I love stories of transformation. When Lisa Neil told me that she used to be a shy and quiet young woman, I was stunned at all God had done through her. Her greatest gift of communicating the love and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ could not be silenced. As you read about her amazing call to missions in Africa, let it inspire you to take new territory as well!
A Formerly Quiet Woman Finds her Voice
In Kigali, Rwanda
By Lisa Neil
The year of 2018 has been an exciting journey for me of missionary trips both here and abroad. My most recent missionary assignment took me to Kigali, the beautiful capital and largest city of Rwanda, and some of its surrounding cities for three weeks in late October to mid-November.
Upon arriving in Kigali, I was embraced by Pastor Christine, the same woman who spoke those prophetic words to me two years earlier about joining her in reaching the hurting women of Rwanda, to minister, teach, train, and develop them into great leaders of vision and change. We wept, as we embraced, with tears of joy, a dream realized, and anticipation for the weeks to come.
During those three weeks, I encountered God in three ways that profoundly changed me. Firstly, through quietly abiding in His Word and listening to Him, Holy Spirit gave me a fresh, relevant, specific, and timely message for an entire sermon at three different churches when asked to speak on a moments notice. That experience of preaching and speaking God’s prophetic words of life and healing to so many precious souls was powerful and like fire in my bones!
Secondly, God sent me a translator and roommate for three weeks who has a warrior queen spirit, a calm confidence, and a boldness that literally commands the atmosphere! Her name is Chance, and she carries the gift of prophecy and healing. She laid hands on me, praying with authority and power in Jesus’ Name before every speaking engagement. We worshipped together singing and praising God in the early morning hours. Yet, she served me with humility and joy, ministering to me at such a deep level, she could have changed my name! Truly God was in that place!!!
Thirdly, God gave me an inside look at the life and testimony of genocide survivors who lost everything, and yet have gained, carried, and stewarded hope, faith, and love with unspeakable joy, power, and courage more beautifully than anyone I have ever known. I was moved to tears, convicted, and emboldened in my own faith and courage to be the person God created meto be, and to do great exploits at His bidding and for His glory! The person who boarded that plane in San Diego is not same person who arrived back home. My life has been completely and radically changed!
This missionary assignment gave me the opportunity to share my testimony of God’s covenant love through His grace, mercy, forgiveness, redemption, and power in my life. It is a message of seeing myself through the experience of being rejected and abused as a child, devalued and marginalized as an adult, and betrayed and abandoned in relationships, that resonate in the hearts of African women. The heart of the message is one of identity: that in the midst of my own brokenness, I have experienced God’s incredible transforming power, and now see myself through the eyes of my Savior, as His ambassador, called to prophetically speak His words of affirmation into the lives of others like myself. To witness this transforming power of God in the lives of Rwandans through my message endears me to my Heavenly Father and draws me ever closer to Himself. It also humbles me as I see Him use my message, propelling Rwandan’s forward to embrace their true identity and overcome adversity. As Pastor Christine, Chance, and I continue to pray, listen, and intentionally respond to the Holy Spirit’s leading, we see a merging of our visions into one for an even greater calling to God’s glory.
The following video encapsulates this extraordinary experience of engaging with the people of Rwanda, learning from them, and speaking into their lives. You will hear about the beautiful relationships formed, the lessons I’ve learned, and how this missionary assignment profoundly impacted me. It is an honor and a privilege to be chosen by the women of Rwanda to partner with them in capturing the hearts of Africans for Christ. Their vision is to build a ministry center in Kigali, Rwanda that will serve as a host venue for women and leadership conferences, and as a ministry magnet, drawing thousands of men and women from throughout the continent of Africa.
What an honor and privilege it is to establish and nurture these relationships through passionate partnerships for Kingdom causes across the globe! I cherish the memories and will always be grateful for your prayers and support, which provided me this experience, and which continues to bear fruit in the lives of many both here and abroad.
Look where Lisa’s Unabashed Yes took her!
Pastors Jean and Christine Kaligirwa of Global Missions Church in Kigali invited her to minister and speak at a series of events which included the women’s conference “Beauty for Ashes,” the couples conference “Communicating Love and Respect,” the leadership conference “Leading with Vision,” and the youth and young women’s conference “Girl Talk”. She loved getting to know the people through weekly in-home visits to rural families, and what it was like to participate in a church cell group.