I don’t fit in this country.
I have never, in all of my life, consistently been the tallest person in the room. But that happens here a lot—that is, unless my 6-foot 8-inch supervisor is with us. I really have no idea how he does it, because bus seats, taxi roofs, doorways and even some covered walkways are top small for me. I find myself bending over much more frequently than I ever did in the States, but I guess we all have to make sacrifices for the gospel.
My job here in South Asia is not exactly what I envisioned when I signed up. To be honest, though, I think that’s a good thing in this situation.
A more strategic task
The job I signed up for was called “Rough and Tough Trekkers.” I had this picture in my head that I was going to be out in the mountains for two to three weeks at a time and only come back to the main city for a day or so. I thought I would be spending all of my time talking to people who had never heard of the name of Jesus and directly be involved in telling them the gospel. Although that may still happen on a shorter time scale, the job here is much more strategic than that.
You see, two Anglos from the United States sharing the gospel out in the boonies would still bring glory to God, but it’s probably not the most effective use of our time here. Rather, if we were able to multiply our efforts by 30 people, a lot more people could hear the good news.
So, much of our time is going to be spent training national believers on how to share the good news and how to train others to do the same. These are people who have lived here all their lives, who know the language and the culture, and who will be here long after I am back in America. In this way, we are equipping nationals to reach their own country.
We left for the south of the country Wednesday a week ago. This part of the country is very flat and dry and actually not that far from where I served in South Asia two summers ago. While we were on our trip, we were able to meet with a pastor and his wife, as well as two friends of our translator.
Prayer for the young men
A big prayer request of mine when I served here two years ago was for the young men of the culture. I was very encouraged by this trip, because out of all five of us in the group doing the work of evangelism, none of us were older than 26. In fact, our translator and national partner is only 20 years old, but he is the pastor of a church which includes his two uncles, his father and his grandfather. There are indeed many Timothys at work in South Asia.
On our trip, we were able to talk to a schoolmaster who was very interested in the gospel. We were able to give him a Bible and share many stories with him, including the greatest story of all.
The local pastor agreed to continue meeting with this man and discipling him as he grew in his faith. The next day, we visited a youth conference, where my partner delivered a message, and I played an American worship song on an incredibly out-of-tune guitar. That night, we met with another body of believers in a village down the road, where I got to hone the skill of creating a message in under five minutes—an essential skill in South Asia.
All in all, it was a very encouraging trip to see what has been done for God’s kingdom in these villages but also just how much there still is to do.
B.B., a student from Texas A&M University, is serving with Go Now Missions in South Asia. His full name is withheld for security reasons.