News from China-Merry Christmas
The Voice of the Gospel
In January of this year my wife and I moved to China, we had been here a couple of times prior to moving here, but only for a couple of weeks. In February it really started to sink in that this was the new norm for us and I was really struggling with the culture shock, especially things like the language barrier. One day in February my wife travelled to a friends home town with her and was away for a couple of days. I was teaching English to about 40 twelve year Chinese boys and girls in the downtown area, usually I would get on the subway and either stand up or sit down if seats were available until my stop, this particular morning the HS had me walk through a couple of cars and simply look into people's eyes, what I saw was heartbreaking, things like a sense of loneliness, hopelessness, despair, confusion, emptiness. I was reminded of a vision I had many years ago of standing on a beach watching the waves roll in, As I stood there gazing into the water the waves grew larger and larger, as I stared intently into the waves I began to see faces, more and more faces, faces from every tribe, country and nation until it became a giant sea of rolling faces, then I heard voices, distorted at first but it got clearer as I stood there, voice after voice after voice until the sound was almost deafening saying" why didn't you tell me?" "Where were you?) As I got off the train I began to ask God "why did you bring me here", why would you have me travel clear across the world to a people and place where I cannot communicate with them at all? What could or can I ever accomplish here? I was somewhat angry over all this confusion that I was going through and in reality was trying my best to take it out on God, maybe even use it for an excuse to go back home. That day I had a two hour lunch break and instead of eating I wandered around the downtown area looking into the faces of literally thousands of people and could not communicate with a single one of them. I was in what seemed like that sea of people yet I could not convey to them how much my Father loves them. Once again I thought of the vision I had many years prior and I asked " How, God, can I tell them, they don't understand a word I say?) My heart began to ache and I grew even more angry. My wife was out of town and the next morning I woke up about 4am and began to simply pour my heart out to God and even express my anger for having come to this place, I was wondering if I should just pack up and return to America, but in a moment of somber clarity I was reminded about a story of a man, who one day set out on a journey and began to select twelve men to follow him, these were everyday, normal men, nothing special about them, not educated men, in today's sense they may have even been "a little rough around the edges". But for the next three and half years this man began to pour everything he had, all His knowledge, wisdom and compassion into these twelve. He taught them how to interact with others, to love, to pray, to heal, to be obedient, He taught them how to teach and reach others. Knowing that one day, upon His departure, that these men would become the voice of the gospel to their families, their neighborhoods, to their coworkers, friends and even to their nation. This revelation created in me a fresh passion, today my mission is to find that one person, to find those five young men, to find those twelve who can understand me and begin to pour myself into them, to teach them how to serve one another, teach them how to interact with others, pray for the sick, to have a compassion for the unreached, so that one day upon my departure, they will become the voice of the gospel to their families, friends, neighborhoods, coworkers and even to their nation.
Today, I have found those who can understand me, sometimes conversation is limited, sometimes slow, even frustrating at times but none the less today I have found that one, I have found those five, I have found those twelve and my mission is clear, pour myself into them that they become the voice of the gospel.
Happy Birthday to my Lovely Wife
- Please pray about partnering with us financially so that we can continue building relationships with the unreached people groups of Southeast Asia.
- Our plans to visit Nagaland and Nepal in late November and December to speak to local missionaries and leaders as well as visit some orphanages in a very poor area- have now been changed to the late summer of 2016. Please pray that I would have the guidance and direction needed.
- We would like to see more of the locals rise up and begin to lead areas of ministry in the local churches, outreach centers, life groups and English corners.
- We are beginning to really see an outpouring of grace and a hunger in the lives of the students here and are in need of more laborers.
- Our lease on the apartment we are in is up on January 10th, please pray that we have the direction we need to know where to go and that we have the finances needed for moving.
- Please, please feel free to leave some comments or even send an e-mail- it is so nice to hear from people back home and to know that we are not forgotten, especially during those times of Hiddenness.