One of my best friends has been serving as a missionary in East Asia for the past year. She just got home this week, so we've been talking about it a lot.
If you don't know much about the state of affairs on the other side of the world, it is an interesting place. Due to government controls, it is illegal to share the Gospel or start a church or talk about Jesus without being suspected of being some sort of criminal.
Christians are questioned, persecuted and killed for believing Truth.
But God is bigger than any man's government. Despite all of the controls, the Christian church there is massive. By church, I am not referring to any building. I am talking about people who love God and believe Jesus is the WAY to get to Him. They are the church. And in East Asia, it's exploding. God is faithful.
Maranda has been working with a Christian organization on a college campus to share the Gospel with students. They don't stand on street corners and preach. They don't start churches with awesome bands, lighting and programs. They don't stiff their waitress of a decent tip by leaving a copy of "The Four Spiritual Laws" (not that there's anything wrong w/ TFSL- but seriously, that's their INCOME-- can you imagine if you opened your paycheck and there was an outline of Romans Road- please-- leave a tip!!!!)
They don't do that stuff.
They just go make friends.
Maranda has spent the last year making friends with college students. And using the bridges she builds with them to share the Truth of God.
In a place with no hope and little truth, she shows them real truth and points them towards eternal hope.
The coolest thing about the ministry this ministry is that they don't want it to be about "Americans coming in to save the day"-- the goal of the entire ministry is to leave.
And let the nationals take over. Let them be the ones to shine the Love of God in their own country.
Even bigger, the nationals desire to be the largest (missionary) sending nation in the world by the year 2020. And they want the Middle East. A place where Americans are NOT welcome, but (because God is really smart and cool) Asians are welcomed and embraced by the people of the Middle East.
So Maranda has spent a year investing in the lives of people in Asia. And by the mighty work of God, people in the Middle East will come to know the True God.
If you pray, include East Asia in your conversations with God. There are Americans there working and laboring along side of National believers. If you want some names of people to pray for, you're welcome to pray for my friends-- D (who has been there for 5 years), Matt and Kelly (who are on years 6 and 4), Teddy (who will be leading a brand new team in his city), and Courtney (who is going for her first year in the fall).
Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.