The Missionary Mandate Newsletter

Sunday, February 27, 2011

CHINA: Opens the Door To My First Missons Outreach

University of Mobile Campus - 1987

By: Charles W. Harris
It was in the early Spring of 1987, when the seeds of missions outreach were firmly planted into my heart and spirit by what I believe for certain was divine providence and guidance.  I first began my journey in the missions frontier while pursuing my undergraduate degree at the University of Mobile (formerly Mobile College). During my senior year, I was selected by the faculty and members of the Board of Trustees and particularly Mrs. Mary Jane Frazier, to represent the school in a six-week long trip to the People's Republic of China.  
When I received the invitation to be a candidate, I was quite surprised, but overly amazed with joy to have the opportunity presented. Even today, I can remember my initial meeting in April of that year with Dr. Michael Magnoli, then President of the college, who warmly congratulated me, shared some of the travel plans, and explained to me the important steps needed to complete my application and the estimated $4,000.00 dollars required for the trip to mainland China. I can also remember the feeling of bewilderment wrap in an enigma of confidence after the meeting and conceding with him that I was willing and able to go. I remember as I walked out of his office that all I had was only my maturing faith in God as a provider, a conviction of what the Psalmist says: "thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." I left knowing the Lord would hear my prayers for the resources to experience an opportunity of a lifetime, and most of all to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the People's Republic of China.  

This confidence came in spite of numerious challenges in one of the most trying periods of my life. What made this event so Godly unusual to me; I was a 31 year old student, a struggling young pastor with a growing family, working part-time, very little income, no passport, and certainly no discretionary funds to travel anywhere. For exanple, my daily reminder of my economic situation was my old 1975 burgundy & gray Ford Granada, that I proudly owned and appreciated at certain times. But, it was moderately unpredictable and at times left me stranded on the school campus in need of a ride home while most of my meager funds was in the gas tank or left at the repair shop the week before. Nevertheless, I still  felt privileged and honored to be asked to represent Mobile College and I was grateful to have the support of other students, teachers, faculty leaders and Alumni who were passionately involved in the intellectual, spiritual, cultural, and personal growth of all their students.   
The trip was sponsored by the renown Plowshares Institute a global outreach organization located in Simsbury, Connecticut,  headed by Dr. Robert and Alice Evans, and included students from other colleges throughout the United States.  Our purpose for this mission was to become contributing members of the Chinese community, visiting churches, colleges, factories and industrial centers, living with and amoung this host community of "unreached peoples," and participating in regular various worship experiences throughout our visit. The overall goal of this mission effort would result in building a "mutually beneficial international relationships and return as more engaged members of our global society." The itinerary included visiting some of the largest cities in China, i.e., Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, and Beijing.
In our next Blog: Destination Hong Kong, I will share just a few of my memorable experiences as we traveled through the countryside, cities, and villages, learning about the culture, the underground church, education, economy and everyday life of the amazing Chinese people. 
Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it (Lk. 11:28 -NIV).
To be continued.....


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  2. Great post. Thanks for visiting and following my blog. God bless, Lloyd

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  4. What an awesome testament to the faithfulness of our God, thanks for sharing.