As I sit and look back on my outreach, I realize that I will never be able to wrap my mind around how much grace and mercy God showed me during that time. I will never fully realize how blessed I am and how much of a privilege it was to go to Taiwan and be able to reach out and touch the broken. Going to Taiwan to talk about God was a privilege. The fact that I was on an adventure half-way around the world was a blessing in and of itself.
Throughout our whole outreach, there wasn’t a day that went by where we weren’t surrounded by people that have never even heard of the name of Jesus. They have grown up in Buddhism and have known nothing else but Buddhism. In the past I would look at that fact in such a hopeless way. I used to see the world as a broken object, something that could never be fixed. I saw all the injustice in the world and I would say to myself, ‘Where is God in any of this? How could he let whole generations die without letting them hear of his name?’ But throughout outreach my outlook on all of that shifted. Instead of looking at the world’s brokenness in a condescending way, I started to look at all this hurt and unawareness as an opportunity. You don’t look at people the same way. You don’t look at someone and think, ‘That person is so lost’, but you look at them and all you can think about is how to approach that person about God. You get this overwhelming urge to plant a seed and I truly believe that it’s God’s encouragement to us when we feel that way about someone. He doesn’t want us to just be friendly and kind but to take that next step and tell them how much their heavenly father loves them.
One example of this longing to share the gospel occurred when we performed a skit in front of some Taiwanese students. Before we performed the skit, one of us would ask the kids how many of them had ever heard of the Bible before. Usually only about 10 kids would raise their hands. If I was still my old self, my heart would have sank. But when my new self saw those few hands go up, I would get excited because every kid in that room would be soon able to raise their hand. Every time we performed that skit, hundreds of seeds were being planted and it was so encouraging to have kids come up to us and ask more about this Jesus person. Telling them about God and watching their faces become more curious is one of the most fulfilling things I saw on outreach.
Before outreach I was very skeptical about being in missions but now, I don’t want to do anything else with my life. If I can travel the world to reach out to the broken and bring light to the darkness for the rest of my life, I will be the most content person in the world. I will be that light to those kids around the world, to those people that have grown up without the truth of Jesus, and to those that are hurt and are seeking something bigger than themselves. We are all children of God and I want to live out my life in a way that points to Jesus.
When I was on outreach, and even now that I’m home, there were many times where I felt overwhelmed or completely out of energy, but now whenever I feel that way, I just look back to this verse and I am encouraged. I hope that it can be an encouragement to you as well.
James 1:2-6, 12
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. Let steadfastness finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and have no doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind…..Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”