Even though I myself am not a parent, I feel like I can somewhat understand
the nervousness and excitement a parent feels as they watch their child do
something big for the first time. Riding a bike, getting on the bus for the
first day of school, taking a driver’s test or heading off to college, all
of these life moments should be embraced with enthusiasm and joy, but for
the parent, there is also usually some measure of worry as they watch their
child step out in to the great unknown.

That was exactly how I felt just a few days ago, standing in a living room
that was packed with 25+ of our disciples. The time had come for
our second annual Winter Retreat where we brought together believers from
all of our churches in Asia. But unlike previous Retreats, we wouldn’t be
spending a week together listening to teaching and building community.
Instead we were bringing our friends together to send them out solo as they
prepared to go out on their first Short Term Trip (STT) to minister to a
handful of Asia’s remote ethnic minority groups. Some of these
students had been in the family for years and were excited and ready to
take this step. For others, they had only know God a few months and seemed a
bit apprehensive about what they were getting themselves in to. To be
honest, even as one of the leaders and organizers of this trip, I didn’t
really know what they were getting themselves in to!

Of the four teams that were going out, two of them were going out
completely trusting in Dad to provide everything they needed-food, housing,
people to share with etc, much like the disciples that Jesus sent out in Luke
10. And another of the teams would be joining up with another group in
Asia that works with people suffering and recovering from leprosy, a
disease eradicated in the West but still prevalent in some of Asia’s
poorest areas. As we prayed over every group going out, I couldn’t help but
feel nervous, but I was also excited because I knew that God was going to
do something amazing with our friends!

As we foreigners stayed behind in the city of K-town (the first city I
lived in over here, for those of you who remember hahaha), we prayed for
our friends for hours every day and stories and pictures began to trickle
in. God’s provision for a place to stay in this village here, His
protection while climbing a snow-covered mountain there, and from every
group joy, excitement, and amazement and the love and grace of God towards

It was with great anticipation that we gathered back together in K-town to
hear stories of all He had done. There isn’t time here to share every story
that was told, but I want to highlight a few:

One of our brothers A from the X knelt on the ground as we shared
testimonies together and shared the story of a mountain village he and his
team visited. As they walked around outside in the cold looking for a place
to get warm, he asked a minority man standing in front of his house if they
could come in. The man hesitated for a while before inviting them in, and
when A asked why he hesitated, the man replied that he was afraid that they
would think his house was too poor and dirty for them. Moved with
compassion and love for him and his family, A and his team shared the
Gopel with him and the man chose to believe!!

One of our sisters L from K-town is part of one of the minority groups
that our friends went to visit. He maternal grandmother lives in one of the
villages they traveled through, and when they arrived at her house L shared
the Gospel with her, the first time she had ever shared the Story in her
minority dialect, and saw her grandmother give her life to God!!!!

These are just two of the dozens of stories that happened to our friends as
they stepped out in boldness and faith this last week. As we all listened
to stories and cried together and marveled at the goodness of Dad, I knew
that I was in the middle of what I believe to be the most significant event
in the history of CT, and certainly the most important ministry thing that
I have ever done. I feel so blessed and honored, and I am so expectant for
how God is going to use this trip to do a life-changing work in our
friends’ hearts and to move His message forward in Asia.