CHINA....I cannot tell you all that God allowed for this trip due to certain restraints on me, but I can tell you that this 1 1/2 month extreme adventure was one that has truly changed me - unlike any other I have ever experienced. Details can be shared in person and I'm sure that I will continue to speak about all that I learned as I feel that is why I was sent...to bring it back to America. By His grace, he allowed me to document this journey more than any other tour yet - video, pictures, and journals almost every day. I was able to communicate with those back home a bit through the internet as well! From a leper colony to hiking mountain ranges where no one had ever heard the NAME; from the underground to the University, from the villages to the metropolitan cities...was no ordinary undertaking. This region no longer feels foreign to me. The changes that have taken place since I was there in 2007 are phenominal. The people won my heart and although I feel no leading to live there, I cannot wait to return.
It was only a month or less prior that everything began to come together. Like only Father does, He brought together the impossible! In March I had met a person serving the "underground" while in Rome on a train to the airport. She ended the conversation saying, "I feel like I'm gonna see you again!" In Aug. (about 4 mo. later) I recieved a call from her husband asking if they could take me up on my invitation to come and stay with me. "ABSOLUTELY!" When they came I realized that they had felt led to come by way of Nashville for no other reason but to visit me! It was during breakfast that they began to candidly share about a mission outreach and invited me to come along. I had already been invited to Japan and quickly realized that Father was leading me to forgo that part of Asia until after this curious endeavor. I also got back in contact with family I had known from a previous trip and they pleaded with me to stay as long as I could and began putting together an intense itinerary which would lead me to people I had never met and places I couldn't pronounce or find on a map day after day. I was thrilled with the prospect, and deeply humbled by this opportunity to serve that was being laid out in part before me...most of which I would only be told after I stepped off the airplane. After much prayer and watching Father work in various ways to assure me that He was calling, I accepted and my friends and I began passionately pray and seek Him for all that would be needed before and during this extreme trip. God would later provide nearly 5,000$ through prayer warrior friends and people from afar (just in time of course), He helped me to physically and mentally (well, He had a lot of work to complete there :) prepare as well.
I arrived on Oct. 2nd, the day after "National Day" a day commemorating 60 years of Communism and all that entails. I had the priviledge of traveling with 15 others for the first three weeks where I saw and experienced what makes angels rejoice over and over, and then the last 3 weeks I headed out solo to travel and reach many of the family throughout different provinces - from one to the next with incredible memories of His work inbetween.
The landscape, scenery, food, interaction, and travel made me feel like I was in some National Geographic film, but the memories truly make me long for the time when all of us will be together in our home we long for...The joy, the love, the similarities, the one NEED we all have in common - the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. I have not yet found the words to express what goes on in my heart when I think of this experience as a whole. I will never be the same. I am convinced, there is much more to come.