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  • Writer's pictureErik Gonzalez

South Asia Scouting Trip

Written by: Mikayla Baldwin Edited by: Erik Gonzalez

Translated by: Kwan Jitkhong

The carefully and skillfully crafted Buddhist temple stood triumphantly amongst the Himalayan mountains that sat quietly in the distance. As we made our way through the courtyard entrance there was a captivating splendor to it all: the building’s architecture, the vibrant colors, the cleanliness, and the well-maintained order, everything was deliberately and attentively done. However, what surprised me the most was the sea of burgundy red that surrounded me. Monks as young as 5 to aged adults were all dressed in Tibetan Buddhist robes. I had never seen such a place like this before, one where people came to learn and pray, desperately searching for meaning in a world that otherwise offers no hope or truth. Little do they know that real hope and truth can only ever be found in Jesus Christ. We were led into the temple's inner sanctuary and while inside witnessed a father and son sit together on a worn-down bench. I saw the man close his eyes, bow his head, and lift his hands near his chest to pray. The eyes of his young son studied his every move. The scene reminded me of when I was a little girl, about 5 years old, and how I was taught to pray by my father. We knelt on the floor together as he led me through a prayer to ask Jesus to live in my heart. I imagine some of you have a similar story, someone leading you into prayer to our true God, Jesus. This father, however, was not praying to Jesus. I watched as the boy looked up at his father and then down at his own hands, lifting them in the exact way his father did. Then he closed his eyes. He began to pray. This young boy had just learned a ritual that has been passed down for hundreds of generations. It would be the beginning of a lifelong pursuit for the young boy as he surrenders his life to the demands of Tibetan Buddhism in exchange for the false promise of reaching Nirvana: nothingness. It’s a mirage that hundreds of thousands of people blindly chase today. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I watched the father and son. I silently asked the Lord to open their eyes. “If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)

“It would be the beginning of a lifelong pursuit for the young boy as he surrenders his life to the demands of Tibetan Buddhism in exchange for the false promise of reaching Nirvana: nothingness. 

Through that painful scene I witnessed in the temple, the Lord highlighted the Great Commission, His command for us to “GO and teach them to obey all that I have commanded.” Most people come to know Christ through testimonies and scripture spoken by others. We are told about Him, His saving grace, and the Spirit opens our eyes to see. Very few of us can say we randomly had a revelation and believed. Jesus intends to use us as vessels for the Gospel and to teach others to follow Him faithfully. This is why we will continue to Go into Unreached nations. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Romans 10:14)

The Scouting Trips that YWAM Trang is sending out are a vital part of that mission. They are laying a foundation in these nations and they are an act of obedience to our loving Father. We desire that these trips would create strong relationships with other believers working in the Neediest Red and that for many years to come we can work together, united in our desire to see every tribe, tongue, and nation worship Jesus. We have realized that South Asia is incredibly beautiful and full of the most kind and hospitable people we have ever met. But they, like so many others, are in desperate need of the truth and hope of Jesus. If workers aren’t sent, these nations will otherwise remain in spiritual darkness. We pray that through YWAM Trang’s obedience of focusing on the Neediest Red, seeds will be planted that will bring about an abundant harvest for Christ in the years to come.

“Make disciples of every nation, by mobilizing, discipling, and going.”

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