“Seeing the Beginnings of a Gospel Revolution”
In Fall 2011, Beatrice Krause (BA ’12) was at the start of her senior year at Hope International University (HIU). Her schedule was packed with a full class load, planning a Spring Break mission trip to Joplin, MO and working as the Editor-in-Chief of The Hope International Tribune. Far from her mind was travelling to a closed country in Central Asia where preaching the gospel can get you arrested or even killed, but that’s exactly what was ahead for Beatrice.
Early in the semester she received a letter from her sister, Mary, about an upcoming mission trip to Central Asia urging her to fill the recently vacated spot. She quickly dismissed the idea because the $2,000 cost of the trip was more than she could afford, The next letter she opened was from her aunt and uncle who wrote that they had been thinking about her and decided to send her a check...for $2,000.
Beatrice, who is an Intercultural Studies Major in the Pacific Christian College of Ministry and Biblical Studies, felt like this was a sign she could not ignore. “I’ve been on a lot of mission trips before,” she said, “and I’ve been to several other countries and this is the first time that I really felt like God was calling me there.”
For nine days, Beatrice traveled in the capital city as a part of a missions and missionary assistance organization. Every two years, the organization, whose name must remain undisclosed for safety purposes, calls together its missionaries from all over the country. During these meetings, they also seek volunteers to care for and teach the missionaries’ children so the parents can focus on fellowship and community with each other.
Beatrice helped develop curriculum for the kids based off of the idea that oftentimes missionary kids are confused about what and where home is. “We wanted to give these kids a little bit of comfort as far as what the Bible says about where your home is and how to find your home in God,” Beatrice said.
Seeing Central Asia firsthand, Beatrice realized that the land and the people there are not as hopeless as Americans seems to believe. “It’s still a country, it’s still full of people that God created,” she said. “Especially the younger people I talked to, they all have this drive for making their country better.” She went on to say that many citizens recognized the problems that plague their country and they want to find the right ways to fix those issues and help their country thrive. “They need to be empowered,” Beatrice said. “They need to learn basic leadership skills.”
She also had the opportunity to sit in on the morals-based courses on ethics and leadership that the mission organization offers local people. They even participate in a course very similar to Foundations, a general education class all HIU students take. In Central Asia, the lessons often end up opening the door for sharing the gospel with people who might normally refuse to listen. “There’s so much potential and the people are ready for a change,” Beatrice said. “Even though there aren’t many workers over there spreading the good news, God is still making himself known.”
As for the dangers associated with travel in Central Asia, Beatrice admitted to being nervous about unintentionally breaking a cultural custom or law, such as looking a man in the eyes or having her head uncovered, offenses that carry punishments like losing a hand. Many of her family and friends were worried she would be arrested or killed over the course of the trip, but Beatrice felt like God had not called her there to die. Instead, he wanted her to experience something powerful, and that’s exactly what happened. “When I was there, there was this feeling that the country’s on the brink of a huge gospel revolution, something’s that is going to completely change all of the people in that nation,” she said. “I want to be a part of that. I want to be a part of God’s work there.”In fact, she already has her heart set on going back. “I know I’m going back,” she said. “I don’t know when, I don’t know for how long, I don’t know what I’m doing there, but I know I’m going back.”