Not by my strength

Leaving this place is like I’d be leaving all my memories here. Of course, the living conditions weren’t that great—no air conditioning, no flush toilet and I had to wash my clothes by hand. But it’s those little things that create memories and happiness to me. I fear that once I’m out of the door, those memories will be locked up in the room being held as ransom, and I will have difficulty reclaiming them. I don’t want to leave.

I see the mountains that greeted me when I arrived to the campus. They were so magnificent and beautiful. I thought to myself, “I wish I had the faith of a mustard seed to move them to my backyard.” I looked at the campus one last time as the bus was driving off. I didn’t want to leave. I wish I could just live there with my friends. I asked God why he put people in my life and just removed them so quickly.

Two hours later, I opened my eyes and realized I had been asleep. I was at the new campus. It didn’t feel the same. I didn’t have that “a-ha” moment as I did at the last campus. I didn’t want to be here. I saw my room. The room had four bunk beds, which meant there were eight beds in a very small room where I could barely move. This living arrangement was getting me frustrated.

At the last campus, the students were university students and at least could speak broken English. But I found out that here, I would be with teenagers who only speak their native language. I thought: “What’s the point of me being there? I won’t be able to understand them, and they won’t be able to understand me. What is my ministry? Why am I here?” All the frustrations and hurting were building up inside me.

I went into my room and wept. I prayed: “God, why am I here? What am I supposed to do? I am getting frustrated and am hurting. Why do I feel this pain?”

I felt God in the room comforting me. He was trying to tell me to stop relying on my own strength. He said that my emotions were fine, because I realized that I couldn’t deal with these issues by myself. I needed him. He is strong when I am weak. He reminded me that the people I met were not for just any reason, but had a plan for me. God doesn’t do anything in vain. I reached my weak point and had to rely on him and only him. I thanked him for the good and the bad. I learned that I couldn’t do everything on my own. I needed him.

Kevin, a student at Texas A&M University in Kingsville, served with Go Now Missions in East Asia. His last name is withheld for security reasons.

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