God created time he created it in 24 hour increments. The average person consumes time with very little thought to how much is left until it gone. Time is something that we either want to speed up to accomplish tasks with more time or slow down to enjoy the moments. On a mission trip time is measured differently. Time is not measured by events, but by meaningful interactions with others. The perpetual thought that should be on the minds of mission teams is; How can I have the most impactful interactions as possible that are sincere and filled with His love? Every interaction…every connection is vital to establishing a trusting relationship. The sooner trust is earned the greater the opportunity is for the Gospel to be shared in a meaningful way. Today was all about those connections and trying to establish them.
This day was so packed with incredible activity that one must be careful to understand that the activity is designed to bring about interaction and connection. What an amazing day of connection and possibility! Today was the first day with our Young Adult Chinese group. It began with breakfast where our daily theme was introduced; How we see other people. The challenge involved each team going to 3 different locations and take pictures of people with the plan to present the best pictures with observations about the people. Our theme verse for the day was Psalms 80:10. “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, If you will open wide your mouth I will fill it.” So our challenge while we were going around town was for our Chinese friends to teach us the verse in Chinese and for us to teach it to them in English. It was a completion between the girls and the guys. So while we were seeing the incredible scenery of China…we were learning bible verses. We spent four hours as we are walking, talking, and laughing for them to go over these versus with us! While the incredible scenery was a beautiful…even more beautiful was hearing these people who do not know Jesus say His Words over and over. Knowing that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The seeds of faith are being planted and we were having a blast doing it.
The second lesson on the mission trip had to deal with our devotional we had first thing that morning. We must often endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. The lack of some of the common conveniences, air conditioning, western toilets, different kinds of foods, uncertainty of cultural norms. These can become distractions that often can create a discontent spirit. A warriors greatest strength is not his physical strength but his toughness of mind and determination to accomplish the mission under any circumstances. So we experienced all these things today as we sat down for lunch and ate different kinds of food, had conversation in which we were not always sure what to say. As followers of our great commander Jesus Christ, these were great opportunities to practice our determination to accomplish His mission.
Lesson number three…don’t forget lesson number one! It’s about the people. The evening culminated in eating at an amazing restaurant and seeing an incredible Chinese performance with 500+ performers. The show was produced by the man who did the opening ceremony at the 2008 olympics. The show was spectacular. However, the real show unfolding in front of us throughout the whole day was not one produced by the Chinese, but by the God of heaven. We are playing our part as we participate in His production with these amazing young people.
Please continue to pray for the focus of the team and the connections we are making. The long-term goal of the week is to establish relational connections between the students (who are orphans in there 20’s) and Kavanah, as they open their arms with the love of Jesus.