Saturday, January 5, 2013

Adventures in China

It is not often that a trip impacts your life. Even a mission trip can leave you uninspired. Luckily, it isn't a mission trip's job to inspire you; it is God's work to do that. If you're looking for spiritual worth in building a house, and you stop at the act, you miss the point. The work is barely there; what should permeate your work is the love of Christ in you. This becomes relevant in my story. My most inspiring trip, before China, was a family trip to Colorado in the early 2000s. It was there I learned that the world isn't my play ground, that family is of the utmost importance, and that I am small, weak, and in need. Of course, if you know my story, you know that this didn't sink in for years to come. Mountains are a good medium for showing us how inconsequential we, as humans, are. That is why Jesus said that if we only had the faith the size of a mustard seed, we could move mountains. He knows how mountains make us feel; small. I preface my story like this to give you where Im coming from. It's been since May that we went and I still remember so much. I wrote a lot too. I've given testimony about this trip a couple of times and I wish I could share more. Rather than tell every story I have, I'll tell the ones that matter most to what God did. If you want to see things, look in my photos in my China album. My first story happened on the Monday we were there. This was the first day we taught at the college and so we were all pretty nervous, as far as I could tell. Once everyone had gotten seated, we started teaching about idioms in the English language. The Chinese start English from a young age and we taught a college group of English majors so language was hardly an issue. As we started to get into smaller groups, we got to show pictures that we brought with us. I purposefully chose a lot of Christmas photos to segue into the Christ story. And it worked. I got to share with a few students there and they came back the following Wednesday to our finale lecture. God moved through many of us that day and it felt good to know that. Now, this might be a situation where someone thinks this isn't a big deal. Okay, so you told some Chinese students about Jesus. That's nice but did they pray to receive Him? I don't know. I do know that they had never heard of Jesus Christ and I know they asked many, many questions about this God-Man who came to save the world. My next story happened that Tuesday. We toured the top high school in our city and got to meet the students there. My partner and I had a group of at least 200 people. (I attribute that to our hair. Im Ginger and she is blonde.) We got to share our lives in the classrooms, which led to faith. I did get a little discouraged because I felt like I was a distraction. The deepest question I received was what I thought about homosexuality. That was a good, but difficult, segue into faith but it didn't get much deeper. More often than not, our classroom time ended with pictures; both us showing pictures to them and taking pictures with the students. That afternoon, we met with the area teachers to go over the idioms lecture. They asked a lot of questions about culture. I was asked about Linsanity. The holiday question popped up again. One of our group shared about Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter and was able to share the Gospel with those High school teachers! And after that, another one of us shared her testimony. God moved again. We could all feel it. I could go on and on about our guides and the work God did with them. They were the people we interacted with most. We saw them transformed, really, in front of our own eyes. But suffice it to say, this trip to China changed me. Months later, I am still being changed. I don't see things the same way, I don't say things the same way. I don't even look the same so much. And it's because I am a new creation. Christ has changed me through my experiences. And yes, I want to go back.

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