About ten and half years ago, I went to China and spent a month there under the guise of teaching English. I went with a wonderful Christian organization that trained us how to live and teach as a Christian in a Communist country. You can't walk into a classroom in China and start talking about Jesus.
The other night, at our Bible study group, we were talking about living 'on mission.' I immediately started thinking about this trip. I have never thought that I accomplished my goal on that trip. I mean, I helped the kids with their English, but there were no miraculous conversions.
In fact, the last night we were there, one of the students was sitting with us and the conversation cautiously turned toward Christianity. This student actually told us that he didn't believe because no one had taken the time to tell him about Jesus. That felt like a knife in the heart. We had been there for a month and on the last day we had our failure exhibited right in front of us. More than 10 years later, I am still thinking about that kid and wondering what we could have done differently to change his life.
Anytime the subject of missions is brought up, I think of that trip. And I think about how I failed. There was a kid who was just waiting to hear about Jesus and I let him down. Who knows if anyone else was able to get through to him. He lives in a Communist country where it can be difficult to hear the truth of the Gospel.
I have thought about going on other missions trips, but the failure of this trip sticks with me and I wonder if I can even be called qualified to tell anyone about Jesus.