God brought three other men on the trek with me in LeaderTrek 2019. All of us have deep connections to China in one way or another. Our love of China, Christ, culture, adventure, and food created an instant bond between us who were seeking to grow. During the times of hiking, alone time on the mountain, spontaneous prayer, sweat, laughter, and tears, we all managed to grow deeper in our relationship with God and each other.
Here are three things God showed me during the trip.
On our first day of hiking, we met Crater Lake and were amazed by its beauty. On our last day, when we came down from the mountain and saw the lake again, we didn’t think much of it at all.
Crater Lake is sill Crater Lake, but we are no longer the same person. In our trip, we went up and saw many truly amazing lakes, such as Geneva Lake and Snowmass Lake. Even the Little Gem Lake is truly beautiful, and we spent three hours doing solo time around the lake.
When we came down from the mountain, we saw many people who had driven long hours to stop and visit Crater Lake—and they thought it was the best, but we felt sorry for them because by stopping there they missed better lakes further up the mountain.
Christian Life is like that. Many of us think the world is pretty and like what it has to offer. We become content to live as a Christian in a comfortable contemporary culture. However, we never knew the true nature of God and experienced the true beauty of our savior.
The Bible says,
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect…forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 3:12-14
The Christian life is not meant to be shallow, but deep; not half full, but full. So brothers and sisters, let’s go further.
Brent, our leader has done Leadertrek many times in China and the US. I was a mountain climber in college and take Chinese students to adventure trips a couple of times a year. Daniel is a football coach, a wrestler, and a fitness enthusiast. Jared can carry his 40 lb son and hike several hours.
All men on this trip are capable and strong leaders in our own family and ministries. We are also “broken vessels” and found ourselves always need help from each other. Brent is our mentor, and his word of encouragement is like honey for our heart. Jared is the navigator to get us from point A to point B. Daniel is the inquisitive kid and always kept our conversation going. Me, quietly helped the group, in cooking or anything else.
On day four of our hiking, just finished a very emotional solo time by Little Gem Lake, we decided to traverse to the mountain above our campsite, rather than follow the trail and hike through the valley. We had to cut through bushes that are as tall as us. We felt desperate and hopeless. But then one of us led us to pass the bushes, and suddenly we saw the beautiful Geneva Lake right below us. There was still quite some distance to go, but no longer we had to walk through the bushes. Instead of feeling hopeless, we felt energized and in awe of the beauty of God’s creation.
Many times in our trip, we asked each other tough questions, and we revealed the kind of secret we felt ashamed to tell anybody else. We challenged each other to live our lives for God, and we prayed for each other to stand firm in purity and faith.
Finally, we completed this quite challenging trip. If we four men need each other for a 45 miles hiking trip, how much more we need each other for this journey, we called “the pilgrim’s progress!”
The Bible says,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”Hebrews 12:1
There is an old African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
The Christian life is not meant to go alone. We have to go together to go further. So, brothers and sisters, let’s go together.
NEVER STOP GOING (WORKING)
Along the way, we encountered people from all different walks of life. Brent, the leader of the men, demonstrated the importance of sharing the good news with whomever he met. I was reminded that, as Christians, we should always be at work. Sharing the good news is not exclusively for preachers and missionaries. Everywhere we go, every person God puts in our way is an opportunity to show God’s love. Just like our father is always at work, we should not stop working either.
“ My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”John 5:17