Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Lenten Devotional About China

I was asked to contribute to my church's Lenten devotional guide with a story of my journey to China. I want to share it with you below as I get ready to fly out Wednesday morning. I am very excited, apprehensive, nervous, delighted, scrambling, and anything else you can imagine I'd be feeling at this point.

It's going to be different than my September trip in several ways. First of all, I will be with a larger team which means the speaking opportunities are more spread out. I hope to have a lot of personal contact with the Chinese believers. Second, I will be reconnecting with a couple of women from my last trip. This means a chance to know them more and deepen our relationships. Third, I will attend a women's retreat which doesn't happen in China much.

Thanks for following my journey out of Portland to Beijing!

Lenten Devotional 2012

Last September I was invited to go to China. Before departing, I spent time in solitude, praying and asking God to give me a message for those I would meet. It didn’t take long to hear one phrase repeated in my mind. “I see you.”

Those words resonated deeply in my heart. As I prayed for a nation of over 1.3 billion people and read books with their stories, I imagined how easy it would be for one to be lost in that crowd of humanity, to pass along unseen. The phrase also echoed through my memory chambers, as I recalled my own struggles to be seen. Yet…

…God saw a little girl born on a small Japanese island of only 464 square miles to a deaf mother who would never hear her cries. So He created a soul with a special ear for spiritual things.

…God saw a teenager who heard the gospel story of Jesus dying on the cross for her sins. So He planted the seed of faith.

…God saw a Bible college student who wanted to follow Jesus as a missionary to Japan, but knew she wasn’t ready to love the world. So He taught her to love a husband first.

…God saw a young wife and mother who was on the verge of losing her sanity and her faith and sent a mentor to guide her back to health and hope. So He deepened her understanding of sacrifice in serving her family.

…God saw a middle-aged woman stepping into ministry and into the world, first with Mexico and then Uganda. So He expanded her vision of His kingdom in other nations.

…God saw a grandmother with a seminary degree called to preaching and teaching. So He opened the door to China and gave her a message.

“I see you.”

God had seen me and I knew God saw them too.  As I offered these words to my new Chinese friends, I sensed the transforming presence of the crucified Christ, gazing with pure love into each of their faces.

For God so loved the world...


  1. This is beautiful, Harriet. I know God will use you and your many gifts He's given you as you go to China. I know He has a plan for you in Portland, too. I want you to know what a blessing and encouragement you've been to me, my friend!

  2. Thank you, Jody. Your encouragement means so much to me too!