I am grateful that I was born and raised in Indonesia, the world’s largest island country situated in Southeast Asia near Malaysia and the Philippines. Growing up, I always thought missionaries were mostly white people from the United States, Canada, or Europe; I never realized someone from Asia could serve God in this way. However, my eyes were opened and God showed me that I, an Indonesian, could also witness to Christ.
I was baptized into the church at 16, but I did not understand what that meant until several years later. Why was I an Anabaptist? Because my friends and parents were? Because I believed that only adults should be baptized? I did not know. I was nineteen when my family went through many struggles, and it was then that God turned my world upside down. It is often through life’s difficulties that God teaches us. It is through trials that God makes something new. In his mercy, God poured unending love and compassion into my life. While I had become a member of the church several years before, it was at this point of crisis that I understood the purpose: God was calling me to share this mercy, compassion, and love with others. I committed myself to becoming a missionary, and then joined the Young Anabaptist Mennonite Exchange Network (YAMEN).
It was difficult to live so far away in Colombia while my family and friends remained in Indonesia. But feeling alone was not my only struggle. I couldn’t speak Spanish, and I didn’t know anything about the culture or people. Everything was foreign and strange. And, yet God used me. Each day, alongside others from Teusaquillo Mennonite Church, I served lunch to more than fifty children in Soacha, a region outside Bogotá. Many of these students couldn’t afford to buy their lunch at school. Every day I saw the face of hunger. It was in Soacha that I learned to be grateful for each bite of food. God used me, but God also taught me. And though I experienced many difficulties serving outside of my home country, God remained with me. When God sends, he is faithful.
Rut Asari is a missionary in Busan, South Korea with Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.
This post is part of our “Anabaptist Young Adults in Mission” blog series. To view all posts in the series, please click here.