Angie's South Florida Testimony

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Angie Chacko is a 21-Year-old who has been attending Remnant for 3 years. In May, Angie attended the South Florida Mission trip with a group of students in Remnant.

 

“It was my first mission trip to go on ever, and I was really excited about it because it’s evangelism. It was amazing to have a whole week to share the gospel and that was all you did! It was interesting seeing the distinctly diverse types of areas and people that lived within South Florida. We went to areas that were affluent and areas that were more impoverished, but we shared the gospel none the less.

“It was very interesting to see the different fronts people had. When we went into the more well-off areas, there were less willing to hear. But when we went to more of the lower-class areas people were more open to hear from us. Even if they weren’t necessarily listening to the gospel they were open to talking about it.

“When we went there, most of the people we encountered alleged to be believers already, but one person we encountered accepted Christ right away! This trip focused a lot on follow ups with people who accepted Christ from the first trip to South Florida. It was great meeting up with all of them and being able to connect with them deeper and teach them more about Jesus. If they are willing to meet with you again, that shows they truly are interested in being a follower of Christ.

“It was also amazing because we really got to see the power of God move, not only within the community but also within our team. Just in the way we really could connect with each other and encourage each other, and encourage each other. We had to do that to be a team, and a good team! It was cool to see how God made that happen in such a short period of time. It also tested our heart because one thing that we needed to do was, we had to always be in the word. I remember the feeling within me when we were on our way to Florida and arriving at the hotel, my roommate Solange and I both felt the need to have quiet time and read the word because we already felt kind of drained and it was weird. We both felt God was preparing us for the week ahead and saying, “You need me”. God pointed me to the end of Acts and a verse in 2 Timothy, and both passages correlated with how we must have this reliability on God. He reminded me that He planned this trip out from the beginning and there is no way I could do this without Him.

“This being my first mission trip, I was fighting worry and we all were fighting the desire to do everything perfect. It was easy to get discouraged on the trip, because there were so many people who would just flat out say “Nope” and close the door. In fact, there was one session where all the doors we went to would just be one no after another. It was very easy to fall into the trap of discouragement because you would spend hours in the sun going door to door and we just had to keep praying, “God please let this be your will”. But it was awesome, because later that day God showered blessings by providing for all our needs.

“We were able to come to houses of peace, which was amazing because we were able to see how God paved the way for us before we even went there. The entire day God provided for us. He provided us with opportunities. He’s the one speaking through us, we don’t have to worry about what words to use. But it was cool because it was hot outside and all our waters were drained when we were going through one of the lower-middle class areas.

“And while we were there we were having a large amount of gospel conversations and follow-ups, but we were running extremely low on water, we needed a bathroom but we had nowhere to go, we were hungry, and our whole team was split up in groups of three hitting different streets in the neighborhood. And with almost all the teams, we would knock on doors, share the gospel, and then the homeowner would offer us a drink of water, or someone would offer a popsicle, or someone would offer a protein bar. Someone even invited us into their house to cool off and use the bathroom there, which happened to be a house of peace.

“It was Sly, Izzi, and I who were on that team at that time. We were just wrapping up and heading back to the main street because the day was ending, when we saw this guy sitting on a front porch. So, I went up and asked for prayer. This man happened to have special needs and said, “I don’t know, let me ask my dad.” So, he walked to bring his dad outside. When his dad was on the porch, he asked them if they needed prayer and his father almost immediately started to cry. The father said, “I have no idea how this happened, but I needed this right now”. Apparently, his granddaughter had gotten hit by a car almost a month prior, she had just gotten out of the hospital, and was now starting to learn how to walk again.

“We were able to pray for him and he really opened his heart up to us. He was sharing all kinds of testimonies of how God was working in his life recently. We were even able to meet his granddaughter. He gave us water, a hat, and invited us to his house again. In fact, our entire team was able to go back to his house and were able to talk to him and were able to get his number for follow up. So, we are praying that he would be a house of peace.

“When we got to the more lower-class areas of the neighborhood, everyone on our team got quiet because we knew it was a very dangerous area. It was a very poor area; all the houses were just shacks. You could see people gathered up on street corners doing drugs or drinking. When we were walking people would come up to us and tell us that we need to get out of the neighborhood because we were going to get shot. They would pull up and ask, “What are you doing here?” Because they don’t usually see people out in that area doing that. Churches in that area go to the much nicer areas, give out water and food. They wouldn’t necessarily tell the gospel, but they were out there doing things in the better off areas of the neighborhood, but they would stay away from the lower-class areas because they knew how dangerous it was.

“You could tell that there was darkness in the area. There was one house that you could tell there was something dark going on in there. We saw human trafficking taking place in that area too. It was so weird having all these gospel conversations I the middle of all of that. And people would debate with us at times, but it was cool seeing their face change whenever we would get to God’s love. There was one instance that really stuck to my heart where, Steven and I asked a man who was selling something to a guy in a car if he needed prayer, and he responded, “Y’all came to the wrong person; I don’t need prayer, but pray about what?” And we said, “Anything. Friends, Family, anything that’s going on in your life. We just want to pray for you!” He finally said “ok”. He ended up coming back and came underneath the carport area so we could talk to him. He said his name was olive, and we noticed he was really set on brokenness. He explained to us, “I’m still there, I believe in Him but I’m still there, I still sin.” When he was talking, you could tell he was choosing to live that life. I was presented the opportunity talk to him about sin and how we cannot get rid of it on our own; we don’t know how to. We need Jesus and when we do accept Jesus we do struggle still but we are able to get through it because we have Jesus. And as I was talking with him you could see the deep sadness and the deep longing he had for something greater. As we were leaving we swapped numbers, and right before we left he said to us, “I want to do what you guys are doing! I want to go out like you guys and just do that!” And we were like, “Yeah? You can!”. It was really cool being able to talk to him about that.

“We made so many amazing connections to so many different people. It wasn’t my heart going out to these people it was Gods heart within me. He gave me this incredible sadness, love, and emotion towards these people. It was nothing within me; it was all from God. It was crazy to experience that and have that kind of connection with another human being. People were saying, “I don’t know what this is? I don’t know what’s happening?” The father I mentioned earlier told us, “I could sense this love from you guys and I don’t know why? That’s what brings tears to my eyes is that I just sense this thing.” And we told him, “That’s the Holy Spirit”. And just to see that they experience what we experienced was awesome too.

“It was amazing seeing the hunger people had. Of course, going on an evangelistic trip was intimidating, because you think I’m in America, of course people know who Jesus is, but the thing is there are still people in these neighborhoods who don’t understand the truth about God. The one thing to remember is that there is usually another gospel preached and when we share the three circles we see so many shocked faces, even from believers. Especially about the grace of Jesus and I think that’s because so many people are caught up in the religion aspect. They know the name of Jesus but they don’t know his character. We were given the opportunity to feel God’s love for these people so much we had a passion to bring it back here and be more adamant about doing that here. We are excited about what God’s going do here. That experience has taught us that it’s our heart. We want to do this, not just do it just to do it but to represent Jesus. We’ve been able to see and experience that love and broken heartedness that God has for these people. Our hearts have been changed because of that. We want to be submissive and obedient to what God has shown us, because this is his heart and now it’s ours as well."

 
Interviewer: Sarah Ramirez
Interviewed: Angie Chacko
Published: July 7, 2017