I was sitting on a hard stool with two of my teammates around me, Lily on my left and Sonata on my right. Sonata was crying.

You see, Lily and I, the veterans, had been to a gathering like this before. We’d seen Asian believers close their eyes, lift their faces to the heavens, and sing in their mother tongue to the Maker of their souls. We’d seen our Asian brothers and sisters hug each other and rejoice to be together. We’d heard the rhythms of praise dance from an Asian guitar. But Sonata had not. She was tasting for the first time the thing for which she had left her home and crossed the ocean.

She told me later that she knew this was it. She had been losing the vision, forgetting about why she had come. Maybe it’s only about meeting another friend for noodles, or about attending one more team meeting where we ask each other how we’re doing. Maybe it’s only about going to another prayer meeting, or about trying to smile at one more potential friend or looking for the right moment in one more conversation to turn it to the Good News. Maybe that’s what it’s all about. No, no, of course not. It’s about this, about those who once did not know finding their home in the Great Family with the Great Father. It’s about us rejoicing in Him together.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of sacrifice. The truth is that life is great here. I eat great food, and hey, I’m wearing shorts in late October. How many back home can compare with that?

Nevertheless, there’s a toll that life takes. It takes vision, planning, trial and error, risk, and sometimes, failure. Sometimes I’m just plain tired and cloudy. But what else would I want to lay the struggle of my life on? What else is worth all this toil and pain? If I’ve got to waste my life on something, what else, but that the families of the earth might sing His praise?

May it be said of me that I fought the good fight. May it be said that I called others to the same.

This evening I got the news that two of my teammates led their friend Sophie to a friendship with Jesus. It made me smile.