Aiden is a student at the University of Texas in Tyler and went on a Go Now Missions trip to South Asia.
“If God's heart is for the world, that is a big enough reason to make it our heart.” - Claude Hickman
I had the incredible opportunity to serve in South Asia for three weeks this Christmas. It was a life-changing experience. What a privilege to have been sent. I am so undeserving and so thankful.
One memory that still stands out to me is from the day we went to visit a local hospital to hand out blankets on December 21. The hospital had 30 beds per room and multiple sick people per bed. At one point, I was ushered to the critical care unit to pray over the people there.
My heart broke. They were dying and had never even heard of the hope found in Jesus Christ.
There is so much brokenness and poverty there. I have never seen anything like it. I’m thankful for the experience to understand the injustice and hurt that exists there, and know my heart grew for the needy…but I’m so sorry they live in this cycle of brokenness. I pray that reading about this also grows your heart and that you will know a little better how very privileged we are compared to the rest of the world. We are privileged not only with food, healthcare, and freedom but also in that we have the opportunity to know our Savior.
I cried when we left the hospital that day, and one of my team members reminded me that although there is so much pain, there is also hope. We can trust that some will be healed, and they will know it was God who healed them. He has His hand over them in these helpless situations. He loves them.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
I spent the first two days after being back feeling extremely uneasy. How can I be here when I know there is so much to be done there? After quietly sobbing in my Mom’s arms, feeling discouraged and empty, I journaled my feelings, which I would love to share with you now:
January 4th, 2023
What I miss most from South Asia is how plentiful the harvest is there. People are so hungry for the Gospel and miracles of Jesus are everywhere, in plain sight. I don’t miss how my body felt so deeply drained the whole time I was there. I didn’t feel healthy, no matter how much I rested. The sky was never blue, and the air was dirty coming into my lungs. You could never see the stars. And I was lonely so far from everyone I love.
Now that I am back home, I am thankful to have back the things I missed, but I’m also frustrated. I’m uncomfortable in the midst of United States culture. It feels spiritually dry. People have the Gospel at their fingertips and around every corner, but they don’t care.
I now find it easy to see the undeniable power of the Gospel. However, I am finding it hard to connect with a culture so complacent and comfortable in their unknowing because I know complacent is exactly how Satan wants us.
I was in an area of the world called the 10/40 window.
An estimated 3.26 billion individuals make up approximately 6,192 unreached people groups in the 10/40 window. This means more than 88% of the world's unreached people live in this area, yet only 2.4% of all missionaries are there.
This trip was indescribably challenging, and that remains true coming home. I know, however, that we were not intended to live an easy life. In Mark 8:34 Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” How am I denying myself if I choose the most comfortable and inviting life? Am I truly following Jesus if I don’t follow Him to the people who don’t yet know the good news?
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20