Butterfly at a Chinese Altar
With McKenzie Starrett
For the Starretts, Mission ConneXion Northwest (MCNW) is a Starrett Family Value. Jay and Marnie Starrett and their two daughters have volunteered with Mission ConneXion in various capacities for over a decade. After years of listening to speakers sharing a passion for the lost, Mackenzie Starrett decided it was time she put her own cross-cultural desires into action. This past summer, Mackenzie joined a group of other Western teens and went to China to share Jesus with Chinese high schoolers.
Last December, Mackenzie brought up the idea of going overseas to China to her folks and they all decided to do some research. After viewing a few short-term mission organizations online, it looked like Royal Servants was a good choice. While at the MCNW conference this past January, Mackenzie and her parents had a chance to meet with the leaders from Royal Servants. The leaders were invaluable at answering their questions and giving them a good idea of the realities of such a trip.
Along with the chance to get to know the people of China, Mackenzie and the group were able to walk around and see the parts of the towns that reflect the culture and beliefs of the Chinese. Mackenzie had pictures of the gates at the edges of a town and the signs on the outsides of restaurants and residences which all have meaning: they are in place to scare away demons or appease the gods. She explained the superstitions and fears that compel people to build altars to these gods. While she was taking pictures of a public altar, a butterfly flew around and over the altar, around the idols, icons and candles…and then flew away. Mackenzie prays that the Chinese are, like that butterfly, they would realize in all the superstitions and fears and symbols, there is nothing there for them and that those things have no answers. Rather, their answers and the things they need are in the Lord Jesus Christ.
From the speakers and workshop leaders who inspired her, to the exhibitors they spoke with, specifically about Mackenzie’s short term mission trip to China, MCNW turned out to be an invaluable resource for the Starretts. Both Mackenzie and Marnie had words of advice for those considering missions work locally or abroad: utilize the various components of MCNW to research and plan as you seek the Lord’s face for how He will use you.