A HEART FOR ASIA
From the time I was eight years old, God has given me a deep burden for the lost and the desire to serve Him overseas. I will always remember lying awake at night as a young girl, praying for the gospel to be spread throughout the world as the Spirit would place specific regions of the world and certain needs of His people on my heart to pray for. I deeply treasured this time of praying for the Kingdom of God, thankful that the Lord would allow a girl as small as me to intercede for His people around the world. But for ten years I struggled with a fear that seemed beyond my control.
Almost every night, God would place Asia on my heart. For a reason altogether unknown to me, I experienced a fear so spiritually gripping that I would resist thinking about this place with all of my might and would refuse to pray for God’s people there. I remember the Spirit prompting me to trust Him as He was inevitably bringing this specific place to my heart. But I continuously responded by slamming down a steel door at the entrance of my heart and telling God, “No. I cannot pray for them... I am too afraid. And don’t you dare send me there one day!” This fear carried into my daily life as simple decorations that reminded me of this culture would cause me to freeze internally with dread.
It was not until the summer before my sophomore year of college that I experienced the redemptive work of God concerning this fear in my life. At the end of my freshman year at Biola University, a friend of mine at school asked if I would pray for him and his friend that summer as they were going to Asia to serve for a month. While I said that I would, I internally questioned if I would be able to do so and knew that I would need to rely on God’s strength. Over the course of two months, I desperately called on the Lord every day to help me lift up my brothers in Christ. I often trembled as I brought their requests before the Lord, but as I continued to pray in the face of fear, God was at work, increasing my faith.
One specific day at the close of the summer, I found myself on my knees in my bedroom, weeping and shaking with the all too familiar fear that I had known since I was eight. As I prayed in faith that day, I asked the Lord to remove my fear and told Him that if He willed to send me to Asia some day for His Kingdom work that I would be willing to go. At that exact moment, the Lord completely removed my fear, just as if He had plucked a weed out of a garden bed. Since that day God has continued to replace what once resided as fear in my heart with the desire to go and share the love of Christ. Praise God!
After many months of seeking God’s direction, the Lord has made it exceedingly clear to me that this is the time He has prepared for me to pursue His work. I am beginning by dedicating a year to serving in Asia, starting this coming fall. Teaching, developing material for understanding foundational Biblical truth, and mentoring young women are all possibilities for how I might serve there. I am very excited to see what God has planned. Please pray for me as I long for open hands, a discerning spirit, and an obedient heart. It is my prayer that your faith would likewise be strengthened as we seek the Kingdom of God together.
“Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul. I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.”
“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
“Ponder anew what the Almighty can do, who in His love does befriend you.”
-Praise to the Lord, Hymn