It’s really hard to believe I am writing this blog, as it will be the last one that I post from Asia. This entire week has been filled with team meetings about the “re-entry” process and the potential feelings that we may encounter upon the arrival in America and in the weeks to follow. It is so hard for me to even put myself in that position to think of life in America because sometimes I am convinced that I will blink, wake up, and this will have all been a dream. But I think the reality is that in four short months, God gave me a little breath of insight into what life has the potential to be.
I have had my sheltered little world completely rocked in the short four months where I was pulled into uncomfortable, poverty stricken, and spiritually dark places. I have experienced seeing girls sold on a nightly basis in Phuket, to the homeless and hungry children at the DIC, to Remember Nhu, where the trafficking of little girls into the sex trade is prevented so the little girls have a chance at living without the experiences of being sold. In going to each of these places, not only did I see the face of Jesus in each little face I looked at, but I found hope through the people that I encountered along the way. The bigness of God came in the form of faces all over Southeast Asia that seeked Him in their times of desperation. The bigness of God was revealed when the entire world shook during the 6.8 earthquake when we had no control over whether our building would hold, let alone if we would live through it. But God had control and He was bigger than that earthquake. The bigness of God was revealed when 60 little kids raised their hands among their trash cluttered, fly swarming, foul smelling environment to bless US for coming to serve them. We did not serve, we were served by them instead. Funny how it works.
In being called to come overseas to do mission work, I have learned that you also need to be content if you are called to stay in the United States. I do not know what life looks like for me after this. I have little plans of my own, but I have come to realize that “my” plans really have no significance if they are not in accordance with God’s. So, in challenging myself, I am going to challenge you. I have no idea where you are in your faith life, your call to missions, or what you think it even means to “be called.” I have no idea if you are a missionary already or if you volunteer on a weekly basis. But I DO know that the same slums, poverty, and spiritual darkness that I have seen a half a world away is in our own backyards. I do know that in the simple things like inviting your neighbor to eat dinner with your family, you are making them feel sought after and important. You are serving them. You are serving Jesus. I do know the inconvenience of seeing a homeless man with a sign on the side of a busy intersection and the conflict that goes on inside your heart. I urge you. Give him some money or something to eat. Maybe he wants it for alcohol or drugs. Maybe he is not homeless at all. But who are we to judge? Maybe, in you SERVING him, you are the only chance he has at a real meal. You are serving Jesus on our own streets. Maybe you get letters, similar to the ones I sent out, for support for people to go on trips similar to the one I am completing. I’m telling you, you are not paying for their “vacation”. You are paying for them to see and reveal Christ to others in a whole new light. You are serving Christ through sending others. There are so many people we walk past on a regular basis that we do not look past rather that we look through. I urge you; look at them in the eye. See them as God sees them. You never know the last time someone really looked at them and smiled rather looking past them and hurrying by. You CAN be Jesus to that person. None of us can help everyone. But all of us can help Jesus. And when we help them, we serve Jesus.
Thank you for all of your prayer support over the past four months. You guys have been Jesus to me and your prayers seriously continued to fill me up on a daily basis. I am so thankful to each one of you. Love you all and see you soon!
“Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me-you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40