Last year, we bid farewell to Emma Brittain as she embarked on a six month tour of Eastern Europe with a team of 10 Youths With A Mission (YWAMers). Now she’s back to share stories of God healing the crippled and restoring the sight to the blind.
Emma is an amazingly courageous and bold young lady.
When I met Emma, I was fourteen and she was sixteen. She was playing keys at a church I visited one morning with my family. I remember her smile. It’s not the kind of smile that anyone would ever forget. I knew who she was because her father was a teacher at the school my brother and I attended for primary school.
When I was eighteen, I met her again. She was twenty. My brother had just started dating this girl from the church I had first seen Emma in. They were good friends and so I learnt about Emma vicariously through what Gemma told me about her.
A few weeks after I turned nineteen, Emma came to my house with Gemma after church. We weren’t expected them. My mum had just received a call from her mother. Her stepfather had collapsed and gone into a coma that afternoon. My mum stood in the kitchen, shaking with tears for the prospect that her mother would soon be a widow for the second time.
I hardly knew Emma, definitely she didn’t know my mum very well. But I stood in the lounge room and watched the most beautiful scene unfold. Emma rushed forward to comfort my mum. She wrapped her arms around her and began praying for her. Gemma followed suit. Perhaps, a lesser daughter may have felt jealousy in this moment. But I was touched. My love and respect for both of these girls grew enormously in this moment.
When Emma announced she had been accepted into the Youth With A Mission programme, we were all so excited for her. The weekend before she left, she had a fundraiser at her house before heading out to Hogs Breathe for dinner. On the way there, I sat in the back of her car with our friend, Amy riding shot gun. We chatted about how the words we say and the movies we watch have so much power over us. Emma encouraged us to be aware of the effects these things can have on our behaviour. Almost immediately after, upon arrival at Hogs Breathe, Emma lost grip of her chair and tumbled to the floor where she sat in a fit of laughter. She turned to the giggling toddler sitting with his parents at the table behind us and said with a wink, “that was for you.” To me, Emma’s ability to speak the truth in love and humbly laugh about herself has always been her most endearing qualities.
Emma possesses the sort of genuine charm that cannot be taught.