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Venturing Out

By the way, I need for you to give a talk to our youth about sexual purity for about an hour with a time for discussion and questions. And we want you to deliver a sermon Sunday morning – forty-five minutes is normal here. My eyes widened, I sat back in my chair and tried to process the request. I received the email with the above request a few weeks before my trip to Asia with Grace Fellowship's own Larry and Mary. The next Sunday I saw Larry and shared with him the request. He smiled and said enthusiastically “That’s great!” I said, no, no it’s not great! I told him to pray for me and Larry said he had been praying and would continue to pray for me. I left Grace Fellowship that morning realizing the above request is why I was going on the mission trip to Asia. I was going to be stretched as I followed where the Lord was leading.

My two weeks in Asia were truly an amazing experience! The first week was spent in a large Asian city working with two organizations doing computer work. Navigating the city by taxis, visiting a computer market many times purchasing parts, sight-seeing, meeting African believers in an International Fellowship, sitting at a dinner table and discussing faith with Western believers who have heard God’s call to Asia, eating lots of Asian food, meeting Asian youth and discussing what the Bible teaches about sexual purity with them, and preaching an Easter message to an International Fellowship… all this in just week one!

The second week was spent outside the large city in a rural area. I spent precious time with Larry, Mary, and two Asian church leaders who were putting into practice facilitator training. The two Asian leaders facilitated a Bible study on Galatians with 28 women leaders in the class. After each session Larry, Mary, our translator, the two teachers, and I would sit around a table and eat. As eating drew to a close, discussion of how the study had gone would fill the air. I would watch as Larry would pull out a sheet of paper and draw diagrams, Mary would offer counsel and insight, and the two Asian leaders would share their goals for each session and how to accomplish those goals.

Sitting around the table was very meaningful… and Larry encouraged me to take part in the process. I was able to join the discussion around the table at times, and Larry provided me two opportunities: one was to lead a devotion with the class, and the last day I had the opportunity to give my testimony.

One of the most memorable moments of the week came when the two church leaders asked for more materials to take to their churches. Two occasions they said with longing faces how great the need is for their churches to have more Bible study materials. My heart broke as I thought about all of the Bible study materials the Western church has at its fingertips that we take for granted.

There is a world out there that is oblivious to the Good News – the Message of Salvation that brings Freedom. However, there are followers who know Christ’s Freedom: seeking, loving, struggling, teaching, smiling, growing, and taking the Grace and Love of Christ to those that are open. This trip to Asia brought me into contact with small pockets of believers in Asia living the Gospel’s Freedom and showing the Love of Christ to others. This isn’t just in Asia… I meet each Sunday at Grace Fellowship those that have that same heartbeat that same Love of Christ that shines throughout their lives.

Mission trips are a powerful tool the Lord will use in our lives if we will let Him. Mission trips get us out of our day-to-day lives and give the opportunity to see just how loving and active our Lord is among the nations. We see how the global Church is dancing to the same beat of Grace, and how we encourage those in the places we go and how they encourage us. Do you feel the beat of Grace? Do you see the small pockets among many nations dancing to the Lord’s song? You can… and then you will begin to dance in rhythm with believers all over the world…

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