Our trip to China on December 21-30, 2009 was fraught with difficulties, excitement and deep satisfaction.
Difficult moments involved:
A) Flying from Shanghai and landing at Kunming Airport, about 200 miles away from Lijiang Airport, my destination. This caused me to miss the friends who were to pick me up at the airport to travel on-land for 6 hours to the small city of Weixi. But God is good. He brought into my path Erik, a young American missionary studying Chinese, who aided me during this dilemma that I was able to connect with my friends who were to pick me up.
B) As our team was descending the mountain dirt road (after our meeting with the Tibetan leaders) we were met and questioned by the area governor, the chief of police and their entourage as to the nature of our business in the area.
C) At the Christmas celebration service (attended by more than 700 Lisu Christians) we were “invited” by a high ranking officer of the RAB, (Religious Affair Bureau), for a chat at their office in Weixi City again questioning our purpose.
D) The return trip offered new difficulties in Kunming due to the language barrier, causing a delay in boarding the transit plane to Shanghai then onward to New York. Through all these disturbing incidents, God answered our prayers. Praise the Lord.
It’s not uncommon when on mission trips to encounter unexpected exciting situations, as we did in China:
First, for our meeting with Tibetan Christian leaders who live on top of the mountains, we drove about two hours to the point where 4-wheel vehicles cannot be driven further. From there we had to climb on foot for more than two hours to reach the site.
Second, the main roads on the mountains are wide enough for two cars; however, there are few protective barriers to prevent cars from slipping into the deep ravines, if the driver should make a mistake navigating. To be fair, the edge of the road is painted white (about 8 inches wide) to alert drivers to the danger.
Third, when we were descending the mountain on foot, we had to stop briefly until a land slide had subsided. On the main road to Shangallila City, we went through several areas where land slides seem to have just occurred and boulders and chunks of rocks were strewn on the road.
Fourth, while in the city streets of Weixi, as a precaution, I was advised not to speak aloud in English.
Fifth, before attending the Christmas celebration service, our team was escorted to the house of one of the elders and waited there a couple of hours until the RAB officers would have left. However, when we reached the worship ‘auditorium’ we actually sat in a waiting room with the RAB officers. Miscommunication?
It was a deeply gratifying trip because we were able to accomplish our objectives in coming to China:
One, we learned a great deal about the growing Lisu Christian communities in the south western portion of China where Russell Morse and his family began their missionary work more than 80 years ago. It is still flourishing.
Two, there are evangelists actively training people to become church leaders and evangelists.
Three, we observed 40 Tibetan youth being trained in Todi village and our three trainer/evangelist partners from Myanmar who accompanied me, were able to conduct a 2-weeks training session for 134 Lisu Christians, after I left.
Four, in our meeting with the Tibetan leaders, we got to know a young Tibetan pastor/evangelist who ministers in the local villages and also travels to Tibet to witness and preach there, including to some Buddhist monks. Because of his faithfulness and passion to continue to bring the gospel to his people in Tibet, and at the prompting of the Spirit we took a leap of faith to partner with him.
Five, we brought gifts provided by IDES, to help two villages satisfy some physical needs. This act of loving kindness brought additional joy to their celebration of Jesus’ birth.
We praise God for this mission trip and give him all the glory for all that that have been accomplished and for blessings yet to come. We are deeply grateful for your partnership, prayers and financial support. Please continue to pray for this ministry.
If you wish to be a partner with us in the task of worldwide evangelism, you can send your donation payable to Bring Good News, c/o South Nassau Christian Church, 3147 Eastern Parkway, Baldwin, NY 11510. Thank you so much.
Your coworker in his harvest field,