A few days before Christmas, I had the opportunity to host a Christmas party here in East Asia.
It was kind of weird for me, because someone else was running it, and I was just letting them use my apartment. In the whole group of about 40 people who showed up to the party, I only knew three. Even when I tried to meet new people, it was really hard, because they barely spoke any English. It was probably the first time I’ve felt really awkward in my own home.
About an hour into the party, I was told that someone who was going to present had to leave early, and that person wanted me to share the Christmas story with everyone, and someone would translate for me. It was last minute, but I really had no problem with it, because I grew up with this story—or at least that’s what I thought. I ended up giving a really rough presentation. I am not used to having someone translate things when I speak publicly, so it didn’t really flow. But I got through it, and it seemed like everyone understood.
After that, some students got up in front of everyone and sang a couple of songs and even preformed a little skit that was followed up by a question. I had no idea what was going on because none of this was in English. Three people who were sitting down stood up, and then everyone started looking around nervously. I was still confused.
Then the leader made eye contact with me and yelled my name as if she had forgotten I was there and realized it all of a sudden. She told me the three people had just decided to follow God and asked me if I would like to pray for them. I said “of course” and prayed that God would make their commitment sincere and give them strength to follow.
So, an awkward party turned out to be a really big blessing. And I was reminded that even things like letting people use your apartment can work for God’s glory.
Jon, a student at the University of Texas at El Paso, is serving in East Asia with Go Now Missions. His last name is withheld for security reasons.