My name is Breanna. I’m a proud Canadian, a huge fan of travelling, and a student of this year’s Backpack DTS. I’m part of the “Blindfolded Globetrotter” track – a track set up by the leaders of our base where we receive envelopes telling us our next destination. Our team leaders don’t even know where we’re headed. Briefly put, we are travelling around the world telling people about Jesus without knowing where or when we are going. It’s wild and crazy, but so great. (find out more here)
I can’t tell you how many times people have reminded me of this passage during outreach. When we explain to people what our track is like, this is the parallel they draw. It’s pretty cool, but also pretty intimidating at the same time. Abram was the father of the nations, and through him, the world would be blessed.
If this was the example God was giving me to model my time after, it was a huge task. How are we supposed to bless the nations? We are only 7 people, and more than that we are 7 super different, imperfect people. I struggled so much during the first week with our purpose. I didn’t see that we were blessing anyone and I felt blind to what God was doing. But still He continued to speak to me about this promise he made with Abram.
There has been a theme of “being blessed to be a blessing” that God has been highlighting to me everywhere we go. Like Abram, we left our comfort and plans and knowing and abandoned ourselves to the unknown, fully trusting that God would keep the promise he had made to us; the promise that we would be blessed so that we could bless others. Not only have I been able to clearly see how much I’ve been blessed (through amazing friends, new countries, the list goes on), but I’ve been seeing more and more of how our team is being used to bless the people we encounter every day.
One of the first times I really saw God using us to bless others was an evening when we had just arrived at our accommodation for the night. We were tired. But then, our leaders told us that we would be leaving to go out street evangelizing for the following several hours. I was a little unhappy to say the least, as I would have much rather stayed in my bed and rested for the evening, but I went, tired and discouraged as I was. Another teammate and I went out and got to talk to a few people, but none of the conversations were really fruitful. I got so frustrated because I always hear of other people who go out and people just start amazingly spiritual conversations with them, and they didn’t even do anything. I kept thinking, "why doesn’t anyone ever walk up to me and ask me about Jesus?" I was clearly not in the best mood that night. When we found our leaders again, they let us know that we still had an hour before we would leave. We were not impressed. So off we went, further up the street and found a bench where we decided to wait out the rest of the night. Not 5 minutes after we sat down, a woman walks up to us, looking distressed and asks us for bus money. We said we didn’t have any but that she could sit with us if she liked. She sat next to me, turns to me and asks, “Do you go to church?” We were taken aback. No one had ever started a conversation about church with us. That question springboarded us to an amazing conversation with a broken woman seeking out God. We were able to share the love of Jesus with her and left feeling maybe more encouraged than her.
And God didn’t stop there. There are so many testimonies of God putting us in the exact right place at the exact right time. We’ve seen Him reach people in amazing ways, using us as his hands and feet. And every country we’ve gone to God has told me that I am in the right place (often through other people). Since God opened my eyes and answered a prayer I didn’t even think I was praying, He has been showing His hand in our trip time and time again.
I have found that being in the unknown has made me more sensitive to the present. I notice more of the little things because I really can’t count on the next country, or the next day even. When you start every morning seeking God’s will for the day, everything that you end up doing points to his goodness and provision. With this new revelation of seeing God’s hand in almost every part of our days, has come a renewed sense of purpose for each of those God-given opportunities. Being more aware of God’s part in babysitting, or in cleaning has given me a great new appreciation for children and clean toilets.
As we have been praying over our outreach a phrase has kept popping up in my head - “blindfolded but not blind” – I see now that God was using this “blindfolded” time in my life to make me see His goodness more than I ever have before.
Love and blessings from Breanna and Blindfolded Globetrotting