Age: 57 // Favourite Food: If it’s from Italy, I will eat it! And Lamb, I love lamb! // Dream Job: Been living it for the past 16 years – Serving God in Vietnam // Current Season: Living in my heartland, Vietnam with the greatest team on earth to serve & be a blessing to the wonderful Vietnamese people every day. Happy! // Met Jesus: Known Him all my life, however I accepted Him as Saviour when I was 15, but not as Lord until just after I got married at 19. // Favourite Verse: I have so many but the one I live by & that has proven true to my journey in life is James 2:22 – “You see that his faith & his actions were working together, & his faith was made complete by what he did. In other words, you have to put legs on your faith!” // Instagram: @deborahahilton
For me, trust is something I always thought I had until it was put to the test after God moved our family from the comfortable, affluent, ministry filled, family & friendship rich lifestyle we enjoyed in Newcastle to the island state of Tasmania to serve in a church plant.
Moving there was not the issue, as God had done a number on us three years before when he asked us, after building our dream home, if we would be willing to give it up if He asked us to.
I was excited to be following this call of God, & even though I was leaving everything behind, I was sure, God would take good care of our family in this new venture.
We bought a business there to support us while doing ministry & began serving in the church. Life was wonderful.
Three months in, we held our first family camp. Our guest speaker finished his first message & called people out for prayer. He then called my husband & I out & said, I have a word for you guys! “God has called you to this place, but don’t look to the left or the right but straight ahead at what God has called you to do. (I thought, sure, that is why we are here, but thanks God for the confirmation). Then he said words you don’t want to hear in a prophecy, “but, there are going to be tough times ahead”.
My first thought was, “Really God!! What do you mean, tough times ahead??” However, after processing this ‘wonderful’ word, I just reasoned that it was simply due to being in a different state, missing family & having to forge a new ministry.
Life went on fine after that for a couple of months until that ‘tough times ahead’ came tumbling in on us very quickly. The business we had bought was not what was presented to us on paper & it began to rob from us all that we had. Not only this, but our kids began to grieve for what was. We began to struggle just trying to juggle church life, family life, homesickness as well as propping up a failing business. As newbies to the state, we felt there was no-one we could share with because, hey! we were suppose to the pillars of the church, the ones who had answers, not needed them!
For the next 6 months or so, we cried out to God for answers. I would find myself waking up in the middle of the night feeling desperately alone in this unknown land with ocean between the unfamiliar and our hometown. What’s going on! Why God when we followed your call, is this happening? I tried everything, claimed every scripture & pleaded for an answer, but none would come.
A year past & still nothing had changed until we came to the point of falling on our knees before God saying: “God, we don’t know what is happening, we don’t understand the why of it all, but what we do know is this; you are good, you are faithful and you want good things for us, so whatever you are wanting to do in us, just do it.”
That day of surrender changed everything. Circumstances didn’t change initially but WE changed. For me, I began to dig into God in faith and trust like never before, abandoning myself completely to Him for everything and from that day to this, I can say with confidence, God has proved Himself faithful in every situation. From miraculous provisions, to incredible opportunities.
Without this bible school of life experience we walked through over six years, I would not be the person I am today, I would not have the faith & trust I have today for the big things God asks me to do, to believe for, & for what He wants me to step into as the future unravels.
From me to you, I want to say, with one hundred percent conviction, you can trust God in your journey.