It’s Sunday, October 27th, and my nerves are going crazy. I’m anxious, nervous, excited, worried, eager, stressed. To put it lightly, I’m a mess. A friend sees this, and approaches me, asking me to come with him to pray. The words that he spoke rang true throughout the trip… Be still, the God that is here is the same God in China. The God that has called you to this trip is the same God that is preparing the hearts of the thousands of believers that you will meet during this trip. You are not taking God to China, He’s taking you. Boy was he right!
While in China, I had the opportunity to witness the majesty of our Creator, contrasted with the depravity of sin. Standing on the Great Wall, looking out over the mountainside, words can’t describe the beauty of God’s craftsmanship. I was speechless as I gazed upon a beautiful blue sky, crisp white clouds and rigid mountains. It was a canvas that went for miles. As we entered the cities, however, the effects of sin, corruption, and humankind were rampant. Pollution, filth, greed and the basic need to survive were present everywhere. We witnessed unbelievable wealth, and extreme, almost inhumane poverty. But it was in this diverse group that I bore witness to a hope so strong, a faith so deep, that it truly could move mountains.
The believers that we met live on an income so inadequate that it is hard to imagine that it meets their needs. They live in block structures smaller than most garages. Their villages are so remote that they rarely travel outside of their local community. Even if the means of transportation were available, it would not be affordable. What satan had intended to use as shackles, however, God used for inspiration. He used for hope. I witnessed a faith so strong, a hope so deep, so inspiring, that it sent shockwaves through me, changing my expectations, realigning my priorities and redefining my relationships. Did their faith move mountains? Well, yes! In a land of over a billion people, there are millions of true believers, I saw doors opened that can only be explained as “acts of God”. I witnessed a spiritual battle with such ferocious intensity that it was indescribable. We experienced delays, roadblocks, modifications to our plans, so many attempts by satan to distract and derail us, but through it all, God prevailed.
My experience wasn’t just limited to the events in China. I also saw my family bond stronger, felt God reveal areas that I needed to submit to Him, witnessed our team member’s spouses unite together, support one another, saw my son overcome adversity and his faith deepen, and witnessed a transformation in our church. My experience was, essentially, two weeks that have changed my life forever. Thank you to those who served, thank you to those who gave, and thank you to those who prayed. Together, by the grace of God, we have made a difference. Please, be prayerful about China, but also be strong and vigilant about your work here. The battle wages on.