The Surprises of God: A Trip To China

“There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsels–that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21. God is the ultimate Lover, full of surprises. It is mystical, and dare I say, magical, when we allow Him to take our hand and lead us.

Such was the case in our recent trip to China. With efforts so concentrated on North American, African, and even European missions, a trip to Asia was the furthest thing from our minds. However, when La Tascha saw Delta’s deal for a round trip ticket to Hong Kong for $422, which perfectly coincided with P. Scibelli’s scheduled time in China, perchance, God was moving. We bought the tickets by faith and continued about our business.

Just coming off of a trip to Zimbabwe, South Africa, and France, it seemed so crazy that we were going to pack it up and do it all over again in just two short weeks. Especially with things taking off in York the way that they were. But, by faith, we continued.

(From this point on, specific names and places will be kept general for the protection of the work in China.)

We first landed in Hong Kong and took a few days to get our heads straight (battle some jet lag and a few physical ailments). Then, we took a train into Southern China to a city called Guangzhou, the 9th most populated city in the world with 13.1 million people. Our church there hosted a conference and members of our churches from all over China joined us, even one from Thailand. The church is about a year old and full of opportunities for discipleship. Most believers in the church have been Christians for less than two years. Amidst a superstitious culture and churches full of false teaching or the wrong emphasis, building the proper Biblical foundation is critical. Bible College and discipleship are paramount. The Chinese are hungry and eager to be taught. So, if you are praying about where to serve next, consider this mission field. There is a window of opportunity right now that is not promised to us forever.

We then traveled to Beijing and took a tour of Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall of China. We had a tour guide with us for the day and ended up sharing the gospel with her. The time was very precious. At the end, we gave her a Chinese-English Bible and she said to us, “I would like to read this very much. I think it could change my life.” God so prepares us for his words! After all, we were designed to be his dwelling place, and he would like to make his home in us. We are still in contact with her and look forward to the day we hear she has invited Him in as her Savior!

Next, we went to one of our underground churches about 45 minutes outside of Beijing. This was an alternate service from the one on Sunday lest Sunday’s crowd be too large and the government crack down on them. It was an incredible experience and a privilege to witness. At the close of service, the pastor had the congregation reading out loud together in Chinese, the passage from Roman 8:28-39. Who can separate us from his love? It’s impossible! The gospel goes on!

Lastly, we ended the trip spending time with an old friend who now lives in Beijing. It was so great to see her, and we look forward to her coming to the states soon to be refreshed and renewed in the Lord. All in all, everywhere we went, sharing our faith was surprisingly easy and very much welcomed. Many people even speak English. It was an unexpected gift from God to go and participate in His work there. We had no idea how much China needs the gospel and discipleship right now. I’m so glad somehow God got our attention to go. In some ways, the world and our mission field just got so much bigger (1.4 billion people bigger, to be exact), and in some ways, it has become that much smaller and more accessible. These countries are just an airplane away. Even if it’s just a short trip, I recommend going. It’s very doable and the impact can be great.