A month ago, CT welcomed 10 workers back to the U.S. after an intense 9-month period of service in Asia, where they shared the Good News with as many college students as possible.
When workers like this come home every year, we spend a week with them at a retreat center to help them debrief their year. During that week, we celebrate the ways God moved in their lives (and the lives of their Asian friends) over the past nine months. We grieve with them for the difficult moments — their friends who walked away from the Lord, the trials they faced, and the loved ones they may have lost at home while they were on the field. As much as possible, we also help them prepare for life off the field — away from the friends, food, and familiar places they have been with for the past year.
It’s fascinating to see the differences between each team from year to year. We wave them off in August as mostly-strangers embarking on a crazy adventure together — sharing only a mission and heart for the Lord. They return in May as a family — with a unique set of shared experiences, passions, stories, and strengths.
This year, there were two things that struck me in particular as I spent time with this returning team:
1. There was a mutual and emphatic respect between them for the growth they had seen in each other over the past nine months. I have rarely seen such a large group of people collectively call out the good in each other, and call each other higher. It was inspiring.
2. Each of them has a heart that I believe will be permanently oriented towards Asia.
Of this team, 6 have committed to continue working with CT for the next three years. Of the the remaining four, two will be attending Bible School to study missions, and the other two have expressed a desire to stay involved with Asia and CT in various ways.
Two short weeks after these workers were reunited with friends and family in the U.S., 6 of them moved to our HQ to begin an internship with CT. These 6 were joined by 3 other CT alumni from previous years.
Over the next 7 months, this group of 9 will raise support and receive practical training in order to spend the next 3+ years continuing serving in Ch!n@.
It is exciting to me to consider the hundreds and (more than likely) thousands of lives that will be touched by these 9 people over the coming years. Through this group, college students will be brought from darkness to light; disciples will be taught the Word of God; churches will be planted; and Asian pastors will be raised up.
We are excited to see what the Lord has in store for each of these 9 interns, and are thrilled to welcome them to fight alongside us in Asia.