by Hannah Gray,
2017-2018 SALT participant, Phu Tho, Vietnam
Participating in MCC’s Serving And Learning Together (SALT) program is an act of faith. Anyone who has been overseas with SALT can attest to this. And yet, while taking that first step of faith is critical, what strikes me most when I reflect on my SALT term in Việt Nam is remembering how faithful God was to me.
When reflecting on God’s faithfulness during SALT, my mind immediately goes to the story of Peter walking on water with Jesus in Matthew 14:29-31.
“Come” He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
I can’t help but acknowledge how I am like Peter in this story. Jesus says to Peter to “come,” as he asked me to come to Việt Nam with SALT, to get down out of my boat in faith and join him upon the water. It was a unique experience that moulded, broke and changed me. And like Peter, who “saw the wind, and was afraid,” I saw the wind too, and was often very afraid. And yet just as Peter begins to sink he cries out, “Lord, save me!” and “immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.” This story gives me so much hope: it is powerful to know that Jesus was immediately there to grab Peter's hand, that he stood ready to catch him despite his doubt.
Peter's story is like my own, in that, though SALT was an act of faith on my part, it was God’s continual faithfulness every month, every day, and every moment that kept me from sinking and sustained me to the end of my term and still sustains me today. When the winds came and the doubt crept in and my faith felt suffocated by fear I never once sank because God was always with me holding my hand. I have learned that, although I continue to have days where I doubt and I can hear the wind howling, I have no reason to doubt because He is faithful.
My SALT year in Việt Nam has become my personal testament to God’s faithfulness in my own life. I can never question whether God walks with me or cares for me. I need only to reflect on this experience and I know for a fact that He does.
MCC’s 65 years working in Việt Nam are also a testament to God’s faithfulness. MCC’s ministry in Việt Nam was started in faith, and since then it has seen its fair share of wind and fear. Through it all God has been steadfast in His faithfulness to MCC, and I pray He will continue to allow MCC to participate in the lives of the Vietnamese people for many more years to come. These stories of acts of faith that evolve into evidence of God’s faithfulness are ample evidence that we are more than secure to stand on him for our lives and to release to him our futures.
I will remember; You have always been faithful to me.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10