Where’s my Kimchi?

By Rachel Greco

Bug bites, humid heat, bizarre food, and a different language—can these really be the ingredients for an enjoyable experience? Yes! God turned these challenges into opportunities for a group when they experienced a CrossVenture event at JAARS last summer.

Five young Korean women, ages 19-23, and two middle-aged men drove about 13 hours from their church in Ontario, Canada to attend the week-long event.

Huts that the groups sleep in during their CrossVenture experience

Tracy, who runs CrossVenture, plans each event for a group of at least 12 people, but that wasn’t coming together for this group. However, they had raised the money, had the time off, and wanted to come. Tracy worked with her assistant to rearrange some of the activities for a group of seven, so she gave the group the go-ahead to come.

Cooking rice over a fire for the ethnic meal activity

Like true mission workers, the group had to forego some of the foods they are more accustomed to eating. They’re used to eating kimchi at nearly every meal, but Tracy’s meal plans didn’t include kimchi. One of the main purposes of CrossVenture—from sleeping in hammocks in wooden shelters to using outhouses and cooking on mud stoves—is to remove participants from their comfort zones so they can be more open to hear what the Lord would teach them. So when the group asked if they could stop and pick up some kimchi on the way, Tracy replied, “I’d rather not.”

Kimchi, a Korean dish that the group had to do without during their CrossVenture experience

God used these challenges to teach the young women about his love for them and the nations. One of the women, Jin Ae*, said, “Because [we] were isolated from worldly distractions, it was more interactive and possible to engage in a deeper relationship with Christ.”

Gi*, another woman, remarked, “I was able to grow my faith through prayers, videos, and the unfamiliar settings (washroom, shower, kitchen, bedroom) and was able to depend on the Lord.”

During the week, the group heard how God employs people with specialized skills from various departments—technology, transportation and media—to impact Bible translation globally. From these interactions, Ha Eun* learned, “There is so much more [to] Bible translation. You need translation, but you also need pilots, sailors, teachers, IT staff, managers, engineers, and more.”

A Bible verse in the phonetic alphabet-one of the weekend activities

From the challenges and stories she heard, Ha Eun realized that the life of a mission worker is not impossible—it can be done. “I just need to go and let God use me,” she said. CrossVenture challenged her “to go to work and be more aware that God is using my time to train me and give me the job experience to one day go overseas to build roads, bridges, etc.”

Hearing mission workers speak of how they help make Bible translation happen through their supportive work touched Jin Ae. “It opened up opportunities for me that I did not know I had.”

The interactive prayer path

The group participated in several activities and heard from mission workers who have served and labored overseas with people who didn’t have one verse of Scripture in their language. Gi remarked that before hearing these stories and participating in the activities, she had never felt the value of God’s Word because it’s so easy for her to access. “It has always been there, but it struck me how much I take it for granted.”

Only the Lord could turn discomfort and pain into an opportunity to grow closer to him and the needs of the Bibleless people around the world.

How may God want to stretch you? Click here to learn more about the challenging, faith-building CrossVenture event and sign up.