Changed by a Christ-Centered China
by Bob Drew – Bibles for China
In the past, I could never, for the life of me, understand why someone would ever want to go on a mission trip. I always considered missions as a sort of cop out for obtaining a “spiritual high”. It seemed like an excuse just to travel while feeling good about yourself. I always thought, “We have hungry people in our own back yards. Why do we need to go around the world to help other people?” I know that all sounds harsh (and I was extremely ignorant), but I just didn’t get it.
Then one day in October of 2012, a good friend of mine suggested something to me that sounded crazy. See, I went to see him to share some things I was struggling with. We talked about the struggles I had with pride, lust, discontentment, anger and a litany of other sin areas. As we wound down the conversation, I greatly anticipated “the advice that would solve all my problems”! His response was anything but what I expected. “Bob, I think you should serve on a mission trip.” I thought “What?! You are nuts!” At that moment, I totally missed what he was getting at.
Let’s fast forward about 4 months. In that time, God ended up connecting me with an organization called Bibles for China. I obeyed God, went to China with my wife, was blessed to deliver 10,000+ Bibles to poor rural Chinese Christians and came back a changed person. For those who are interested in what amazing things I saw, you can check out a list of them below. However, the point of this article is what God changed in me:
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
We are called to serve others and serve God. In the scripture above, Paul mentions the word “they” six times. Also, each time he uses the word “they”, it is in direct connection to God:
“How will they call on Him (God)”
“How are they to believe in Him (God)”
“How are they to hear (Him implied)”
“How are they to preach (The Word & The Gospel)”
“They are sent” (To do what? Preach The Good News!)
What do you think the focus is of Paul’s heart here? He wants us to focus on other people! He wants us to provide the means and answers for them to call on, believe in, hear, preach and serve God! Paul even adds a cherry on top by saying how “beautiful the feet” are of the messengers who carry the Word of God to others! It is all about other people!
See, my friend was not telling me to go on a mission trip so that I could take a vacation or get away and rest. He was trying to show me how to be humble by serving others. My biggest issue was, and often times still is, pride. It is the root of every sin in my heart. My sin is about what I want. My sin is about what I do to get what I want. Serving in China freed me so much from pride, selfishness and myself. Why? Because God showed me that life is not about me. He showed me that I do not need what “I want” to find joy in His kingdom.
I went to China with a selfish heart. I expected certain things from the trip. I had the mindset of “I am going to change their lives!” Wrong. They changed my life. By being a mirror image of humility and contentment, God used the Chinese Christians to show me how to love God and love others. God cracked the hardness around my heart and allowed me to know true humility for the first time in my life.
Do you need to go around the world to serve other people and understand humility? No. It can also be done right here at home. However, my biggest mistake was underestimating what God was willing to do to change my life. God will do anything to bring us closer to Him. He sent me around the world. He may send you around the street corner. Whatever you do, obey God and submit to wherever He is calling you to. It can and will be life changing!
Amazing Things I Saw In China:
- I saw a woman, with tears in her eyes, cling to my wife and beg her to pray for her husband. This woman had so much faith in Jesus and in prayer that she knew it could solve anything. Does that sound like any other woman in the Bible?
- I met a woman who had a demon removed from her body.
- I met a man, who was so filled with The Holy Spirit, that by just touching his hand I could feel the incredible power, love and connection in God.
- I met thousands of Christians who already knew and loved Jesus Christ without even having access to a Bible.
- I witnessed Christ’s name written throughout the country side and cities, including the Great Wall itself.
- I saw men, women and children throw parties, parades and concerts because the Bible was being brought into their town.
- I met men and women who waited 40+ years to receive their very first Bible, only to give it to a new believer because we didn’t have enough Bibles to deliver to their village.
- I saw men and women weep, below out and shake in gratitude to God for bringing His Word to their lives.
- I visited mud huts and homes of the poorest people I have ever met in my life, only to learn that the only possession they ever wanted was a Bible.
- I literally felt God every minute of every day. It taught me how to feel Him here at home.
Author: Bob Drew, A servant of Christ
In 2014, Bibles for China’s “in-country” partners are offering a Bible for Bible match on the first 20,000 Bibles.
Let’s join their efforts as this doubles the impact of each $5 gift and provides two Bibles for rural China>>>