In December of 2019, a group of Blue Mountain College students chose to forego the festivities of Christmas and travel to Asia. Their mission: to share the Christ of Christmas. Jakob Harris, Jake Heffner, Hunter Gay, and Benjamin Myers were among the students that traveled to both China and Mongolia over the two week span.
The four connected with other individuals from Baptist Student Unions across the state that broke into smaller missional units. Spending four days in China, the group soaked in all the sights Beijing had to offer while keeping their heart and eyes open for opportunities to share. From Beijing, the trip progressed to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The students spent the majority of the trip, 10 days, traveling from gher to gher (Mongolian huts), sharing the gospel to anyone that would listen.
Hunter Gay spoke about his life altering experience at the Blue Mountain BSU’s Prime Time night for winter missions. “There was so much we did, and I can’t explain it all,” he lamented. “But I can highlight one moment that stood out.” Gay then continued by describing a day his group had traveled to their first gher of the morning, where they met a young man and his grandparents.
“The guy seemed interested, when we began sharing, but his grandparents looked zoned out,” Gay relayed. However, it was clear when the group had finished, no heart was left untouched. Much to their surprise, all three members of the family were eager to seek Jesus, and readily prayed with the group to receive Christ. “I got to pray with them for possibly their first time ever, and lead them through that.” He shook his head in disbelief. “I’ll never forget it.”
Oftentimes, we consider Christmas as a season of giving, but limit our parcels of love to objects wrapped in colorful paper. Our gestures of goodwill, while heartfelt, don’t compare to the treasure students shared. These individuals gave the ultimate gift: the gift of the Gospel. In heeding God’s call, Gay, among other students, was able to share the gift of eternal life with people that otherwise would’ve spent their lives ignorant and died condemned.
Time that could’ve been spent at family dinners, reconnecting with hometown friends, or eating grandma’s famous cookies was spent in temperatures of -20 degrees, traveling to various huts, being constantly dusted in snow, hiking the steps to the Great Wall, or circled in worship with new believers. Yet, it was still labeled as “The Best Christmas Ever” by all that experienced it.