Yung Hai and Ada were born in eastern Asia. They both moved to Ft. Collins to attend CSU, met and married. Years after earning their Ph.D.’s at CSU, they chose to forge into the future with love as they returned many times to eastern Asia with a staff of medical personnel to serve those in need.
Yung Hai died in 2012, but his wife, Ada, has continued to love and serve through medical and cultural missions. This past month, Ada again led a team of five back to eastern Asia. A trek into the East from the West is often a study in God-directed contrasts.
The team was welcomed by friends in each of their four major stops. At one stop they were met with banners, bouquets of flowers and full military-style honors. They were treated with warm hospitality, love and wonderful food wherever they traveled.
A Thousand and a Handful
The team enjoyed attending a large Christian church where they felt welcomed as they sang traditional hymns and listened to the translated sermon via earphones. But they felt the passionate conviction only the Holy Spirit can bring when they understood not a single word in the 14-member service in the living room of a local pastor.
The East and the West
Many people in the East misunderstand the ways of the West. Gratitude is not a principle the Eastern culture understands. So teaching volunteerism, character and leadership has become a higher and higher priority for visiting teams from the West. How can anyone understand the value of “love your neighbor as yourself” if the recipient thinks the giver is unwise for wasting his personal resources on a stranger? This is a major cultural barrier teams from the West face in eastern Asia. This is the reason it’s so important for the teams to go back time and again.
Ada continues to lead teams into eastern Asia to honor her husband’s memory and continue in serving their ancestral people. While on location, she invites people who surround the team—drivers, friends, strangers—along for the journey to know the Good News. Two of the team gifted Bibles to two seekers, while all of the team encouraged believers and those seeking friendship. Ada encourages team members to love in their own ways when she tells them to simply wear a cross, smile and love the people. These actions have no language barriers.
What would Art, Cheryl, Phil, Claire and Ada like us to know about their trip to eastern Asia this past April?
#1—God is definitely at work in eastern Asia
#2—Hearts are open there
#3—The professionals the team met seemed bent on making a difference in their native land
#4—Local people were incredibly welcoming and generous.
Missions are all around you—in your neighborhood, in your city, your state, your country, and even overseas. If you have ever considered taking the leap of faith to join God in whatever mission He’s on, understand this lesson the Timberline team to eastern Asia learned: the world is unknown and can be scary. So are missions. But God will take away the fear of the unknown, and He will smooth the way. No matter the language, He will always give us the right message. Take a chance and join God, just like this mission team did.