By Stephanie Fisk
I’ve been done with the World Race for a little over two months, and have yet to share this story with anyone. As time goes on, this moment in time becomes more significant as it teaches my spirit a powerful lesson. My mind knew this, but this transformed mindset is beginning to reach my heart and spirit.
Rewind to China. The setting is a remote village high in the mountains of the Yunnan Province.
It was our last day in this village. Nothing was planned. It was one of those days that I awoke with a smile, because I knew that my day was entirely free – free of obligations, free of time and place. I cherish these “no watch” days.
Upon leaving our hotel that morning – alone – I prayed, “Lord, direct my steps. I have absolutely nothing planned, nowhere to go, no one to see. Show me what you would have me do today.” I came to the road, turned right and started to walk, my thoughts caught up in a daydream. It wasn’t a couple minutes later that I noticed a middle-aged lady walking beside me. I looked at her. She had a huge smile on her face.
We exchanged hello’s, how-are-you’s, My name is…, I am from…, but my well of Mandarin vocabulary soon ran dry, and once again, I resorted to the universal language of hand gestures, smiles, nods and the occasional awkward giggle. Then she grabbed my hand (best of friends we were), and we continued on in this fashion until she began motioning towards something ahead. There were houses in that direction. Lack of verbal communication shot my spiritual discernment radar on high. “Lord, do you want me to go with this lady?” I don’t remember a specific reply, but what instantly jumped to mind was: Stephanie, what did you just pray for? I smiled and answered myself, “Direction.”
So, I followed her, blindly trusting the Lord for protection.
We walk to a cluster of apartments on the edge of town – only a five minute walk – and she leads me up some stairs, turns left and ushers me into her one-room home. She quickly directs me to her couch. I sit. She hands me a wrapped, caramel Rice Krispy-like treat. I accept. She pours a cup of orange Fanta. I accept humbly with a meager “Xia, Xia” (thank-you). A young boy, about 4 years old, rushes in, stops about three feet from me and stares. I wonder if I am the first “foreigner” or “white person” he has seen sitting on his couch… eating, of course? Thankfully, it doesn’t take him long to grab a treat, some pop, and cozy up to me on the couch.
A few more family members enter. The semi-awkward communication continues until they pop in a movie. From what I can tell, they just purchased the DVD machine and a few DVD’s. Are they anxious to show it off to a foreigner? I will soon find out the real reason this invitation stands.
About 45 minutes later, they get up, turn off the movie, close the door, shut the window and walk over to their sole closet. I will admit that I’m a bit nervous at this point. Maybe this “adventure” wasn’t such a good idea after all? Maybe I should have grabbed another World Racer? She pulls out three red books, and my fears quickly subside. Not 30 seconds later, the room is filled with praise for their Lord and King. The books are Hymn books! And these individuals are Christians! That’s why they had to close the window and door, it would be too dangerous in this Communist country to be caught singing to their Creator. Tears form in my eyes as I look around the room. They are in love with their Father. Thank you, Lord, for letting me witness this sacred act of worship.
15 minutes later, they close the books and look at me. The woman folds her hands in front of her and stands up, signaling towards me. Through our exquisite, non-verbal communication, I get the idea that they want me to pray for them. I, too, stand and bow my head. Upon my lead, they lower their head and close their eyes. I smile. What an honor, Lord. Isn’t the body amazing? I pray for the Lord to bless this house and bless the family – to watch over them and protect them – to be their All in All.
The more I reflect back to this day, the more I stand in amazement of the Lord’s simple orchestration of His body – that through the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we may be a mutual blessing and encouragement to one another. In His body, language does not have to be a barrier. The Spirit speaks to the Spirit, not the mind.
Another lesson was also driven home that day: Ministry or outreach is not something you turn on and off. Ministry is a lifestyle. It’s 24/7. It is not limited to a time, space, event, etc., but flows from the Spirit and one’s identity in Christ. When He is Lord over my life, His Kingdom is brought everywhere I go and is shared with everyone I meet.
I pray for more “divine moments” – more “sweet morsels” of His love for you and for me.
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Stephanie Fisk spent 2006 traveling to the forty-eight contiguous states, doing servant ministry. She has a heart to call the least and the deserted to a great wedding feast. In 2007, she traveled the world and just finished up her year-long pilgrimage in East Asia.