It was over 11 years ago that I met this 19-year-old guy that had a heart for China. He was a little reserved, and, in my opinion, he kept to himself. Now, I have been, in times past, a class clown–always having something to say and trying to crack jokes. But this guy was not like that at all. He was extremely respectful; it was like he would think before he spoke, and you could tell that he was man of deep thought. He took classes while I was at the OGTC and he ended up graduating several years after me. He was a very intelligent guy. He was and still is an excellent preacher. I don’t remember a time when he preached even as little as a five-minute-message that it didn’t seem like he had prepared a long time for it. This man was Ben Johnson; he is currently in Shanghai, China. God granted him his desire to take the Gospel to China and has placed him in the largest country in the world.
Last month I had the opportunity to visit with Ben and catch up. For the past 18 months, Ben and his wife have been studying Mandarin while learning ministry in China from another friend, Mark Tolson. He has spent hours in class and hours outside of class conversing and trying to learn this language in order to communicate the Gospel and the Bible. I know he is passionate about preaching the Bible and about seeing God do something in China.
Through a series of events God has arranged things in Ben’s life that put him and his family in the largest city of China. Ben just packed all his stuff and family less than a couple weeks ago and moved them over 600 miles from where they living to a new city and new challenges. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for Ben. I can’t wait until I get to visit him and see him preaching in his own church in Mandarin language. God has big plans for the Johnsons, and I am so excited to see it unfold.