26 January 2019
It was December, 1978, and I had only been home from Europe for two and a half years.. One morning during my quiet time I had the very strong impression that God was telling me that I would be going overseas. I felt it to be amazing and wrote it down. In the next month I made myself a poster of the scripture that supports this: Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” This was amazing as I had just spent several years in Europe.
With the poster on the dining room wall, it was ever before me. It was not until 1985 that I actually made a move. Some of us are just a little slow, and I am one of them. I do not rush into things with the precaution that it may just be a self imposed whim.
It came to me, that if I believed this promise, I ought to show it in my life, so I made plans and went to Bible College. I could only do the course part time as I also had to earn money to live.
Part of the College program was an opportunity for us to go abroad and experience what we believed in in a different environment. So we planned to go to Fiji. Weeks before we were to leave there was a coup and so that was cancelled. I was very, very disappointed.
I thought I would make up for the disappointment and go on an overseas trip with a group from my church. They were going to the Phillippines. That trip was scheduled for the week we had exams, and so that was out too.
Because we cannot see the future, these disappointments are difficult to deal with, but it is also a lesson to teach us to trust God. Third try: A group, from an affiliated church was going to China. I did not know anything about China, but I was not going to miss out again. I was a helping hand working the lights in the performances that they were going to put on in universities and other community locations as had been arranged by the hosts.
It was during this trip that we had some free time and that I went for a walk with one other member. It was the 1st October. People were not yet allowed to purchase motorvehicles and so the roads were full of bikes. Mostly the child on the cross bar in front and Mum on the carrier and Dad pedalling. It was amazing. We had a very good vantage point and could see all the way down the road, only faces. I stood in awe.
And then I heard it clearly, more clearly than I had ever before, that voice of direction. “These are the people I want you to help,” the Lord said. Suddenly everything fell into place. All those positions I had applied for and been told that there was no vacancy for a person with my qualities.
That same afternoon we were visiting a children’s facility and I started to teach some of them English using a game. One of the Chinese officials travelling with us observed it and later said to me, “If you want to teach English in China, I will help you find a job.” I could not have had clearer confirmation.
I graduated with my degree at the end of 1991.
28th August 1992 I entered China and lived there for twenty years.
At each disappointment I did not know that that lay ahead. Now it was here, it was amazing. So, remember that when disappointments come and you feel really, really low. You cannot see the future, Father God holds it in his hands.