I’m walking down a dirt road in a tiny little village somewhere in the Asian countryside. Children point at me and laugh; my friends tell me that I am probably the first foreigner that they have ever seen. As we continue walking down the road, we stop and watch a group of college aged students playing basketball. Standing near them, several girls watch and talk amongst themselves. Because it is Spring Festival, young children are running around with firecrackers, placing them inside of oranges and throwing them down the street as they explode. My friend Lijun and I continue walking back towards the house. As we arrive, the family is speaking to me in Asian as well as in their hometown dialect. While I have no idea what they are saying, from body language, I know that they are inviting me into their house for dinner. Eight of us sit around a table of 18 different dishes. We eat for what seems like forever, eating beef, chicken, duck, pork, lamb, fish, octopus, and shrimp (not to mention all the different vegetable dishes). The family commends me on my ability to use chopsticks. The uncle yells at me for bringing foreign germs into his village. For the first time since being in Asia, I am officially experiencing culture shock. I love every minute of it.
Fast-forwarding two weeks, I’m back in G-town. I’m standing in my apartment while staring at a map of Asia that is hanging in my hallway. As I look at this map, it brings me back to the day when I was walking the village streets. I am suddenly reminded that the effects of the work that I am doing in G-town will spread to cities and villages all throughout the Asian countryside. I am reminded that this is no small job. I’m reminded that my vision is often too small because what God is doing in this country is beyond what words can express.
Fast forward to yesterday. All my college friends have arrived back to school and I am finally able to see everyone that I have missed so much in the past month. Apple and I meet in the morning and take a walk down the river. I share with her about my trip to Thailand and the village, she shares with me about Spring Festival and her family traditions. I ask her if she told her parents that she is a Christian. Apple, filled with excitement, tells me about how she has been reading her Bible every single night and that she would carry it everywhere she went. She tells me about the day that she told her mom that she believes in God. Her mom has never heard of or seen a Bible, so Apple begins to explain to her everything that she knows about what it means to be a Christian. While her mom hasn’t chosen to believe in God yet, I know that Apple’s testimony will continue to impact her family and her hometown. Small acts of obedience here in G-town are impacting people and cities hundreds of miles away. Praise God!
With only three months left in Asia before I return home for the summer, I am beyond expectant to see God work in the lives of my friends. I am trusting Him for the salvations of many of my friends that are so close to making a decision to follow Him. I’m trusting God for their families as well! My team and I are praying in faith to see the Church up and running with 20 consistent members. There is nothing wrong with dreaming big!!!
Thanks for all your prayers and support!!!