After the Gateway GPS camp, a group of 17 young people went on a cycling adventure for five days in South China. Dina from our Gateway staff was one of the team leaders and this is what she wrote:
Watering dry land
When God’s people are available to love, serve and reach out to others a blessing is released which goes way beyond all expectations. During the cycling adventure God opened our hearts to understand and see that the harvest is ready, that every single place has a unique need and that its going through a special process.
One of the first things that the Lord spoke to our hearts was about timing. We were aware about the possibility of ending up in villages where the gospel had already been preached. When we found these villages it became clear that God wanted us to water the seed of His word rather than plant it as we faced the challenge of encouraging those to go deeper and even having to rebuild some misconceptions about Christianity.
One day, during our intercession time, one of the ladies received the impression of “watering the dry land” and emphasized that the dry land did not represent the unreached people in the villages but the actual Christians in the villages. We weren’t sure if we’d find any Christians at all but as we prayed, we felt strongly that we would.
We got on our bikes that morning and after a couple of hours of cycling we entered into a small village. We shared, laughed and chatted for a bit before we found out that one of the ladies we were chatting to was the wife of the only Christian around! She felt overwhelmed about all the things that she had to face to fulfill that role and she was not even sure if Christianity was a good or a bad thing. She asked many questions about our beliefs, our daily life and about many things as her husband could not answer.
She had made a commitment to Jesus before but after many years of confusion and loneliness she gave up and kept worshiping her ancestors. She got frustrated when she tried many times to find a Bible but was unable to do so. The experience left her disappointed so we encouraged her and she experienced such joy as she was reminded how much Jesus loves her. She accepted Jesus in her heart once again and gladly accepted the bible from us that she had longed for.
God spoke to our hearts about the need of shepherding the sheep, not only to preach but to follow up and care for the harvest. How hard could it be for the only Christian to grow without a complete understanding about what he tried to believe?
“I was happy to visit these villages because I was reminded that I have to visit my church’s village more often. There are many lonely people and they need our care, they need someone to talk to, someone who can listen to them”
Kathy, Hong Kong
“This was my first time in China doing a mission trip and after this experience I think I have one more mission to complete back to my home church. I understood that we can do whatever God asks us to do. In the villages, I felt the need of the people who have never heard about Jesus and it touched my heart because after I handed a Bible to an old woman, I saw her sharing it with more women”
“We can do whatever God asks us to do” and even when the weather was severe enough to make the team give up, it was definitely worthwhile to continue. God used the most difficult hours of cycling to teach us about patience, overcoming, teamwork, kindness and love. Looking back we can see that the process of getting through those challenges and difficult moments of simply trying to arrive to the villages actually prepared us spiritually for what was to come, which was reaping the harvest.