Having just returned from a ministry trip to Asia, I’m grateful for the many people who have been praying for us and who are asking, “How was your trip?” There’s lots to say about what we did and who we got to know, and anyone interested is invited to join us for a “bring your own lunch” report back after our church service on Sunday, November 17, in the Basement Auditorium from 12:15-1:30.
Today I want to reflect on one simple question I found myself considering during the journey home: “How is God greater to me than when I left?” The short answer is that spending extended time with our ministry partners at Logos Ministries has left me with a sense of how Jesus is at work in them in so many ways that he is at work in us.
Of course the brothers and sisters we were with are different from us in many obvious ways. We speak different languages. Many of them are from villages which may or may not have electricity and running water. They have drivers who honk to let you know where they are; we have drivers who honk because they’re impatient or in the early stages of road rage! Their word for “food” is “spicy,” which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and everything else.
Yet we have so much in common. Each morning we (Jay and SaraJane Strylowski, Lesley, and me) arrived at the ministry center to the sound of them worshiping at the top of their lungs – hearts bursting with salvation’s song, just like we experience here so often on Sunday mornings. They are committed Christians, but, like us, have struggled to be clear about what it really means to be a disciple and how disciples grow; they really appreciated what we shared with them about how disciples are simply people who know, love, and obey Jesus, while encouraging others to do the same.
They, like us, are becoming aware of the impact of trauma and abuse on the lives of believers. The ladies who met with SaraJane and Lesley were very responsive to learning about how to talk about these things and how to find God’s grace for help. The men especially appreciated Jay’s willingness to open up with them and tell them his own story about how he is finding God’s gracious help in working through his own traumatic childhood experiences.
We are all people who want to share the gospel with others, and we were strengthened by the young man who told us of visiting a family in his city to share about Christ. Before they left the home they were warned through a phone call not to go into the street, for people were there waiting to attack them. They left through the back door, but haven’t stopped talking about Jesus.
How did God meet me on our trip? I experienced the communion of the saints under the Lordship of Christ in a fresh and powerful way. Though we live on two continents, we are one body, empowered by one Spirit, living out one faith, being directed by one Lord. What a joy to have ministry partners like this! What greater joy to sense the leadership of Jesus over his people, and to be a part of that people.