I Would Have Never Heard It

Before Michelle’s parents could get her home from the airport, she told them she would be going back to East Asia. Her church at Texas A&M had provided the opportunity for her to go there in the summer of 2007. During that summer, God introduced her to people who deeply desired to speak to her, know her, and learn her language. He gave her a desire to effectively share the gospel with a people group who thought the concept of God was an unrealistic Western notion. She wanted to return and take the good news of Jesus’ love to those who had never heard about it.

After that summer, Michelle worked in a cardiac rehab center where she engaged in meaningful one-on-one interactions with patients. There God developed her relational spirit and her desire to heal. While she worked at the rehab center, God affirmed his plan for her to go back to East Asia. Despite many difficulties, he provided for her needs and removed obstacles. He brought people into her life who were more than willing to support her financially. And when family members feared for her safety and future, she presented them with written lists of the ways God had shown her his faithfulness as he provided for her.

Michelle returned to East Asia in 2008 for a two-year commitment. She was eager to share the gospel with the people group God had introduced her to the year before. However, in their country, Christians were not permitted to openly proclaim their faith. Michelle developed friendships with the girls at her language school and came to value the non-believers she wished to share the gospel with as people, not as projects. One of these non-believers once asked Michelle what the duties of a Christian were. She boldly answered, “To love God and to tell others about him because he has changed my life.” The young woman responded, “Oh. Well, you are doing a good job, because if you had not told me this, I never would have heard it.” Several of Michelle’s East Asian friends eventually put their faith in Christ, and she made them journals with specific Bible verses written in them. Now the journals are filled with sweet prayers from young women awestruck by God’s unrelenting love for them.

At this moment, Michelle is back at home, but only for a short while. She is fervently preparing to return to East Asia for another long-term stay. God has revealed his specific purpose for her for this time in her life: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'” (Romans 10:14-15) Michelle plans to go back and take the good news to more people in East Asia who have never heard it.

But in the back of her mind, she has an understandable apprehension about returning. Will she develop meaningful relationships again? Will her new friends see her as an American sister they can love and count on? In her uneasiness, she catches herself trying to make her own plans for her life. However, fear has not prevented her from yielding in submission to God’s will. This time she’ll leave for East Asia without knowing how long she’ll stay there. She trusts that God will let her know when it’s time to come home. He’ll make the right call. “God is very detail-oriented. He doesn’t have to think about things. He just knows and has control.”

Man scooping rice into a bowlView of a man standing in a doorway in an asian country