As a integral part of the program, Cafe 1040 uses homestay visits as a way for students to get unparalleled insights into the culture and life around them. This story is from a Spring 2015 Cafe 1040 Graduate.
A 15-hour train ride, 7-hour bus ride and a 3-hour backpacking trek alongside the rice-terraced mountainsides of Asia brought us to the homestay location for our last excursion. We were going to be interacting with a handful of Asian minority groups for the whole week. The unique faces we came in contact with along our journey were just as beautiful as the towering mountains, deep valleys and streaming rivers. I couldn’t help but continuously thank God for being so creative and intricate with his work. I was blown away with the constant thought of how big He is, how small we are, and how extravagant His love is for us.
This excursion was quite different from the others we have taken so far, for many reasons. Unlike the other trips, the family we were staying with were believers and they had an incredible story. We were able to hear about how they came to Jesus, the persecution they had faced and how God is working in their village and neighboring towns. Already encouraged and hopeful from what we had heard, we had the opportunity to get to share a deeper understanding of the concept of grace with some of the younger believers within the village.
One night we gathered together in one room, two different cultures on opposite sides of the room, divided by a language barrier yet unified by the blood of Jesus. It was one of the coolest experiences to be able to sit there and think about the fact that we’ll be adoring the King of Kings together in heaven one day, that we would see these precious faces again.
To take a look at the grace of our glorious savior we began to share the story of the adulterous woman and the prodigal son. As the books, stories, testimonies, and examples were making their way through translation, I was hit with the realization that I myself hadn’t meditated on the thought of God’s grace in awhile. I hadn’t been soaking it up the way He intends for us to. In that moment I was reminded how beautiful grace is. How my relationship with God doesn’t exist without grace, second chances don’t exist without grace, and this incredible experience that I’m experiencing certainly doesn’t exist without grace. It was an incredible night to just bask in the glory, mercy, grace, and love of our Father. No matter where we are on the map, He is always flooding us with His goodness.
To end the night we joined each other in adoration. I didn’t think God could orchestrate things any more perfectly than He already had, but then we ended up singing “Amazing Grace” together. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound… It’s the sound of two different peoples joining together in different languages to worship the only One who is worthy!