Wuhan, China… I can hear the horns from numerous cars outside my sixth floor hotel room in the heart of Wuchan, a portion of the 12 million strong who live in Wuhan. The “honks” are strategic. One, for hurry! Three quick honks for “I am behind you.” One long angry honk, the same as everywhere else in the World! The streets are full of people. Street lights are a suggestion rather than a law at times. We are only 4 ½ days into our 7 day trip to China and God as done miraculous things.
Where to begin… a parking lot of a gas station in Spokane, Washington. This is where I first met Leroy Ramsey face to face as a member of our trio on our way to China. What God was doing before we left to prepare us for His trip to China still astounds me! Leroy and his lovely wife Jane rescued a baby girl found in a box next to a dumpster around 1999. That young lady later was one of my youth group kids in Portland, Oregon. Now, we are on this adventure together along with Dave Ladines, also from the Spokane area.
Dave Ladines and I met over one year ago through Tom Horton and Rural Church Youth Ministries. In our meeting over dinner at a hotel in Spokane over a year ago, Gretchen and I knew somehow our hearts would be knit together with Dave and his work… we just didn’t know how. Well, one year later, a move from Seward, Nebraska to Spokane, Washington and I now sit here and write from China.
Now, to this morning. I received a message from Gretchen, as I am 15 hours ahead of her, with a Scripture from Isaiah 5:19; “Woe to those who say ‘let God hurry, let Him hasten His Work so that we may see it! Let it approach, let the plan of the Holy One of Israel come so that we may know it!’” Gretchen finished the simple message with, “Today let us fix our eyes on Him and not the picture of this big plan, instead let us be faithful and obedient to what He has called us to TODAY!” It sets the stage for what followed just in the hours that now lead to this message.
Through a connection from Leroy and a young man attending Moody Bible Institute in Spokane, Washington, we found ourselves in the midst of around 15 pastors meeting from all around China at a church. In this church Joseph’s father, the young man from Moody, is a pastor. It just so happened that Dave met Joseph in Spokane, which led to meeting his Father in a city of 12 million in Wuhan, which led to Dave presenting a disciple making program we would offer to Chinese high school students in Spokane, which led to being invited to teach in the future here in Wuhan at a few different churches. Oh yeah, this does not include the invites to Mr. Mai’s coffee house and to a few places in Beijing for Gretchen to sing and for me to preach and teach as well.
I have so much more to tell you about this trip, but it is only the beginning. This is just a snippet of what has transpired in our time here in China. We still have not made it to Shanghai, we still have not left yet for Mr. Mai’s coffee shop for a night of ministry and we have more to “see” in what God will accomplish as we walk out the doors of our hotel.
Yep, I will not be one to say “hurry up God” anymore! When we walk with the One who knows every moment past, present and future, He will direct our steps. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in our hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
I will choose to spend my time with Jesus, in prayer and in His Word, so that I may speak of the hope He has given me. Continue to pray for me in these next couple days, that I may encourage the pastors that I meet, speak of the One who rescues us from our sin, and live in the moments that God has already ordained to take place. Join me in slowing down enough to see what God has done, is doing and will do, if we do not hurry and wait upon the Lord.
All for the Kingdom,