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Asia!!!

November 11, 2009

Needless to say, I went on this trip to Asia and below are some of the things I learned and experienced while there. While there the Lord indeed provided for the team and answered all of our prayers on this trip, and in some instances answered them in ways we never would have imagined……

~ ~ ~

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We arrived in our country of destination early on Aug 13, after over 30 hours of travel time with many assumptions of what the next days might bring…. I had expected our destination to be hot. But not that hot…. I expected it to be humid. But not that humid…. I had expected the roads to be terrible. But they surprisingly were pretty good (I think African roads have forever altered my definition of a bad road.)!! I also was arriving with a fearful assumption that in the next few weeks I would discover that Wycliffe Bible Translators (WBT) was not for me; that I had been steam rolling ahead; NOT listening to God’s voice and terrified that I was going to have to tell everyone back home that I had made a drastic mistake….

While there, we scarcely had a free moment. There was so much to do, see, experience and attempt to understand in such a short period of time. The word OVERWHELMING comes to mind. Here is a small taste of what we did….

*We spent some of our time learning about the many ministries and how they do not rely on the foreigners coming in to do all the work. But rather, work alongside the local people groups to see what they believe their communities need and help empower them to implement, and run these ministries. This way when the foreigners leave or move on to other things, these ministries will not fall apart. Some of these ministries include: teaching people how to engage in the scriptures better through music, discipleship etc; Bible Translation; empowering indigenous groups with tools to keep their beautiful, unique identities; mobilizing their churches into missions; literacy and education etc

*We took several hours of language lessons, during which I was overcome with physical and mental exhaustion over how difficult language learning is ….which lead me to think about how difficult it must be to attempt to understand the Gospel in a language other than my native tongue.

Langauge Learning

*We spent a lot of time visiting churches, each of us having the opportunity to preach (share) a short message to the congregation. We had time to fellowship with other believers and learn of their dedication to Christ’s message of salvation despite incredible stories of persecution. I felt intimidated sharing with them –they had all been through so much for their faith in comparison to me. We personally met people whose church has been burned down, who have appeared before court over 10 times to defend why they are Christians, whose farms have been poisoned and the list goes on. This reminded me of God’s promise that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…. (but) continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of….so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2Timothy 3:12, 14, 17). 

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“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.” ~ Unknown

* I left on this trip having 50% of the trip paid for, and having no earthly idea how I was going to come up with the rest of the funds when I returned home. One could easily say I was stressed about this! Yet I found out THREE DAYS before the trip ended that ALL of my finances for the trip had been provided!! Thank you! J Throughout the last several months God has been continually reminding me to trust him (this being just one of those instances), and step out in faith, because even if I have no idea how things will work out, in his perfect time, he will provide for our needs.

* Sometimes what you pray for is EXACTLY what you get. Only different. One day while in the driving on the countryside road, our van was completely surrounded by a very angry mob of people who began hitting the van, rocking it, and picking up stones to smash our windows. To say the least, it was an intense moment that could have gotten really out of hand! Thank the Lord, a nearby military presence quickly came to our rescue and all we suffered was a broken side mirror…At first we were upset with what had happened, and wondered what we had done to deserve such treatment?! But then we realized we had been praying for our eyes to be opened to better understand the persecution the people we were ministering to were going through…we got a miniscule sample of this persecution while in the safety of our van…and received the answer to our prayers.

“Where the Sidewalk Ends” (by Shel Silverstein)…Or does my sidewalk end here?

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When I began this trip I was afraid that perhaps i had made a big mistake – but I am really happy to tell you this is not the case! During my weeks away I was reminded once again of how much I LOVE being overseas and saw so many potential positions within Wyclife that I would love to do! I felt the Lord impressing a particular idea ever stronger into my heart. The single thought being “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (MAtt 9:37). As much as I would like to live overseas and serve “in the field”, I feel Him directing me to (for now) encourage more labourers to go and spread the Good News that Jesus Christ values and loves them, and died and rose back to life – for them!!

~ ~ ~

Three weeks after returning from Asia I was accepted as a member of Wycliffe Bible Translators!! “And the rest, as they say, is history”!!!! 

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