“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” Acts 17:26-27
God is the Great Pursuer of men’s hearts. And the hearts of teenage girls from China.
I had the privilege to be a part of the preappointed times and boundaries of the dwellings of four sweet, wonderful, intelligent, motivated, determined girls, as I taught them English, and hopefully much more, this past semester. God allowed me to be a part of their time and place here on earth in the hope that they might seek Him and grope for Him and FIND Him. Let me tell you their stories.
These four girls came to America to attend high school where they would have choices and opportunities and a promising future (something Communism will never offer them). However, God, in His infinite mercy and wisdom, brought each of them to a Christian high school that seemed appealing due to its rigorous academics and cutting-edge technology. And as God is always doing, He was and continues to work behind the scenes to pursue their hearts.
One afternoon Cynthia had a story she was dying to tell me. She had been working on fulfilling the community service requirement for her Sophomore year, and did so by canvassing her neighborhood asking for donations for the thrift store that the school runs. As she came back by the houses to pick up the donations that had been promised, one of the neighbors came out of his house, yelling and chasing her down. She stopped, and in Chinese he began to tell her that God had told him to come give her money to go towards the school. He gave her a generous donation, and they talked for a while (I can’t remember all the details of the conversation, but it was along the lines of that he knew he needed to give her the money, but didn’t know how to get ahold of her or something, and then she was outside at the exact right time…something like that). Anyways, this girl, who just a few months ago had had no previous experience with God, received this incredible, faith-building experience. In the language of her heart. In a way that God knew would reach her meaningfully and personally.
Elaine had a story one day about how she recently found out that her grandmother in China is a Christian, and had been praying for years and years that Elaine would serve God. When she found out that Elaine was fulfilling her community service by helping out in the nursery at her host family’s church, she was overjoyed and somehow shared this answered prayer with Elaine. Again, months ago Elaine had had very little exposure, if any at all, to the Lord. I pray that God will fully answer that prayer when Elaine surrenders her life to Jesus one day.
Kim’s English is the most broken in our class, but when Elaine was sharing her story, Kim blurted out that when she was still living in China, she had had a dream where Jesus was there, and He was smiling. She didn’t know anything except that He was Jesus. God brought her to this school in America so that she would have even more opportunities to learn about who Jesus really is.
And Nan. Nan is destined to be, I don’t know, maybe the president of a country one day? She is brilliant, charismatic, and a natural born leader. I got hired because she insisted that the school provide a class for her peers. She has been at the school a year longer than the other girls, knows and loves the Lord now, and has organized a missions trip from the school this summer to a poor area near her home in China. God determined her boundaries, so that she might be a part of reaching her own countrymen with the Gospel.
As I reflect on their stories, I am even more motivated to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of people all over the world. He is working…will I join Him in this work?
How did God determine your preappointed time and the boundaries of your dwelling, so that you might seek Him and find Him?