Monday, December 14, 2015

I'm with you

It's 3:21 a.m. and my last night in Hong Kong. I've been living here for the past six months and I'd like to share a few words about it. So here they are:
"I'm with you."

Those three words are the ones God has used to shape these full months. I'm telling you, these six months have been full. 
I've flown to visit God's kids in India, Myanmar, and Nepal.  
I had some nasty sin float up to the surface of my heart. 
I've become friends with God's daughters who are selling their bodies in the red light districts of Hong Kong.
I've been forgiven and I have forgiven. 
I've met people who are changing the world. 
I've become more aware of Jesus' love for all of us. 

I've cried and drank good coffee and learned and slept under the open sky in China and laughed hard and been confused and swam in the Pacific Ocean and preached and ate a lot of rice and had a lot of fun and through it all, you know what three words have repeatedly came out of God's Mouth?
"I'm with you." 
The best part of this journey, hands down, has been God being right here with me. 
When God sent Jesus to the earth, He called Him Immanuel. That means "God with us." He became a Man to pay for my sins, so He could be here with me. He's loyal and He's close. 

Since God is all wrapped  up in the idea of being with us, He wants us to be all wrapped up in the idea of being with each other. 
He's brought a wide variety of people into all of our lives, and you know what three words He wants us to say to them?
"I'm with you."

I love what love looks like. And it looks like being with people. Really being with them. 

Pictured above is a life-changing friend God brought me, Kelley "Roo" Craft, as she walks down the street with a really special lady who is addicted to meth. Roo has heard Jesus say, "I'm with you," and now she says to her friends in the red light districts, 
"I'm with you." Wings International, the ministry I came here to serve, travels to children's homes all throughout the year. They teach these kids about Jesus, give them presents, play with them, pray with them, and say to them, 
"I'm with you."

There's something inexplicably powerful about just being with people.

Bob Goff, a really cool guy who I sort of want to be like, said this;
"I used to want to fix people, now I just want to be with them."

The lessons I've learned on this journey are big and beautiful. I'd enjoy talking your leg off and telling you about all of them. But in case that doesn't get to happen, I just want to tell you about this one.  God wants to be with you. And then He wants you to be with people. 

If you've given me money, prayed for me, loved me, or supported me in any way during these six months, thank you. Together, God is using us to help people in Southeast Asia to know Him. From orphans to addicts, missionaries to bouncers, He's completely consumed with desire to be with us all. 

p.s. I'll see you tomorrow, America.  

"Perhaps that’s why Jesus is sometimes called Immanuel—“God with us.” I think that’s what God had in mind, for Jesus to be present, to just be with us. It’s also what He has in mind for us when it comes to other people."
-Bob Goff,
Love Does