"This is what God the LORD says— he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. "I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you."Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them. Let the desert and its towns raise their voices; let the settlements rejoice. Let the people sing for joy; let them shout from the mountaintops. Let them give glory to the LORD and proclaim his praise in the islands. The LORD will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies. "For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant. I will lay waste the mountains and hills and dry up all their vegetation; I will turn rivers into islands and dry up the pools. I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them." (Isaiah 42)
What an honor and a privilege to be a part of the new thing God is doing to bring the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Asia! You can hear about something, read about it, look at pictures, or watch it on TV, but until you actually experience it firsthand it doesn't become real to you. Now I understand why my brother Josh is so excited about his work in Hong Kong, and why he signed up for a second year. Now I understand why he is going back to China next year to work for a Lutheran organization in Shanghai. Now I know.
God is indeed doing great things through His Word and through His people in Asia, and it is truly a blessing to be able to see that and experience it. We spent our first week at the MCDH School in Hong Kong, teaching english and sharing with the students and faculty there. The second week we were at an English Center and Drug Rehab House on the mainland.
Many thanks for all of your prayers and for all of your support of this mission trip. The trip to Hong Kong and China was an incredible experience and the best trip of my life, but it's so good to be back home in Missouri. I look forward to sharing more about our experiences in the future, and the exciting things God is doing in China.