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This post was originally published in the 2016 Spring issue of the GB Messenger. Don’t receive the Messenger? You can always catch the latest digital issue on the Messenger website, www.gbMessenger.org
Let’s begin with the big question: Why did you go to China?
Some people thought I was crazy for going to China but long story short—I was called and I went. I told people I wanted to experience something new—like a new culture, language, or yada yada but the real reason was I wanted to experience God in a new light—different from the typical “American Christian” way. And I did.
So, how was it?
My first year was the best year of my life. I was on a team of seven in a relatively small city. We taught together, prayed together, kept each other accountable and did life together. Students were drawn to us—they wanted to hear about Jesus. The second year, God did a number on me. I moved to a larger city, had a smaller team, had a hard time teaching, but I got what I asked Him for—an experience that would help me see Him better. In a new way, I realized my need for Him—His love, His identity. It was hard—but I would do it all over again.
What do you miss?
What don’t I miss?! I miss the amazing food (very different from the American—Chinese “buffet” we know here.) I miss the welcoming and hospitable people—caring for me and helping me navigate life in their country. And I miss the strategic relationships that were so obviously planned by the Father. Like with Cindy. When I met Cindy, she was closed off to the Father. One day she saw my Bible, and said she wanted to read it with me. I still see her face as she responded to the Word and to our conversation and I ask regularly that the Father will capture her heart. Cindy reminds me how God really uses us even when we don’t realize it.
Sounds like God answered your prayer about experiencing Him in a new light.
Yes, I learned so much about myself living overseas. Like, I am sinful, flawed, and redeemed all at the same time. I learned He is passionate about His name being made known among the nations. I learned that serving Him isn’t about me—it’s about Him. About what He came to this earth to do. About what He did on the cross. About seeking Him first and keeping our eyes on Him daily. Those are lessons I’ll carry the rest of my life. Continue reading