A new focus for me.
Almost 5 years ago (spring of 2015) we were obedient to the calling of moving to China. It’s crazy to think. 5 years! I remember coming here wanting to make a difference. Wanting to change peoples lives. Wanting to be a source of impact here in China. I wanted to work with the poor, marginalized, handicapped, orphaned, homeless, etc. I wanted to do it all. Little did I know He wanted to change me (and not just work through me).
We recently started morning devotions at the International clinic. We take turns leading. A few weeks ago a local nurse led devotions and asked us a simple question (all in Chinese of course):
What does it mean to do the work of God?
Many of us answered. The responses spanned a large spectrum. All good things. However, she ultimately pointed us to His word, John 6:28-29.
Then they said to him, “What must we do to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answers them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him who he has sent.”
How many of us (me included of course) miss this point? Not saying “good works” and “doing good things” isn’t important. It is! But, how many of us miss the big picture? How many of us, honestly, focus on the good works before we focus on Him? How many of us take pride in the good works before we take pride in Him? He just wants us to know Him, have relationship with Him, spend time with Him, relish in the fact that we are His sons and daughters.
It’s been a very difficult yet wonderful year of transition for me. I’ve gone from having 5+ official roles to maybe 1-2. Yet, I feel like I’ve grown so much more in leadership…and as a son of His…by focusing on Him and working on my relationship with Him. I’ve also seen so much happen in the past year because He’s helped me see a bigger picture and bigger need. More has happened this past year than the other 3-4 years prior.
We were asked to join a discipleship focused “simple church planting” movement 1.5-2 years ago. We were and are humbled we get to be a part of this body of Christ at work here in SW China. We then branched that model to a local group of 8-10 young people (that meet in our home), again, focused on going deep in relationship and deep in the word. That group amazingly has now (recently) branched to another new group of 10 local people (because one of the guys, CJ, in our group decided to start another group with people he has a heart for). It’s been amazing walking with these leaders, learning from the experienced and then ultimately helping and modeling and encouraging others to start their own simple church/group. Lily and I are so excited to see where Father leads this network of simple churches. We are so humbled to have a small part in what He’s doing here in China. Especially as security has gotten tighter and tighter we (along with others) see these simple house churches/groups as more and more a necessity.
I would genuinely appreciate your prayers. May I continue to focus on Him alone and be led by Him. May I ultimately take pride in Him. May our sole purpose here be doing His will and His will alone.
Here is a picture of CJ's new local group. He asked if I can spend a few months with him and his group as he leads this group. He's nervous. He doesn't even know how capable he is! He also asked if he could stay in our group as well as he feels this is his "home".
"Of course!" was mine and Lily's answer.