So now what? the valley lows, and post mountain tops.

This past summer you could say that God brought me to an amazing mountain top, not just once but three times. And by the start of the school year, last fall, my face was shining. I'm not trying to boast or say that I am someone special because that is not true. These past 6 months have been trying; I've sinned, experienced difficulty and seen God work in many ways, but it is evident that I experienced and met God this summer. As Moses' face shone after his time with God on Mount Sinai, my life has been radically shining in ways it has never before because of God's working this past summer.

Three Mountains, one trail back home.

In June I traveled to Uganda. I experienced the aftermath of the Gospel spreading and Jesus working in the hearts and lives of His followers. God reminded me of His gospel and my need of Him through their stories and lives.

During one of my last days in Uganda, we participated in the dedication of their new dormitory. It was a special and blessed moment as we were privileged to build the dorm alongside the students and teachers. It wasn't just our team blessing the school anymore; the people of Uganda participated with us and that was the echoing theme during our time there. On the way down to the bus, after the ceremony, I had this distinct feeling that God was reminding me that these past weeks were only the beginning of what would be a crazy summer. For many, the conclusion of a trip to Uganda, a dorm dedication and climbing on a bus to head back to the United States would be the climax of their summer.

But God wasn't finished,

A couple of weeks later, I boarded a plane in Portland that would eventually lead me to Thailand. And it was in Thailand that I learned more about missions than ever before. My time serving kids, teaching them the Bible and learning about missions around the world brought up a lot of questions and challenged many of ways that I lived back home. I had to face the facts about God's call and mission for those whom He has saved. It was a reality that I was not entirely prepared for, and again it was the tip of the iceberg. God was beginning to show me that we are saved by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is through His Gospel that we are given purpose and mission to share that good news with others, introducing them to the person of Jesus Christ.

In Thailand,

there were two main things that stood out the most. The first of these was the story one man shared with me about a church he attended in Taiwan. He explained that the church was started because the people in the church were introduced to Jesus Christ and started following Him during their time attending college in the states. As I discussed and asked him about the importance of going to share the Gospel in nations that have limited access to the Gospel, he explained the importance of sharing in the University setting back in the states. This alone had a significant impact on the past 6 months.

International Students on our Campus.

As I learned in Thailand, the work that others are doing around the world can be and should be done here. At Oregon State University, I learned that there are about 4,000 International Students present on our campus this year. As my friend David explained, many of these students are from nations that we as Americans and more specifically, Christian's simply cannot enter. So when they come to live in our country, on our campuses for 6 months to upwards of 4 years to complete their education, it is an amazing opportunity for ministry. If just one student from each country that we are restricted from came to know Jesus, then that student could go back and bring the Gospel in, introducing their family and friends to Jesus Christ.

Secondly, God used Thailand to move me...

God moved me to another nation in Asia. In Thailand I made some friends who were working in another Asian country, and they were one of the many to invite me to come and see what Jesus is doing around the world. It was through my experiences in Thailand that God brought me to experience hands on, the real work of a missionary on field. About two weeks after I returned to the states, I boarded a plane back to Asia.

Hands-On, Asia Round Two.

In order to head to Asia again, I had to sell my truck and do a lot of things to go. God worked in some very insane ways and His timing and provision was incredible. If you have time, I'd love to share more about this later!

But during my second time in Asia, I was primarily working alongside the college interns. From prayer walking on college campuses to having meals with students and discussing our different beliefs, I was shown a vivd picture of what it means to give my life away in order that others may know Jesus. I heard about the trials, the persecution and saw many difficulties that they face first hand. It was God explaining the concepts of the work of the Gospel in Thailand to demonstrating how it actually plays out in real life in Asia.

So Now What?

Well, I have been back at Oregon State University for about six months now and God is moving. He has been helping me learn how to build relationships with the International Students on my campus, He has been teaching me about how to pray, how to depend on Him, to walk with Him.

Over the past six months, at my house we have started two ways that we are seeking to trust God in. The first is that we as a house of 37 as well as other Christians from around our campus, meet to pray for our city on a weekly basis. We pray for each other and for God to give us opportunities to make disciples, we also pray for those that we are intentionally getting to know, that He would work in their hearts.

And three months ago, we started something that missionaries do in other countries to serve the college students and share the Gospel. Some call it an English Corner, here at OSU we are calling it Conversation Corner. Every week we invite and host international students at our house, providing snacks, a fun and goofy game to play with each other, and lastly we pair up to talk about life, helping them practice their English. It has been a fun way to get to know the international students on our campus, and also serve them. We have even had the opportunity for some of them to join us at church.

The Mountain Top and Now the Valley Low

Last summer was amazing! God brought me to 3 amazing countries, allowed me to meet many amazing people, learn about what the mission of the Gospel actually is and how it actually plays out in our everyday lives, even more specifically how it can play out on my own college campus at Oregon State University.

God has shown me, and even today, reminded me that it is those Mountain Top experiences that drive us to continue in the Valley Lows. I was explained this during my second time in Asia, but it has become the reality even today. My time with Jesus on the Mountains this summer, has been the driving force the last six months. And there is more work to do, as Jesus says "the Harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few." So pray the Jesus sends me, that He sends you because as I have heard my Pastor say numerous times before, the nations are at our doorstep.

Moving Forward...

God willing, I will will be continuing to complete my degree at Oregon State next term and next year. There are about 4,000 international students alone on our campus, many of whom do not know Jesus Christ and actually may never even heard about Him. It is by God's grace that we are saved and it is His grace that we get to share the Gospel with others. And it is by His grace that I can continue to share Him with those around me here.

Please be praying for God to move His will here in Corvallis, Oregon. And please be praying for God to raise up harvesters to reap His harvest here. Lastly, please be praying that International Students would come to know the LORD and bring His Gospel home to their nations.


- Kyle

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