Well, not quite yet. One more day of preparation. On Tuesday morning, I'll be setting off for the Seattle airport, from which I'll be joining my team and flying to Beijing, China. Wow. I still can't believe it's actually happening.
The story behind this entire trip has been long, hard, and full. So many things have come together, some from years and years ago, others in the past 11 months, some in just the last several weeks. God has so clearly orchestrated each and every event that has led me here; I trust Him with everything I am.
I have a few prayer requests as we head out, and I would be honored if you would bring these petitions before the very throne of God. There is literally nothing that will bless me more.
Language. This is a little different than Mexico. I've been studying Chinese for a few weeks now, but I honestly have no idea how far it will take me. I can ask someone's name, say "nice to meet you," and tell them where their cat is, but that comes close to the extent of it. But when I think about the fact that the God I am going to China to serve is the One who created this language, it helps put things in perspective. He can literally do anything. Prayer that we will be able to communicate well with the Chinese student's broken English and our nearly non-existent Chinese would be such a blessing.
Teaching. While in China, we'll be spending a week teaching character qualities at an English camp to over 100 students. I will be teaching "obedience," and some other qualities include diligence, forgiveness, self control, etc. Please pray that we will be able to clearly communicate the importance of these qualities, and will cause the students to dig deeper into the root of these morals and standards.
Boldness. Things are going to be a lot different on this trip that a domestic or Mexican missions trip, where the message of Christ can be proclaimed from the rooftop. China is a highly regulated and essentially closed country in the area of religion, particularly Christianity, and Beijing is no exception. We would love prayer for boldness to step out and share the gospel at the right times, but that God would clearly show us when those times are.
Love. Most of all, I ask that you pray for us to die to ourselves, and to love as Jesus would. Thus, even in the times when we can't speak His name, we can still love those we meet as His ambassadors to them. The love of Christ is different that any other, and it will never go unnoticed. Please pray that we will have that kind of love, a love that will bring everyone we come in contact with one step closer to Christ.
Thank you, friends. I am eager to bring back reports of God's faithfulness from the other side of the world. I'm heading overseas, now you take the home front. And, we're off!