit down with people from our Body. I’ve been privileged to hear their stories, their heart, and their passion. I’ve been privileged to talk with our partners and hear about what God is doing all over the world. I’ve been privileged to sit across from a father and son as they told me the story of how God redeemed a life marked by addiction. I’ve been privileged to sit across from a widower, listening to the ways his wife inspired him to love on the babies at the AGC Baby Centre. I’ve been privileged to sit with so many incredible followers of Jesus, and for that, I am grateful.
Some weeks, writing these stories has been difficult. I have tried to come up with clever words, phrases that will cause the reader to pause. Sometimes, I tried to force the writing, counting on my ideas to carry the story. Inevitably though, the Lord reminded me of one thing—these are not my stories. They are His, and they are yours.
They are stories of God on the move. They don’t need clever words. They are stories of transformation. They don’t need phrases that will cause the reader to pause. They are stories of the work of Jesus. They don’t need to be forced. And so I find myself praying, “Father, say what you want to say.”
My hope and prayer is that I have stepped out of the way and created space for the Spirit to speak, because I have merely been entrusted with His stories. I have been entrusted to tell them with love and grace, with honesty and authenticity. I’ve been entrusted to tell them for a season.
This week marks my final days on staff at Nappanee Missionary Church. The Father has opened up a door for me to take this love of storytelling across the ocean. He’s asked me to tell His stories among a group of refugees and other oppressed people groups who are seeking to find life and wholeness and grace after suffering great injustices. So I am packing up my life and moving to Mae Sot, Thailand, to work with Outpour Movement as we seek to share the love and life of Jesus with people on the Thailand/Burma border.
As I have wrapped up my time here in Nappanee, I can’t help but think of names. I can’t help but see faces. I hear the voices of Rod and Angie Tackett. I see the Transformation Ministry Center in South Bend. I remember the names of the missionaries with our Greater Middle East Initiative. I see the stories God has allowed me to be a part of right here, and I am reminded that I am not the only one who carries these stories.
Just as I was entrusted with your stories, the stories of the ways God was moving and working and loving and bringing all things and all people to Himself, you too have been entrusted with these same stories. You’ve been entrusted with your own story.
Tell your story. Tell His story. Tell the story of the ways God has moved. Tell the story of the mountain that moved. Tell the story of the hope you had even when the darkness engulfed you. Tell the story of addiction, sin, brokenness, pain, long nights and even longer days. And remind people of hope. Tell people of the redemption you found in Jesus. Tell people of the steps God has led you on as you have walked with Him.
You are entrusted with something so precious: your story.