When I first arrived in East Asia, I felt poor. When I use the word "poor,"I don't mean a lack of money. I mean needy and powerless. I didn't know how to get around this city. I didn't know how to order food or go to the grocery store by myself. I didn't really even know my team members before stepping foot in this foreign country. Most importantly, I didn't know the language!
Connecting with students in a foreign country and culture is difficult. I felt like I wasn't equipped. How would I share the gospel with students who don't speak English as their first language? After believing in Jesus for many years, I didn't know how to verbalize what I believe. What are the basics of Christianity? I wasn't even sure! I felt powerless. I wasn't any more "rich" than those around me. I am poor and my situation was (and is) desperate.
Tim Keller said, "When Christians who understand the gospel see a poor person, they realize they are looking into a mirror." Oh, how I desire this! I want to come before the Lord in desperation each day. Come to him feeling desperately needy and powerless. Never pretending I have my life together.
When have I felt the most poor? My first few months in East Asia. Also the times when I realize things in my life are completely out of my control. When I feel emotional and cannot communicate how I feel to those around me. When I'm on my knees, those are the sweetest times in my life, when I'm being honest about my desperation for him. This year the Lord has made the gospel more and more clear to me as I share it with those around me - those who have never heard the name of Jesus. To see the joy in their smiles when they realize the perfect gift Jesus has to offer. I realize more and more that I'm the one who is just as poor as them. Now I'm thankful for my poverty.