I sat across from her, hearing her unique story told in a thick German accent, her voice rising over the sea of hundreds of female voices. She is a missionary laboring quietly in the lush mountains of a remote village in China. No monuments will be resurrected in her honor, her face will not appear on cereal boxes, she will not be rich by the worlds standards but her hard work will resound for all eternity. She encountered Christ at nineteen and set out to work in the hidden valleys of China to bring hope to orphaned children, to the fatherless and motherless and bring them the eternal joy and love of a father who has never forgotten them. She told me a story of a young Russian boy whose sole dream is to attend Hillsong College… of his life of poverty but of his giant dream. This moment sitting across from her hearing her wisdom and looking into those brown eyes, those eyes that had seen so much, things I will never see… things that are now memories collecting dust in the drawers of her mind. Beautiful things she has seen… Chinese hills spreading green before her and the small faces of children brimming with joy as they encounter love for the first time.Yes, as I sat across from her I gleaned two things…
(1) Perspective: A little Russian boy 9,005 miles away (14493 km) in a remote land is yearning to be where I am. To see the faces that so longingly sing songs of praise to the author and creator of the world. Yearning to be in this place that I sometimes take for granted. Wow! I pray father in my heart that as this place begins to loose its shimmer and what once made it so unique that you remind me of the little Russian boy who is desperate for a chance at this place. I pray that you make a way for him, and that one day I will be able to meet him and sit across from him ready to hear of his journey. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
(2)Blessing: For the last couple of days I have been contemplating Missions and wondering whether or not I would ever be so privileged as to embark on one. I was doubting whether I was called to the mission field and all that is brings with it. (Though we are all called to the mission field though it looks different to different people). With this encounter God brought assurance to my heart. Out of all the people in that auditorium he decided to use her a missionary to tell me her story, encourage me, and spark a vision.
I sat across from him on a milk carton, his aged eyes looked up at me as he sipped his coffee and puffed his cigarette. The night cold and alive with the last glimpses of city lights. He told me his story. Of the wife that left him, the son he hasn’t seen, of the illness he carries… and he asked questions about God. Hard questions. Not hard doctrinal or theological questions, but human questions. And I answered the best way I could, trying to make sense of his hardship, asking God why? Where was his answer. As I left I looked at the small grey clouds over head, “God when will breakthrough come for him? I’m not doing enough, what can I say to him? How can I say “I know how you feel?” How can I say it will be okay?” “Is it enough to say God is always there when he feels so abandoned?” Give me words to speak…” As the lights dimmed low I came back thinking of my world and problems so small. I sat across from a man who had lost it all, who was trying to get back on his feet and plant them in a world that could care less of his situation because he doesn’t dress and act a certain way, because he is the “less of these.” But in this world full of materialist succession and empty accolades he is the man I see real strength in, to survive one day at a time, letting go of pride to ask for a meal, laying down materialistic need for real necessities. He is strong. Because his humility is the opposite of human action and reason, because we walk in pride and in materialistic necessity. It’s easy to say its his fault where he ended up, but one thing we can’t deny is the fact that at 67 he has found a way to survive, survive by the means of his own two hands, though now I believe it is time to call upon his maker for strength, he’s gone far on his own, but the race is meaningless if at the end he looses even the less of everything and is separated from the maker who truly loves him.
“God I know that you are with this man that you created. There is a reason for your silence and I believe that if he takes a moment to look back at his life that he will find glimpses of your hands of mercy upon his life, maybe he just doesn’t realize that those moments were all you. I know that you have crafted a beautiful story for him, and I know that you yearn to be united with him once again. Make a way father heal him, and begin to bandage up his scars as you say in Hosea six. In Jesus’ name Amen!”
I sat across from her at a coffee shop hours before my departure. Her eyes glistening with the love of God and an unrelenting joy in her heart. In a couple of weeks she would depart for an eleven month voyage to bring light to eleven nations in the world. Her heart set and ready to let go of comfort and step out in faith for the cause of Christ. Facing head on fears that had taken her captive, and stepping into them believing they would be shattered. Three months later people in places like Romania, Moldova and Nepal will never be the same again. The people she has encountered now forever embedded in the memory banks of her mind, and fingerprints of Christ and her in their hearts. She may not have a degree from a major university, and she may not have great accolades but she does have a great inheritance waiting for her in heaven, and children from every nation that she has impacted. I thank God for people like her. People who are willing to take up the cross of Christ to the ends of the earth doing her part in the great divine scheme. Daniela Romo you are one extraordinary woman. And hopefully one day I will be at least half of what you are. Be safe and God bless you beautiful!
“Every second that you live you are never going to get back. You are never going to get to change what you said, didn’t say, did, or didn’t do. Live how you want to live. Act how you want to be remembered, because you never know how long or short you are going to be here.”
P.S. If you want to follow the missionary journey of my friend Daniela visit her blog here and please if you can support her financially please do so! She must raise money to stay on the field by Dec 1st!!