It was April 2009. Dan was 21 years old and was about to leave for the Trans-Siberia Express on an adventure which he had been looking forward to for many months. A roommate gave him a book called “The Heavenly Man” just before he left, which he tucked into his backpack.
At the end of that month, while on the train from Vladivostok to the Chinese border he remembered he had the book so he started to read it. Dan couldn’t stop reading. He was deeply moved by the story of the heavenly man. In the book, the author mentioned that the gospel had moved out from Jerusalem, and one day the gospel would return to Jerusalem again. It made Dan aware of the huge geographical area between China and Jerusalem which was basically unreached with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dan had become a believer only six months before this trip, but he knew that something had to be done about reaching these people with the gospel. But how? He didn’t know. He just knew that all people on earth need to hear the Good News. Where should he go? He had no idea. It became more clear to him a little while later while watching an Open Doors documentary on one of the countries in the region. But it still seemed to be a totally absurd idea for someone to go to share the gospel in a country where conversion to Christ is considered to be a crime worthy of the death penalty.
Eventually one thing led to another. Dan heard about the great spiritual hunger for the good
news in a specific country. He heard about complete families that left their old religion and turned to a living faith in Jesus Christ. In 2014, with the help of People International and the blessing of his church, he was sent out to the country that had become the country of his dreams. The years that followed became truly adventurous. Looking back, Dan realized those were years that God wanted to mold him, restore him, and help him grow in his faith. Things began to fall into place: he loved the people, the culture, the food, the curiosity of the people, the chaos in traffic, the history, the intensity that comes with living in a huge city with millions of people. Yes, sometimes it was also terrible. But over all he knew: this was the place he was meant to be. It was with great joy when he began to see young men giving their lives to Jesus and experience a complete change as a result of following Him. Dan’s adventure with Jesus continues. He would love for more people to join him on this journey.