Over Spring Break, the U of M BCM sent students on 3 separate mission trips. This is a student account of the BCM's trip to Central Asia.
I had been anticipating that moment since before I even got on the plane. I knew it was coming, and I had thought long and hard about what exactly my reaction would be when I first heard the call to prayer. It was a few days into the trip, so I was shocked that I hadn’t heard it already. Would I be able to hide outwardly the heartbreak that was already going on inside? I knew one thing was for sure – there was no way that it would not impact me. By that time in the week, I had already made friends from the city we were going to. My roommate went on a trip in December, and she had connected me to her friend *Rose over social media. When I met *Rose for dinner, she brought a friend with her and so did I. By the end of the night, it felt like we had known each other our whole lives.
Every day I waited to hear the call to prayer. My worst fear was that I would be in public with a local friend and I would completely lose it right in front of them. As the days passed and my anticipation grew, so did my love for this country and all of the beautiful faces I had met. Whether it was meeting people in coffee shops, talking to students at the universities, or helping teach English at the community center, I was constantly reminded of the hopelessness they had without Jesus. Names and faces were now associated with all the numbers and statistics of Muslim countries that I’ve heard over the years. They have souls. And my heart was breaking as I watched 15 million of them work so hard for something that they could never earn – an eternity with God.
I was sitting at the top of the highest point in the city when I heard the call to prayer for the first time. Goosebumps completely took over my body, and tears filled my eyes. In the moments following, there was a flood of emotions. But more so than anything else, I was challenged. For the past few years I have struggled with my call to go. I knew that God was leading me to a life spent taking the Gospel to the nations, but with that came so many fears. For the first time, standing on that hill, I was more afraid not to go. I finally understood that the urgency of the Gospel is so much deeper than the difficulty in going. As the week continued on, I met more local friends than I could have ever imagined while going into this trip. Some of them were willing to talk about Jesus, while others shut down anything deeper than small talk. We saw the historical landmarks, ate the yummiest foods, met the most beautiful people, rode dozens of ferries, shopped in a historical market, and walked the streets of an ancient city. However, if there was one thing I wish to never forget – if there was only one moment that I could hang onto for a lifetime – it would be that moment on top of the hill.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:14-15
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me. My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task that the Lord Jesus has given to me – the task of testifying to the Gospel of God’s grace. Acts 20:24