In about a month, I will be making my home 1,350m above sea level, meeting beautiful people with rosy cheeks, having conversations in yurts and possibly eating more meat than I’m used to!
It has been a two-year journey to get to this point. A journey of seeking, asking God for multiple signs, wrestling with doubts and now peace and anticipation.
Here’s a peek into my journal of the days leading up to my first Serve Asia trip to Skylands, a region of East Asia home to many people influenced by the Tibetan Buddhist worldview.
I’m keenly aware that this trip to the Land of the Blue Sky is much more than a transient journey into new territories. I need the Lord more than ever. Without him, I am nothing.
To seek him first, to hunger for his Word, to acknowledge that I need him in so many ways, to bring the people I’ll meet before him and to be still before him. Every single day, to fiercely guard my time with the Lord, not by might, nor by power but by his Spirit. Repeat.
As I cement these spiritual disciplines on a personal level, I know I can’t embark on this journey alone. Not solo-tripping this time. I’m deeply grateful for my strong base of supporters praying for me as I go. They join me as I go out – and I’m encouraged to know that the Holy Spirit and their intercession fuel my journey onward and upward.
Proverbs 14:15 jumped out at me during my devotion one morning. It reads, “The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.” (NIV)
In the midst of a crazy packed calendar this month, I felt the Holy Spirit shine a light into my heart and challenge me of the areas I needed to give thought to – self-care, my time expenditure and the impact of my words.
If like me, you’re wondering, “How on earth will I raise enough support to go?”, I’m here to tell you that if he calls you, He will provide all you need.
In just under a week, God moved miraculously! Not only did he provide the full support I needed but also a bag of warm clothing from a dear friend, which was huge savings for a girl living all her life in the tropics! My heart will sing how great is our God!
To be super honest, while I have an itinerary in hand, I’m not quite sure of what to expect. “How will I fit in?” and “Will I be effective in my three weeks there?” are just two of the many thoughts swirling in my head.
Then I pause and remember these wise words from a long-term worker visiting about two months ago,
“Riley, remember that this trip isn’t about what you will do but more about what He will speak, teach and show you.” #word
So as I prepare my English lessons, crafts and learn survival phrases, I am constantly asking that God stills and prepares my heart to see and hear from him and to be filled with his love for the people I will meet.
‘If Your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here’ (Exodus 33:15, NIV)
Going with Jesus by my side is the greatest comfort and confidence I have, and will ever need.
May I carry His presence to the spaces I will enter, the people I will meet and the conversations I will have.
As you pack up, may I encourage you to pursue God and press on in prayer, grow in prudence, trust in his provision, allow him to prepare your heart and hands, and long for his presence to keep in step with him. Let this be the best time of our lives as we walk with the Lord!
Serve Asia worker
* Name changed for security.