The Words of the Herbers Family

STF Reflections from the 1st FR Condition - 14. Oct to 20. Nov 2004

Rachel Herbers
October 14, 2004

My best experience actually came from one of my toughest days in France. I was so determined this day to really invest in the people by loving and serving them in any way possible. I was desperate to find a way to connect with them and really appreciate their culture, but it seemed like the more I invested the more rejections I got. Finally, half way through the run I cried out in frustration, "God this sucks! I'm trying to love them and invest in them and still they don't respond. They don't seem to care about anything but themselves even when I'm trying to give them something." Then I felt as if God responded, "It does, doesn't it." At that point I started crying because I finally understood what people meant when they said "a God of pain and suffering." Before this whenever I thought of God or had experiences with him it always brought me joy and made me feel happy. But now I could really see how sad and lonely he must be, because he also continuously invests and no one seems to care / give back love.

I continued to FR with tears running down my cheeks, determined that I could find people that could return joy to God. Towards the end of the day I met a grandma home alone. I really wanted to love her more than others for some reason. She decided to buy a card and just before I turned to leave she asked what part of France I was from and when I told her I was American she covered her mouth with her hands in surprise. She wanted to know because she said I spoke such beautiful French. Knowing that my French actually sounds horrible I was so moved, because I felt as if I really spoke from my heart at that house and that really she was telling me I had a beautiful heart. Even though that day was one of my worst externally, from that one house I felt as if God was telling me he could still accept my offering because of my heart to love the people.

My worst day was also in France. This was one of the last days of the condition and our entire team was determined to absolutely invest and have internal and external break throughs. My internal goal was to be God's warrior and I would "save" the people from Satan today. I went out absolutely determined to keep my internal and external goals. Somehow I couldn't really connect with the people so I started running between houses to inspire myself and to build up some condition for the people, but still no result. Tears of frustration started to come, but I remembered a quote from HDH, "selfish tears belong to Satan; tears for the world belong to God." So I made myself stop thinking about my situation and kept going. Finally at the end of the run I had to sit down to pray and realign myself and I ended up crying again. But this time I was crying for the people. I prayed that God could somehow still bless the people even though I was failing in my mission to connect the people. But still the result didn't come. By the seventh hour of the day I finally realized my mistake. I started out the day extremely confident and determined to help with the team goal, which I thought was fine, because I thought it was public thinking, but my motivation was about making money instead of caring about the people. Once I realized my mistake I repented to God that so many people had to be "sacrificed" fro me to learn this lesson. For the last hour I was determined just to have the heart to serve the people without expecting anything in return. Still people didn't want to give even a small donation, but I felt like I needed to go through that humbling experience, so I just accepted it.

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