Chapter 1: Journey to the West

Journey to the West. (pp.5-14) Jiang Long finds himself alone in the Tulsa International Airport, 8,000 miles away from home. His new faith in God is strengthened by the help of a friendly tennis coach. God truly provides.

Key Scriptures: 1 Peter 1:17 “Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.”

Key Questions:

  • How do we know there is a God?
  • Who is the True God?
  • Do I (or does God) control my destiny?
  • What does it mean for a Christian to live a life of holiness as a stranger on earth?

Exploring Further:

As an American citizen having been born in China, I will forever be different from the cultural norm. But I don’t want that difference to simply come from a different physical appearance or accent. I want my main difference to be my belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior. As a “stranger,” I believe I have been sent to this land with a special calling from God – to help bring this American culture back to a whole new focus on holiness relating to God’s “strangers in the world.”

As God’s chosen people, we are to live like “strangers” in this world! What separates us from the world is Christ in us. This mystery of God is what completely changes our perspectives on thought (set your hearts and minds on things above) and attitude towards living on earth. The world looks at our outside, but God look at our inside. We have a whole new perspective on life in that though we live in this world, like everybody else, we’re IN this world, but we are not OF this world. We are citizens of heaven, traveling through this earth as “strangers.”

About john

As an ordained pastor, John has ministered to people globally. John Long graduated from the prestigious Xi’an Jiaotong university in Shannxi, China before earning a Master of Business Administration from Oral Roberts University. He is president of International Village ministry and lives in Norman, OK, with his wife, May and their three children.
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5 Responses to Chapter 1: Journey to the West

  1. Dave says:

    Do you have any advise for a Chinese Christian who would like to minister to Chinese students in the US?

  2. John Long says:

    Dave, I’d first strongly encourage that he nurture the relationship s/he has with God, keeping that strong regardless of oppositions, which could come from all directions – own family members, friends/peers, community. It is too easy to follow the ‘ways of the world.’
    Then, as the opportunities to minister to students of same descent come, s/he should use the advantage of familiarity in culture/language/customs and establish a relationship first; then, as s/he earns the right to be heard, he is able to share Christ. Be patient, as it takes time for the relationship to be built. Sometimes, it takes weeks, months or even years before any noticeable ‘results’. Plant the seeds, if that is the only things you can do. Water the plants, if you also have the pleasure to do so. But do expect ‘increase’ in the Kingdom as the Lord alone can give increase and we must wait on His timing.

    • admin says:

      I agree that relationships are key to ministry. Can you suggest some other resources for learning about different cultures and how to connect with people from Asian countries.

  3. Kevin says:

    John, if an American Christian wanted to get involved in helping newly-arrived internationals, where should he start?

    • John says:

      University campuses are becoming ‘shared mission field’ in many cities. You can start there with an intent to reach out in Christ’s love, both with practical helps and opportunities to explore faith, to international students and scholars. Most of these ministries are connected to a local church, wherein further discipleship opportunity exists. If not, ‘Friendship Families’ are often available to nurture the relationship working alongside you.