BEIJING (BP)–Having made a commitment one year earlier to say “yes” to Christ in all things, Jim (name changed to protect identity of Christian worker) spent most of last summer interceding for summer missionaries who had been sent out by his Baptist campus ministry in Florida.
But he admitted to being secretly thankful that he was praying in familiar surroundings, rather than serving in some of the places to which they had been called.
So when his Baptist campus minister asked him to consider spending Christmas of 2000 in China, it posed a dilemma. Nevertheless, he agreed to pray about it.
As he prayed, he sensed God directing him to China. His resistance was countered by God’s gentle reminder to obedience. Soon Jim found himself preparing for the two-week trip that would take him halfway around the world.
During the winter days that he spent sharing Christ in China, his heart was broken by the lostness of the people. “God pointed to Ecclesiastes 4:1. The passage I have read many times talks about how the people are oppressed because they have no comforter,” Jim recounted. “I realized that this was China, that the people there are searching for the comfort that can only be found in a personal relationship with the Lord. This broke me, and made me long to tell as many people as possible about Jesus.”
Jim and his teammates from other universities also were overwhelmed with gratitude as they were used to lead seven Chinese friends to faith in Christ during their short trip.
As Jim prayed for God’s continued guidance, he heard the Lord say, “Jim, I want you to come back to China and tell the Chinese people that I love them.” As he struggled with the implications of that divine invitation, he began to think of all that he held dear — his family, his friends, his career and the promise of a good salary.
As Jim said “yes” to God, he placed all of that on the altar of sacrifice and is now joyfully preparing to return for at least two years to tell as many Chinese people as possible about the love of Jesus Christ.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: LIFE-ALTAR CHOICE.