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East Asia – May 2017

25 May

We cannot believe we are down to our last two days in East Asia! The previous days have proven themselves tiring yet richly rewarding to us as we continue to meet with the friends we have made here and share the good news of Jesus with them.

On Wednesday, we followed up with some of the students we had shared the gospel with previously. After these meetings, we set out to the center of the city where people gather to shop and grab tea with friends, with the hope that God would allow us to meet more students there. After several failed attempts to meet any new students, we headed over to a milk tea shop to buy some drinks before heading back to the hotel for our team meeting.  We were standing in line ready to order when  God provided us a new friend when we least expected it! We were able to share numbers and set up a lunch date for the next day. It was deeply encouraging to behold the faithfulness of the Lord in continuing to provide opportunities to share the mystery of Christ!

That Wednesday night, our team and many of the students we had been sharing with on previous days, went to KTV (karaoke). Unlike back in the states, karaoke here is set up in private rooms that group of friends reserve to sing their hearts out, and that is what we did! It was a relaxed time with the friends we had made, where countless laughs and singing skills (both in English and their language!) were shared, and friendships were deepened.

Thursday was our last day in East Asia, and as the morning sun peered into our hotel rooms, the day already proved bittersweet as we considered how our trip was coming to an end. We met with “C”, the girl we met Wednesday in line at the milk tea shop. We had the opportunity to learn more about who she is and her story. Over lunch, God was faithful to open to us a door for the word and we shared with her the good news of Jesus! We were able to spend a good portion of the afternoon with her even after lunch where she trusted us with more personal parts of her story and we were able to identify with her struggles and share how God had worked through similar hardships in our own lives and given us a living hope that cannot be shaken.  We were so grateful to God for directing our steps to her, and allowing us to share the good news with her even on our last day there!

That Thursday night our team had dinner with all of the students we had befriended and had shared with during this trip. Even during this last dinner, opportunities for sharing the truth of Jesus were so abundant. One friend, “Z”, has heard the gospel through long term missionaries there and attends a weekly Bible study to learn more about Christianity, but does not feel ready to believe in the truths she has learned. We quickly became friends over the past ten days and as she sat next to me during dinner, she showered me with question after question regarding the story of Jesus and how I had come to faith in Him. Her hunger for truth and her awe at the things I was able to share with her only increased my own awe at a God who will stop at nothing to see the lost reconciled back to Him in this city. His love for the people here is so deep and great!

Tomorrow, as we go back home to Fayetteville, we leave yet another home behind in this city. God has grown our love for the people here in unexpected ways, and burdened our hearts for the many who still do not believe, especially the new friends we had the privilege to meet. But we leave deeply encouraged, as we contemplate the countless ways we witnessed the love, grace, and sovereignty of God magnified day after day during our stay here! As we return, please pray with us for the souls of the students we were able to share the mystery of Christ with. Pray for the long-term workers who remain there, for their strengthening in the Lord so that they may be filled with endurance, patience, and joy. Finally, please pray for the follow ups of the long-term workers there with the students we shared with during this trip.

Written by Paola Monterrosa-Diaz

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