Where are my Sams?

I was watching the movie “Lord of the Rings—Return of the King” with some friends recently. It seems barely a moment goes by when my mind isn’t thinking about my rapidly approaching departure to China, so it’s not surprising that a phrase in the movie made me think of my current situation. Frodo and Sam are approaching Mt. Doom after months of traveling on their quest to destroy the Ring of Sauron. As they climb the mountain Frodo, the one chosen to carry the ring to its destruction falls from exhaustion and sheer inability to carry on. He begins to spek of how he feels defeated; as though he has lost the ability to move forward even one more step and it appears that even though they are so close, they might not make it. Then Sam, his friend and companion on the journey tries to rouse him, to encourage him on. But Frodo can’t find the strength the make it on his own. It’s at this moment Sam tells him:

“Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can’t carry it for you… but I can carry you!”

And in a tearful moment of strength and loyalty, the equally exhausted Sam heaves Frodo onto his back and carries him to the top of the mountain.

This made me think of my service in China in a new light. This call to China has been given to me and it’s one that I will answer. But I cannot make the trip alone. I need companions for my journey. I need a fellowship to go with me and carry me there.

Even if you cannot see China with your own eyes, and experience it yourself, YOU are my companions on this trip! I cannot do this without you! I will need your encouragement and commitment to “lift me up” every step of the way!

This is a journey we must make together! I cannot go alone! And I can think of no one else I want to “go with me” than you!