I have now reached my halfway point of my time in South Asia. Since the day we arrived in our city, Father placed learning the language on both my teammate's and my hearts. We didn't understand this because there is no way we could have learned the language being a short term "trip." We followed His instructions and found ourselves learning the national language two times a week for two hours each day. We met our national partner Kate* and fell in love with the way she desires to help people with language and her sweet spirit is absolutely contagious.
After about a month of language our supervisor sent us to another city for a different culture-learning learning week. We were able to shadow two journey girls and see the four fields training and seven commands discipleship in action. We learned about the four fields training during our orientation and personally it was the only thing I did not find attractive toward my personality and way of training. Sitting in a lecture and actually seeing the training in action were two different things and Father taught me another lesson that just because we don't like something doesn't mean He wont give it to you. My teammate and I really wanted to see this training come to our city and had no idea how He would ordain this. Everything in South Asia takes much more time than you think it is going to. In America, we could have had this planned and set up in a week, but a month later after many hours of prayer and working every detail out, we finally set up the training.
Here is how our Father opened a door for this training and gave us multiple doors for the same village. We were on our way to the village to receive sarees for a wedding later that week. On our way to the sari shop we noticed a school in passing. Two of the schoolgirls started following us and accompanied our decision in sari color browsing. We were on our way back and passing the same school but this time the head masters invited us in to teach English. By the end of our time in the tiny school we were able to share the Good News with about 30-40 kids from the village. We sang songs of worship, taught a story of how much Jesus loves them, and got to love on them for a few hours. It was one of the most humbling and memorable moments since my time here. We were invited back to teach for the rest of our semester. Our national partner set this up and was presented the opportunity to be able to teach in two schools, one public and one private. This opportunity came around the same time as the women's discipleship.
At this time, we have completed our first meeting with the women in the four fields training and have had our first day of teaching in the schools. The women's discipleship went great and Father provided three more girls to our study, we now have ten girls that have been praying for someone to come and teach them more about His word. They have called us angels and we are beyond honored to be able to share, challenge, and teach them about the Great Commission. This has become my new community of believers and where our Father has given me fellowship, I am forever grateful. Our first day at the school, we thought would be to bring the Good News to the kids and see a movement within the homes. Father had a much different plan. We learned that because of safety we were unable to teach about the Good News until we gained their trust which could take weeks. Before we left, we met with the head master and he invited us into his home for lunch the following week and then another teacher wanted us to come to theirs. We have been asking Father to provide a way into the homes of the non-believers since the day we got here.
Father most definitely provided and I am ashamed to say that when He first commanded us to invest in the language of the people, I was left with a bad attitude. Through weeks of class, I felt discouraged because the language was not sticking and to now look back and see that He was giving us a national partner to be able to reach this village. Kate was our connection the village and to ultimately let His name be known into the homes of these teachers and students. This connection has also led us to encourage our sisters and to give them tools to further His work. So many times we say that God showed up. Hasn't He been here, weren't we the ones to show up? After months of wondering, we finally showed up. It was an honor to show up for our Father and I am so beyond overwhelmed with His sovereignty. Father opened this door to enter into this village what seemed like three weeks ago but we are now noticing that this has been in His plan since the day we got here.
Lauren is a student from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor serving with Go Now Missions as a semester missionary in South Asia.