From Sarah: Does every conversation count?
My team and I prayed at the beginning of the trip to Asia to see 24 students believe and commit their lives to Jesus. On the morning of the last day we knew of 23!
That morning I had five appointments to meet up with some of my really spiritually interested friends. I prayed at the beginning of the day that I would see one of my friends decide to give their lives to Jesus. As the day progressed I grew more and more frustrated because all of my friends were super close to making that decision but none of them did.
Soon I was meeting my last friend of the day. Just before I met her I told God that I didn’t know anything about this girl. I was meeting her for the first time through a friend’s friend, but I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to meet her. I did not know if she was even spiritually interested, but I had prayed at the beginning of the day that I would see one of my friends come to know Jesus and so I continued to pray this.
We met and chatted for a bit around the running track and then we went up to the bleachers. We stumbled upon an empty music room with some pianos and she asked my ministry partner and I to sing her the song, “My heart will go on”.
We sang it to her and she asked us to sing something else. We knew that we wanted to sing a worship song for her but this was against one of our security rules. I felt the Holy Spirit telling me it was okay. I prayed intensely that God would close the ears of those who didn’t need to hear and that no one except us and our friends would understand the words. We decided to sing her “Man of Sorrows” because it was a song that God placed on both of our hearts recently.
When I turned to look at her after the song, I saw deep joy on her face.
She said, “Wow, I love this moment. I feel so at peace.”
We told her that we felt at peace too because this was a song we sang to praise God and thank him for what he had done for us. Immediately she asked us to sing her more so we sang her two other worship songs.
We shared with her that these were songs we sang at church and that we loved singing them because we loved God and loved singing songs to him. She shared with us that she really desired to have that same peace and joy in singing to God as well. She had been to church when she was young and remembered singing children’s songs but it was her first time meeting Christians her age who loved God and loved singing songs of praise to him.
Both of us shared our stories of discovering a relationship with Jesus with her and then the good news of how she too could begin a relationship with Jesus because of his death and resurrection. She made a decision to follow Jesus that night.
From Sam: An East Asian tried to share Jesus with me!
My ministry partner and I were talking with one of our friends that we had met with to talk about the Bible. We were sitting in a cafeteria that was empty except for the occasional passerby.
After a while, a guy started to hang out near us and we thought that he was lingering because my ministry partner was a Caucasian man speaking English. I felt nervous and on edge because I was uncertain if we would get into trouble for talking about Christianity (since the country was a closed country).
One of us mentioned Jesus and the guy who was lingering approached us and asked if he could join us. We felt very apprehensive but agreed. We didn’t bring up Jesus again because we were being cautious for security reasons, and it was hard for us to communicate with him because his English was very poor.
Somehow, one of us brought up Jesus again and his face lit up as he pulled out a small tract. I immediately recognized these tracts from seeing them in a garbage bin earlier that morning as I was throwing away my trash.
He started to share the gospel to us in broken English and asked if we knew Jesus. I was blown away because here was a man that was so faithful and diligent about sharing the gospel even to foreigners in his broken English when the only word he really knew was Jesus. Yet his love for Jesus, which is the same love that Jesus has for us, surpassed any fears he had of language and cultural barriers.
From Francis: The bad day that gave God glory
My ministry partner and I met up with a guy who was not very spiritually interested. We decided not to meet him again for the sake of time and to focus on people who were spiritually interested.
Near the end of our trip, we were low in our number of interested contacts, so we decided to try contacting him again. He brought a friend with him whose name was Curry, after Stephen Curry the basketball player.
We started talking about Stephen Curry and how he was a Christian. I noticed that they were now both spiritually interested.
We decided to share the gospel with them and landed on the page asking whether they wanted to sit on the throne of their lives or if they wanted Jesus to sit on the throne of their lives. They both pointed to the picture of Jesus sitting on the throne of their lives.
My ministry partner and I were baffled and told them to take a few days to think it over and that we would meet them again. We were unsure if they were making an informed choice.
We met them again a few days later and they confirmed that they wanted to follow Jesus.
The crazy thing was, that in my two years of participating in the East Asia mission trip, I’ve never seen any of my friends come to faith. I always thought that the day I saw one of my friends come to Christ, I would have had to pray for five hours, have had an amazing quiet time, and be super spiritual.
In reality, I had been having a really bad day when both of them came to Christ. Earlier that day, I had wanted to go to the library to spend some time with God but had forgotten my student card at home. I was angry and frustrated with myself and was even angry that I was angry. I went back to my dorm and couldn’t find my card. While searching I also remembered that I needed to meet a friend for lunch, but I needed my card for that too. I became angry that I wouldn’t be able to eat.
Finally, my roommate met up with me and told me he had two cards by accident and returned my card to me. I wasn’t mad at my roommate, but I was mad that I was so angry about the whole thing. By the time my ministry partner and I were meeting Curry and our friend again, I was still thinking about my stupid card!
But, here I was, sitting beside two people who were making one of the biggest decisions of their lives, saying yes to following Jesus.
I learned that God saves people because he loves them, regardless of how spiritual I feel or am in the moment.
I was glad that I was able to experience my first friends in East Asia coming to faith in Jesus in this way. If I had felt that I was very spiritual because of my time with Jesus that day or something like that, I would have attributed their salvation to what I had done. This is definitely not the case, as God is sovereign over all and the salvation of others is not dependent on me. God doesn’t let anyone steal his glory.
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