While in graduate school, I had the strong desire to travel to China on a short-term mission trip. So it became a goal for me, though at the time I couldn’t envision how, or even if, that might happen.
But, many years later, I accomplished this goal during the spring of 2001 when I was invited by a Messiah College professor to co-lead a mission trip to China. He knew I had an interest in China, my wife being Chinese, but did not know about this specific goal. That summer, we left for Kunming, China, with 15 students.
This trip was an amazing experience for me. I taught English to Chinese professionals and visited an orphanage where we were able to provide clothing and other items for the children. Along with our contribution to the Chinese people, I made some close friends and developed relationships which I have maintained ever since. I also experienced the kindness of the Chinese people. For instance, whenever we went out to eat, our Chinese friends would insist on paying. But when I had the chance, I would silently leave the table, pretending to go to the restroom,
to secretly pay for part of the cost of our meals.
During this trip, I also had the privilege of traveling to Tibet where some Messiah students taught English to hotel workers.
My time in China was not only the fulfillment of a goal but also a memorable and life-changing experience for me. I was deeply touched and impacted by the profound and sincere faith of the Chinese Christians. In addition, I learned about warm hospitality and
sacrificial giving from people with few resources.
I believe that God knew the desire of my heart and provided the opportunity for me to go to China. My initial goal has led to another similar one: to visit China again—this time accompanied by my wife and our two sons.
—Winston Seegobin is an associate professor of psychology.
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