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Linn County Leader - Brookfield, MO
  • Building Faith in a Faraway Land

  • Often in the United States, we hear tales of Christians feeling like they are persecuted for their beliefs. What if you followed your faith to a faraway land, a place where the very discussion of your Christianity could result in harsh consequences. This was the journey of Chris King of Brookfield, who traveled to East Asia for six months to work as a missionary.
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  • Often in the United States, we hear tales of Christians feeling like they are persecuted for their beliefs. What if you followed your faith to a faraway land, a place where the very discussion of your Christianity could result in harsh consequences. This was the journey of Chris King of Brookfield, who traveled to East Asia for six months to work as a missionary.
    When talking to King, a student at Hannibal-LaGrange University, his faith in Jesus Christ is palpable in his manner and words. King recently took a semester off from his Liberal Arts studies at college, where he also is a track scholarship athlete who went overseas.
    “I have a couple of friends from Asia at the university I attend,” said King. “I had the great privilege to share the gospel with them and see them come to faith, and to disciple them in that. God gave me a heart for their people, and I had the opportunity to go on this trip with a friend. I felt that, unless God told me not to, I would go.”
    And go King did, on a long journey from home. All he can say, as far as his location, is that he served in East Asia. “For me, it was an unknown territory,” admitted King. “There is persecution that goes on over there for the Christian faith. I knew it was going to be difficult going over there.”
    A trip overseas is never easy, and King had a lot of work to do to get things together. Between a monetary investment to pay his expenses, King had to choose to delay his education by a semester. This was not something to do lightly for a scholarship athlete.
    “I had to raise money to go and get my passport,” said King. “Then I went through a questionnaire with the company that sent me to make sure that we had the same kind of beliefs.  They wanted to make sure that I was the kind of person that they wanted out there, representing them.”
    King was the person they were looking for, and he proceeded to head to his destination, far away from his Brookfield roots. Upon landing, King was delayed in his mission because the students he was scheduled to minister to were on break.
    This led King and his partner to engage in a six-week intensive Bible study to fully immerse themselves in God’s word. When the students finally arrived, King noted his relief in getting to the work he had been sent to do.
    “It was so good to see the people that we were going to meet and share the Gospel with,” said King. “But it was hard, seeing how different evangelism looks there, as in America. The  language barrier was difficult, but God showed us a lot of Grace, and provided us with people to share with. We needed strength and boldness to share the Gospel.”
    Page 2 of 3 - Throughout his six-month journey in East Asia, King had to mind his proverbial P’s and Q’s, as outward discussion of Christianity is illegal in the foreign land in which he was living. “We were trained really well, with security information, and it was moreso the persecution of sharing your beliefs,” King explained. “Christianity is the only belief that the government over there actvively persecutes for sharing. Other faiths can share their beliefs, but Christianity is not allowed to be shared, because we tend to multiply. Discipleship tends to make belief grow, and the government wants to control the message over there.”
    King continued: “So the most dangers we were in were that sometime we would think that someone was listening behind us and would turn us in to the government. We could have been beaten up, or sent to prison, or even kicked out of the country and banned from coming back.”
    Going from America, where at least approximately 70 percent of the world’s Christian population resides, to a place where people may not know the faith you are sharing, was an experience for the young missionary.
    “It was hard, but the most difficult thing in the best way, was where I had to rely on God for my strength,” said King. “I am not just going to be able to say the name of Jesus and have people recognize that. I had a short time to share the story of the Bible and let them know who Jesus is.”
    At the end of his tenure overseas, King admitted that he had become complacent in the idea that no one would come to the Lord on his first journey. But, as the saying goes, the Lord works in mysterious ways. An injury while playing basketball would prove to be the turning point in one man’s journey to Christ.
    “One day I was playing basketball,” said King. “This is usually what we did to find someone to share the Gospel with. I shared the gospel with a friend named Winston, and later that day I hurt my ankle. Later on, I met with him frequently, shared the Gospel with him, studied the Bible with him, and helped him to understand Jesus better.”
    King continued: “Two weeks before I left, I was content with the idea that knowing that God would work while I was gone, even if no one believed that the trip was worth it. But after hearing a woman share her Testimony, he asked me how someone believes in Jesus. I walked him through it, and later on he messaged me at two in the morning and let me know that he was going to follow Jesus. I went to my knees and wept before the Lord about how great His works are and the Grace that he had provided me.”
    Page 3 of 3 - King plans to return to Hannibal-LaGrange and finish his studies. As for more mission work, King is indeed looking to a future spent spreading God’s word to all who will listen.
    “I would love to do mission work full-time, and I pray that is God’s will for my life,” said King. “I am seeking His kingdom now, and what He seeks for me. As far as my faith, I just want to become more like Him. I just want to continue to be humbled, run away from my idols, love Christ more, love the Gospel more, and try to be more Christ-like.”

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