:the China udpate:

i have never once said the phrase, "I have a heart for China." you want to know why? because i don't. it's really that simple. i don't work with youth either. there's my story.

so what was i doing staffing a camp for youth in China? because that's where the Lord is moving, and that's how He chose to use me.

coming here was a big sacrifice for me and Janice. It wasn't my heart to leave my wife in Hong Kong to lead 2 ministries while i'm gone. it was hard to not be in HK when 180 and SCP were going so well... i think the hardest thing was leaving home after we JUST moved into a new flat only days earlier. we still had things left unpacked and it was pretty crap of me to go, but i did everything i could before i left.

but now i'm on Day 15, including the start over at Gateway. 15 days is probably the longest mission trip of the almost 20 i've been on. even though the first 5 days were in HKG, i was still on missions mode, and really only saw my wife for a few minutes in that time. but let's get onto the camp.

The Sunshine in Your Heart Camp in Beijing was an amazing time for me to wake up to how big God really is. the major struggle besides from being away from my wife, was that i was unable to us any Christian language at all. i was not allowed to evangelize at all, and i was not able to really mention things of God for the of keeping the integrity of the camp. this was a leadership, cultural and English teaching camp. notice no 'Christian' in the title.

the the past 10 days have seen me really understand the limitations of myself. through my walk as a follower of christ i've come to try and learn from my mistakes or difficult situations. i'm still working on it, but learning humility, flexibility, patience, love, compassion, sacrifice.. these are all really difficult things to actually learn.

the camp itself was absolutely amazing. i honestly was suspect of the camp.. can these youth REALLY be able to reflect Jesus so passionately and so feverently, that in TEN days these local Beijing Youth will be able to receive salvation with OUT being able to evanglise? i found that i was very VERY wrong. the HK youth and the international youth were simple amazing. they came and just loved, did silly things, accepted and sacrificed themselves and their rights and just poured out the love of Christ. I shouldn't hav ebeen surprised that even on our last night, when all the programs were finished, that even their last team time farewell parties, were youth still secretly giving their hearts.

it's an amazing feeling, knowing that these youth are potential leaders of China. that the selection of these youth are rather intense so they are all going to be successful. but to know that many of these youth will walk away Christians, is so... i dunno.. words can't really express this.

needless to say the camp was stunning. that's a strange choice of a word, but it was. to see on one hand the quality and outcome of the youth, but on the other hand to see our leadership team and staff working together so well... now THAT was amazing. the staff included people from 180, from Argentina, from Brazil, from America... and we just gelled. i mean, it was a great team. of course we had problems, but the Lord saw us through it.

however, after of all of this, and after being where God is moving so powerfully, my heart is still not pointed towards mainland China. for me, this is a season to honour where the Lord is guiding my church. but my heart is simply to see young people reaching their God given potential. my vision is to build HIS kingdom and as of yet it hasn't been confined to just one country. So therefore i will stay where the Lord has planted me and continue to serve, until he has plans for me otherwise.

I feel in my spirit though, that this past 20 days was just a beginning to something a lot bigger in my and Janice's life. what that is we have no idea, but we know it's come.

Bring it.


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