Friday, January 26, 2018
I was a 21 year old new bride with a college degree and academically trained for missionary work overseas. At last I was on a "slow boat to China" eager to begin service in China with my husband Ted who had been my classmate in college. I gladly surrendered the ease and perks of living in America. I literally surrendered "father and mother and houses and lands for the sake of the gospel" In those days you were in missionary work for the long haul. I never expected to return to the land of my birth, my Iowa heartland home. My surrender included the prospect of assimilation into the Chinese culture of my husband. His family would become my family. And we would raise our future children as expatriates.
When we arrived in Hong Kong we were stopped in our tracks at the border to Mainland China. The Communist government was expelling all foreign missionaries and they were streaming out of China as we were attempting to get in. Was God rescinding His call to us? Had we misunderstood?
For the next four decades of Communist control we were unable to enter China. God asked our obedience to surrender what we perceived was His immediate plan and follow His direction to reach the Chinese people outside of China. We found ourselves back in the U.S. co-founding what became a large, nationwide campus evangelistic outreach among university students who came from China to study in the U.S., founding a Chinese Church in the nation's capitol, and raising our four children on American soil.
Forty years later after many ups and downs living out our early surrender, God compensated "a hundredfold" for surrendering our own plans with the wide open and continuing opportunity we had to enter China freely as educators. We have been able to pursue the fulfillment of our original dream and God's original call to share the gospel in high academic places among professional people as well as in rural villages deep within the provinces.