LB has worked as a FUGE staffer for two summers, one summer as administrative support staff and one as a Bible study leader and Missions Mobilizer. Currently, LB lives in Wilmington, NC where she is studying Community Health Education and will be graduating from UNCW in May (finally)! She loves all things North Carolina, especially the Three C’s: The Coast, Cheerwine, and Cookout.
Over Christmas break I had the amazing opportunity to travel to East Asia to share the story of Jesus Christ with college students. It was nothing like what I expected, but in the best way possible. I was so focused on teaching and sharing that I did not realize how much the Lord was going to end up teaching me. There are so many experiences and stories I could share, but that could run on for a while so I will try to narrow it down.
After three flights, which added up to about 22 hours of air time, we finally made it. I almost missed a connecting flight, was jet lagged, missing Christmas with my family and now in a foreign country where I knew two words in their language yet the Lord gave me such a spirit of peace and none of that mattered. There were so many instances where I could have become anxious, but from when I waved goodbye to my parents at airport security to when I got back on a plane to America 12 days later, my soul was nothing but calm and I knew only perfect peace like that came from God. I was ready to go.
I think for the first couple of days I was in culture shock. The city was huge and had so many people! I was a red-headed American so that immediately got me some strange looks and chuckles from locals when I tried to order food or eat with chopsticks (P.S. the way you pronounce the names of food is nothing like how the word is spelled), but I laughed right along with them.
One of my favorite things was being able to attend a women’s Bible study twice with local believers in East Asia. It was fun to sit around with girls my age, eat sweets and study God’s word together. One night we went around the circle to introduce ourselves and if you were a follower of Jesus they asked you to share how long you had been one. I heard answers like six months, a few weeks, one year and even a couple days from one girl who I saw give her life to Jesus in a Bible study a few days prior. When it got to a lady beside me she said over 30 years, I said 14 years and all the girl’s jaws dropped. It is not very common to be around people who have been followers for years and years because it is such a lost part of the world. However, these girls who were believers had so much passion and desire to know more about God the roles might as well have been reversed. These girls were a little shy in admitting how long they had been Christians and referred to themselves as “baby Christians”, but that is not what I saw in them. They had not lost the awe and wonder of our King. They know who they want to follow.
I spoke with one girl who told me about the first phone call she made home to tell her mom she was learning about Christianity. She told me how scared she was because that is not what she was raised to believe. She does not have the support of her family in this decision. Still her family accepts her and has not turned her back on her, but as she spoke I saw how hard it was for her to tell her family she wanted to go after Jesus, knowing how alone she was in that. She continued to read the Bible and learn about Jesus and last December she decided to follow Him. Before that in another call home she told her mom she wanted to be a Christian and her mom said okay, but make sure this is what you want to do. You see deciding to become a follower of Jesus was not just some result of a spiritual high or half-hearted commitment, it was something costly. This girl wanted to make sure Jesus was where she wanted to place her trust, whole-heartedly and that is what she did. This college girl and her friend who I got to know while I was there are two very special ladies to me. I was there to share the gospel and teach, and ended up being so encouraged by them and their faith. They want others to know the truth and they desire to learn more and more about our Lord. I was humbled and reminded that this is the attitude we, as believers, should always have. We should constantly be amazed at what the Lord is doing in our lives. We should be expectant that he will do more than all we ask or imagine.
My time in East Asia is hard to express in words because it is one of those “you just had to be there” things, so I encourage you to be there. People in this area are walking around with nothing and no one to place hope in. Many of them see no need for a Savior and that breaks my heart the most. I met such sweet college students and there were some who, once they decide to follow, will be such bold messengers of the Gospel but they just don’t see it yet.
Pray for these students that they would know Jesus and start a revival in their schools and cities. Pray for our brothers and sisters in East Asia that they would continue to grow closer to Jesus and share of his grace and love for all. Let’s never lose the wonder of our Savior.
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Visit fugeforasia.com for more info on how you can pray, give, and go to East Asia peoples.