In preparing for the summer and focusing a lot more on praying for lost people groups around the world, I have been reminded often about the beautiful place & people I fell in love with 2 years ago. I'm not trying to say that you'll never understand, because I know for a fact that many people have these kind of experiences. People go on these kind of trips and grow attached to certain people & places all the time. I learned so much about the Lord and built great friendships with 3 beautiful women, and I have never looked back from who I was before that summer!
There are times when the eyes of precious Yuli, piercing back at me from the picture frame on my desk, seriously cut me to my core. I cry often when I look at her picture. Some of it is probably just me being sentimental, wanting so badly to go back and hug her neck. The rest of it, however, are lingering thoughts about where she'll spend eternity. I wonder if she will always be a strange mixture of Hindu & Islam & animism. I wonder if anyone else will go back to her village to explain the stories from the book we left behind. I wonder if she still sings "This is the Day" in her native language. My heart breaks to a million pieces every time I think about it- I want to know these things.
What I've realized, though, is that although I may have an opportunity one day to go back and see the people, I have been called to serve wherever I am at any moment. More than anything, I want to be in a place where no one has ever heard the name Jesus before. But until then, who am I serving? Who am I sharing with? Who am I praying for? How do I spend my time? I will not be an effective and faithful disciple in a place of spiritual darkness if I am not faithfully serving right here in the middle of the Bible Belt.