by Eugene West
Eleven years ago I was still just a teenager and in the middle of my first full year on the Chinese mainland. I was spending most of my time crisscrossing China by bus and train, all while studying Chinese, researching new unevangelized places, and helping to lead teams in tract distribution and Bible smuggling.
My Chinese was improving daily, as well as my understanding of the culture and people. But the major issue on my heart was what I was going to do about the unreached people groups that I was discovering (mostly by reading) in the more remote regions of western China.
In the prayer journal excerpts below, it is obvious that I was feeling the call to move farther up (much higher elevation) and farther in (northwesterly direction, away from the coast) to begin to live and work among the numerous unreached people groups that I was learning about.
Looking back, I am amazed to see how God has done so many, if not all, of the things I asked of Him way back then. Below, I have italicized some sections that have encouraged me the most.
What about you? How have you seen God answer the deep longings of your heart in the past few years
May 5, 2003 – Fai Chi Kei, Macau
I really would like to be married and have a family to call my own. I would then love to take my family and work together with them to reach the unreachable and touch the untouchables.
Give me wisdom on how I can ever do what needs to be done to reach these unreached groups [in China]. Provide protection for myself and any other ones who do go with me in the work. Make the road clear for us to follow and provide for every need along the way…
Begin even now, I pray, to prepare the hearts of the people I will one day meet in the Intermountain regions of this great nation (China).
May 7, 2003 – Fai Chi Kei, Macau
Father, please You be the one to light the fire in my soul and to break my heart for the lost…
Help me to place myself in shoes of the unreached members of a [northwest China] tribe. Help me to love them just as I would want others to love me. Again, I plead with You to lead me to the people group or even the village where You would have me to be.
Help me to obey You– if that means being a simple front-line laborer, then don’t let me settle for anything less.
Help me not to waste this time here in China, but to grow and strive daily towards more dying of self and glorifying of You.
May 8, 2003 – Fai Chi Kei, Macau
Send me somewhere(anywhere) to serve You. As long as You send me and use me I will not care where I may go.
Help me to be able to see and find the people that you have called me to reach.
Don’t let me miss the masses by looking for a few, but also don’t let me miss the few by looking solely to the masses.
May 10, 2003 – Fai Chi Kei, Macau
Help me to focus on the completely unreached, but to make proper use of any and every opportunity to reach anyone on earth with the Truth of Your Word.
Give me eyes to see and ears to hear and a soft and broken heart to respond with true love and compassion.
May 11, 2003 – Fai Chi Kei, Macau
Show me any possible way that I can more effectively penetrate the unreached tribes (of China) with Your Gospel. If and when I must dress like them, eat like them, talk like them, and live with them, help me to do it for the sake of sharing Your Truth with them.
May 12, 2003 – Fai Chi Kei, Macau
Father, help us..to go to the Roof of the World (Tibet). Help us to obey you. Give us strength and wisdom. Lead us and guide us in Your paths. Do this not so we can boast, but for Your glory and Namesake. Help us to adore You and love You as our ALL in ALL.
(The paragraph above has been translated from my Spanglish in the original)
I am going to go crazy! I want to do something and stop wasting time in needless things! Help me to continue growing in You and to do all that I have been called to do.
Show me what I must do in regards to staying with [my former organization] or breaking out and going to the unreached tribes. Like I said, show me what I MUST do. Make it clear to me I pray! And give me your wisdom as to how to go about doing what I know needs to be done!
May 14, 2003 – Fai Chi Kei, Macau
Lord, about my mental wanderings of where I should go and what I should do in this world for the sake of Your Gospel, I am going to make a statement. A statement of a possible course of action. If I am wrong, and you have different plans for me, then make it clear to me in Your own time!
God, please break my heart and make me a weeping prophet, like Jeremiah of old. Help me to be a world Christian; help me to see all people as my equal, as my brothers in the flesh, and help me to love them more than I love myself. Not my will I pray, but Yours be done!
Help me not to do anything out of a competitive spirit, but out of an uncontrollable compassion to reach out to others. In Your Name I ask these things, Amen!
May 21, 2003 – Fai Chi Kei, Macau
Lord, I know where the need is. It isn’t hard to find out where there are the fewest believers and the fewest who have heard the Gospel. Help my focus to be on going to those people and reaching those people. Show me how it can be done, please, wo qiu ni (Chinese: I beg you)!
May 30, 2003 – Pingliang, China
Use me to do something (anything, whatever you desire!), for the people of this world. Send me to the unreached and give me Your wisdom and Your Words. Te amo!