11/15 Patrick about 60
Today I had the awesome privilege to share Jesus with someone who has never really heard about Him before. I reached out to an older Chinese man from China named Patrick - his American name - at a Burger King. Patrick grew up in a household in China that believed in ancestor worship, which he has long since rejected. However, he had nothing to replace it with, and hasn’t really thought about religion for most of his life. I didn’t just start talking about Jesus – Patrick needed a context within which to appreciate Him. He wasn’t really sure he believed in God, so I began to talk about how the creation gives evidence of a Creator; how we have a God-given conscience; how we have rebelled against it and God and will be held accountable for our actions. Within this framework, our need for forgiveness and Jesus could make sense to Patrick. He was very appreciative and seemed excited to read the Chinese Bible-based materials I gave him.
If you have eyes to see, there are people like Patrick all around us. I asked him what his experience with Christianity was and he said he has observed Christians around him and thought they were very good and nice people. But in all his years he had never heard the Gospel. Some say we should preach the Gospel with our actions and use words only when necessary. But I agree with Paul who wrote “how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Jesus told us to go and make disciples, and a biblical local church is where that needs to happen. But who will go out to share with unbelievers in the first place? Who will go out into the streets and the marketplace and the harvest fields? Jesus said we should “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” People like Patrick need us not only to pray that prayer, but to be a part of the answer. To say “Here am I Lord, send me!”