Short Term Missionary Report

June 29, 2018

 

My trip to Indonesia was life-changing, to say the least. My all-girl team of six mostly worked with university students at school campuses, English clubs, and English centers. We were able to interact with the same people several times and were able to build relationship. Because religion is commonly discussed when first meeting someone, we were often asked about our own beliefs. However, one day during the trip, I realized I had not yet shared the full gospel. I prayed that God would allow me an opportunity to share the complete gospel with someone that day. We gave a presentation at an English center that same night.  At this English center, which was owned and operated by Christians, we were encouraged to share our testimonies but instructed not to share the gospel unless specifically asked. When introducing myself during the presentation, I said that I was a psychology major (because Christian Behavioral Science sometimes hard enough to explain to Americans). Afterwards, a Muslim girl named Sri approached me. Because of my major, she began pouring out her heart to me of how she felt as though something were wrong with her mind; that she was plagued by loneliness and struggling with depression. She said she doubted whether her friends and family truly loved her. I gave my testimony, sharing that there was a time when I was not walking with God and I began to believe that my friends and family did not love me. One day I felt prompted to pick up my dusty Bible. I read it like I never had before. Christ’s love for me came alive in my heart. From that day on, I read the Bible more and more. I realized that it was a lie from Satan that my family and friends did not love me. Even still, my identity and satisfaction was no longer in them but in God’s love for me. Sri thanked me for sharing, but I longed to tell her the Good News. By the grace of God, Sri’s Christian friend had been sitting there listening to my testimony. Sri’s Christian friend began asking me questions about the sincerity of my faith, eventually asking me about the gospel. Because of this sister in Christ, I was able to share the full gospel with Sri. This was moving for me because not only did God faithfully provide an opportunity for me to share the gospel, but He also showed me that counseling has a place overseas. Before the trip, the LORD was beginning to present the idea of serving overseas. During the trip, I really struggled against this. I did not want to sacrifice my dreams of living in the comfort of the American suburbs. I argued with God, one of my points being that I didn’t know what counseling looked like overseas. He showed me how I had an opportunity to share the gospel specifically because of my background in psychology. Throughout the trip, He showed me the brokenness of the lost people, the hurts of His persecuted followers, and the struggles of those bringing the Good News to all nations. Through conversations with my fieldworker and her team, I saw a glimpse of what it looks like to serve overseas. Through my time in Indonesia and through conversation with my fieldworker, I realized the importance of making the gospel central to my life and living “on mission”. This means that I am ready and intentionally sharing the gospel wherever the God has me RIGHT NOW. The LORD has softened my heart and changed my dreams and desires so that I now WANT to serve overseas. It is something I am now passionate about. Until then, I seek to live a gospel-centered life in which I am constantly “on mission”. 

 

Katelynn Jarboe

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