Issen Umnbah, from Sanduan Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG), shares his story with Adventist Record about the importance of faith and trusting God’s voice.
While living in the Goroka Highlands for my education, I decided to spend my Christmas holidays in Madang, a coastal town in eastern PNG. I spent a week there with my friend Israel Sokrim, until, on Sunday, he bought a Sabbath school lesson book for us to study during the week. However, I only glanced through and skipped sections. I only covered the core message of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and I did not consult the Bible for references.
That Sabbath, I went into town for church. After Sabbath school preliminaries, we separated into classes for the lesson discussion. Since the youth class teacher was away on a holiday trip, the church elder on duty asked anyone who had a lesson book to raise them up. Having the lesson book with me, I raised it up. The elder walked to where I was sitting and asked, “Son could you please please lead the youth class.”
Having no idea about the lesson, I hesitated. My heart was beating at a fast rate, and I puffed and sighed without responding to him. After some time waiting for a response, he asked again in a low voice, “Son, can you please take the lesson? I’m asking you because you’re the only person who has the lesson book.”
"God does not abandon anyone who is willing to do his work."
I found it difficult to answer him because I had no idea about the lesson or how to take it. I have low confidence in speaking in public. While I was pondering what to say, I heard a small voice speak to me: Just accept it and go. I, the Lord who created you, will instruct you what to say. Upon hearing this, I told the elder, with confidence and a smile on my face, that I would lead the lesson.
Before walking up the front, I prayed in my heart saying, Lord, please put your mighty finger on my lips as you did to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:9 and to Moses in Exodus 4:12 so I can confidently deliver this lesson to your people.
When I stood up the front and talked, I realised that everything was miraculously well-prepared in my mind, as if I had committed my time to studying the lesson. I also realised that my speech was easy, even though I usually don’t have confidence speaking in such a crowd.
In the middle of the lesson, I asked if anyone had questions or comments. There was no response, even though so many professionals and students from different tertiary institutions were sitting in front of me. So I continued, completing the lesson.
After Sabbath worship I returned home and discussed with my friend what had happened. I realised God was present during the lesson presentation. We prayed and thank God for His divine guidance.
After this experience, I came to realise God does not abandon anyone who is willing to do his work. God is always ready to attend to your call.
Today, God is calling on young people like you and I to do His work, regardless of whatever setbacks you may have, to accomplish His intended mission. Follow the voice of Jesus’ calling and answer, “Here am I, oh Lord, use me in your service today.”