Worldview students keep journals during their time overseas. Here are some of their reflections on the challenges they experienced as they learnt to trust God in situations well outside their usual comfort zones.
(“Church Planting Practicum” is an 8-week study module during which students spend five weeks in a cross-cultural church planting team. It’s an opportunity for them to evaluate their own abilities and consider their calling to cross-cultural ministry.)
This year five students headed overseas to different corners of the world, joining existing church planting teams for a first-hand missionary experience.
Mexico: Jason and Cindy
We were invited to give a presentation about Australia at a Catholic school. We taught them the Kookaburra Song. I even imitated a kookaburra, which they just loved. Only an Australian could fully appreciate the humour of a group of nuns saying “G'day Mate”.
We have been humbled by the warmth and love of the people we have met. They have invited us into their homes to share a meal and friendship, and we have been told often that their home is our home.
One of the ladies told me she had looked to buy me a special local shawl but they didn't have any pretty ones at the market. So she took off the one she had worn to church and gave it to me. These are very poor people and she literally gave me the clothes on her back. What a lovely woman and gesture of love! I had tears in my eyes.
Middle East: Sam* (*name changed for security purposes)
Last week, I met a man, Muhammad. He was really kind and welcomed me, and we exchanged our contact numbers. I felt that it was not an accidental meeting. I called him to meet again. In this second meeting, I shared the gospel. Then I showed him the Arabic version of the Jesus film. Could you pray that he will open his eyes to see the truth?
I shared my testimony in the patients’ meeting in a hospital. The first time I attended there were many arguments about issues like Jesus' crucifixion and his divinity. After that meeting I felt that God wanted me to share a more personal experience. So I did so during the next meeting, and I felt God was working through my sharing. In contrast to the earlier meeting, this time nobody could argue with my testimony because it was my family's experience!
Luis has given us his motorbike to get around on. Happy to be riding. A bit scared though. The traffic is chaotic, and I obviously don't know my way around yet.
Buddhism is clearly the dominant religion. Shrines and temples are everywhere.
Prison visit. We meet with four prisoners regularly. Two profess to be Christian. As far as prisons go in the third world, this one seemed pretty good!
China: Yvette* (*name changed for security purposes)
My life here is totally dependent on the team, like a child, because I cannot speak Chinese. Since I cannot speak the language, I sometimes find myself in passive mode.
I travelled to five villages today, starting in the early morning. It was a tough but interesting experience to meet new people and see a different lifestyle. When I was in one village I asked God why He brought me to this area. I felt He was saying: “You just arrived here so everything is new and different for you. However, they have been known to me for a long time and I love them so much.”
China: Wendy* (*name changed for security purposes)
I attended a Friday night meeting. People worshipped God passionately. Most of the church members were young adults. New people attended the meeting and two of them accepted Jesus after the meeting!
Over the last couple of days everything seemed to be testing my patience and endurance. But I was able to experience His goodness and arms around me very clearly. When it’s dark, His goodness shines more vividly.