We were up with the sun for the second day in a row. I don't know how those pesky roosters had sniffed our trail for all those miles, but somehow they were there again, summoning us from dreamland with their obnoxious crowing.
Steve's an army guy. Being awake this early was his routine. I'm a college student on spring break, the last category of people you would expect to rise with the roosters. It took a lot to help me peel myself from that rock-solid mattress in our 80-yuan (about $10 U.S.) hotel room.
For one, the roosters were unbearable. They were like that pesky roommate who can't sleep so he makes sure no one else does either. Secondly, Steve's baritone voice had already pleaded with me to get up. But most of all, the call of God got me moving. I had really begun to focus on the urgency of the hour that we live in and my role in bringing the antivenom to a poisoned world.
There were people outside the walls of the hotel that would hear the gospel through the pieces of plastic I carried in my pack. Someone's eternal destiny could be hanging in the balance. Although I still struggle living and walking in that reality today, for the few days we were on mission, I grasped it. Was it possible to distribute some 1500 VCD's and see no fruit whatsoever? Of course. But it was also possible that one, two, or even three or more people would respond to the gospel presentation with faith in Christ, and in that instant, turn from eternal death and suffering to everlasting life and peace. Then, they could bring the peace and life they have found to surrounding villages, and revival could spread like wildfire. How selfish it would be if I let a little fatigue hinder me for fulfilling such a great calling. Success is not how many people convert, but how faithful we are with the task God has given us.
Jesus, being one with the Father, knew what would happen when he crossed the Sea of Galilee into the region of Gadara. He would soon be rejected by the town's inhabitants, men and women who feared his supernatural power and cared more about their pigs than a broken man's soul. But he crossed the sea anyway, just to reach out to one demon-possessedman. He liberated a Gentile, a man outside his fold, from spiritual oppression.
I find it interesting that the story above is found in Mark 5, the exact passage that was depicted on the VCD we were handing out. We were following Jesus' example, striving for the same kind of reckless abandon to the will of God, venturing out in love to people that don't resemble us at all culturally. Hopefully, God will honor our attempts to imitate his Son.