2013 Bangladesh – Jae Hee Suh

Ministering As Jesus Did

“And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'” – Romans 10:15

This missions trip to Bangladesh opened my eyes to Jesus’ ministry. I felt like one of the disciples alongside Jesus as He went from town to town preaching the Good News and healing the sick—who would then follow Him everywhere. This is what we did. We spent four days in the southwestern district of Jessore, traveling from village to village preaching the Gospel and praying for the sick. Crowds gathered around us wherever we went. Those who were healed after we prayed for them started following us as we ministered from house to house. It was a taste of the Full Gospel: the Good News accompanied by signs and wonders. This was incredible—but just how mind blowing this experience was didn’t hit me immediately. It took time for the reality to sink in that I was in Bangladesh, one of the most unreached and heavily Muslim nations on the planet. We had been given the honor and privilege of bringing the Good News to people who had never heard it. We were indeed living out the ministry of Jesus in Bangladesh.

We went into one of the most closed nations in the world and preached the Gospel to some of the most unreached people on earth. This plain fact did not hit me until a few days into the trip. It wasn’t until one particular tractor ride—our main mode of travel in Jessore—where I suddenly realized how closed of a nation we were in. I saw a pair of young boys wearing traditional Muslim clothing passing by. As more men dressed this way passed by, it struck me that we were driving through a Muslim village. I thought to myself, how the heck did we, a bunch of Christian missionaries, manage to find our way into this place? It was such a sobering moment. We were the first foreigners these villagers had ever seen, let alone foreign missionaries. I was in awe of the fact that God had even opened the door for us to be there. His grace felt so real.

As the revelation began to sink in that we were the first foreign missionaries to step foot into these villages, my heart began stirring and I was filled with a fresh hope that Korea’s testimony was Bangladesh’s floor. The spiritual and economic revival Korea experienced as a result of the Gospel entering would be the foundation for Bangladesh. I was reminded of the video we watched during missions training about Underwood, one of the first Christian missionaries to come to Korea. I specifically remembered the scene with images of an extremely impoverished Korea and such hopelessness in the eyes of its people. This is where Underwood said, “God, what do you want me to do here… I can’t communicate with these people… but I will obey.” As I observed the lack of infrastructure and basic needs during one of our many tractor rides, I felt like Underwood when he first arrived in Korea. What God did for Korea he can surely do for Bangladesh. And He’s already doing it! He is sending missionaries from Korea—a testimony in itself—to preach the Gospel to His Beloved in Bangladesh.

Despite these paradigm-shifting revelations, grasping the real impact of our trip came largely through the native pastors. I was initially unsure about what type of impact any of our ministry was really having. Overall, more than 700 people raised their hands to put their faith in Christ, but there was a temptation to doubt their sincerity or question how many of them would actually follow through. When it came to physical healing, even those people who claimed to have received full healing rarely showed any outward sign of excitement. We later found out that this was mostly due to cultural differences from what we are used to with our western mindset. But my paradigm really shifted on our last day of ministry when the native pastors shared with us about how greatly empowered they were by our visit. Pastor Ishan, our NPWM (Native Partners for World Mission) local missionary, told us that real transformation had taken place in the lives of hundreds of people throughout the week. He told us about the people who had raised their hands to receive salvation and had actually committed to coming out to church on Sunday. I was convicted of my unbelief and realized that God had been moving powerfully all along and that seeds of faith had been sown in the hearts of many former Muslims and Hindus.

The Gospel came to life for me on this trip. I got a taste of the life of Jesus when He walked this earth bringing the Kingdom wherever He went. Reading the Gospels will never be the same. I believe that the villages in Jessore where the Gospel was preached and seeds of faith were sown will never be the same. Thank you so much for sending me out to bring good news to those who have never heard it! Let us continue to pray and be expectant for these seeds to grow and multiply!

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