A few days before the big football game, I had already managed to get myself injured while tossing a football in the street. Actually, I didn't even get a chance to throw the football; I was just trying to pick it up from where it had landed at my feet. The two guys who immediately tackled me on the not-so-soft asphalt claimed it was an accident. But the pain of my very-bruised kneecap was almost worth it for the generous gift of chocolates they gave me as an apology!
Yay for Thanksgiving Holiday!
If I closed my eyes, the smell of turkey, homemade stuffing and fresh-baked pumpkin pie was almost convincing enough to make me feel like I was home. But when I looked around me, the sight of 55 people crowded in a sixth-floor apartment brought me back to reality.
For the second year in a row I found myself celebrating my favorite holiday halfway across the world. But thankfully, I was not alone. Friends of all ages had joined together to share a homemade meal. It didn't matter that we didn't all know each other, nor were we all Americans; today, the fact that we were all family brought us together. And for many of us, the fact that our own families were far away made the occasion more precious.
The familiar flavors and cheerful companions were a comfort. The sacrifice of being so far away from my family dimmed in comparison to the sacrifice made by so many in that room. Many of these workers have already spent years on the field, leaving jobs, houses and relatives behind to share the Gospel with the unreached people groups of Asia. Here we were experiencing a new kind of fellowship; all having left behind some form of comfort to be here, yet all immensely fulfilled to be serving God together in this foreign land.
As I rubbed shoulders with leaders and workers more experienced than I, it was a refreshing, faith-building time. Listening to their stories, I caught a glimpse of the bigger picture of what God is doing in Asia, and I see why the harvest is so plentiful. It's the result of years of prayers and tears, and the labor of many who've gone before me.
I returned from my holiday physically tired after late nights talking to my teammates and the workers there. But spiritually, I felt refreshed. Something had been planted in my spirit to give fresh excitement to the task at hand. What I'm doing here is not about me. I'm part of the bigger purpose God has for this country. He has been using many people over many years to draw this nation to Himself. And I want to do all I can to help bring that about!