Ask a Missionary, part one
PK, Missionary in Asia
We’re starting a new series on the CGO Blog – we call it, “Ask a Missionary.” We’ve polled our student body, asking what questions they’ve always wanted to ask a missionary. We then sent those questions on to some missionary friends of ours. Our first one comes from a missionary to Asia. Enjoy!
1. How many countries have you been in?
We have only LIVED and served in two. We started a house church training school in the mountains outside of Manila, Philippines. We then moved to Beijing. I did some of my training there in the city and also traveled to others towns to teach.
2. How did God lead you to where you are now?
God promises that if you run hard after Him and submit to Him, then He “WILL direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6). It is really that simple. We have seen His hand directly every time in an unmistakable way. The “keeping us from going” was done through medical complications with our oldest that kept us in the states for 15 years. Our involvement in the house church training fell in our laps as I was asked to do one block class that showed me a ministry that fit me well and had great need. Our move from training Chinese pastors in the Philippines to going into China was a series of events and relationships that showed us we would be more help to the church IN country than out. But in every case, we were content in Christ and His will and He made it clear that we had a change. Each time that clarity was brought in a unique and unforeseen way. He is faithful to lead if you are faithful to chase after Him with all your heart.
3. What are the most common ways that you have met the people who have been saved and disciple through your ministry?
Dealing with the house church means that you meet and minister in a more unique way. God really opened doors for us through the training I did of house church pastors who were brought to our school in the Philippines. As we lived with those men for six months at a time, we developed very close friendships. God used these relationships to open far more doors than we could ever go through once we arrived in country. It was exciting to see the sovereign hand of God open doors that we had no idea we would need or in ways we would never think of.
4. What’s your advice for raising a family on the mission field?
A lot would probably depend on where you are. Ultimately the key to raising a family ANYWHERE is to genuinely be like Christ in the home. Love the kids. Love your spouse. Love the Lord. Love the church. Love the Word. LIVE IT. That is the key to any family. The practical issues will fall into place depending on where you are - wise friendships, good church, family outings, etc.
5. What was your biggest challenge on the mission field?
For us it was the isolation and the constant pressure to keep on guard with what we said. It was like leading a double life. You had to evaluate EVERY person you talked to and keep your two different stories straight. To the unbelievers, I was Dr. ______, the professor in the Ph.D. department of THE Communist party university of China (anyone who knows me rolls their eyes at that thought). To believers, I was “teacher Li” or “brother Li.” So from the time you wake up till the time you go to bed, you are in constant filter mode. Everything I say can be listened to. Everything I do can be watched. Every time I go to train we could be caught by the police. Every knock on the door could be a problem. It is a hard way to live, but you just have to keep mentally alert and spiritually resting in God’s sovereignty.
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The CGO Blog
Written by the CGO staff, with guest posts from students and other faculty/staff at BJU to provide thought leadership for missions in a new millennium.