There I was, standing in a dark room made of brick walls. Hands, empty. Spirit, heavy. With no idea of what to do or where to go, I knew exactly who I cried out to.
“Jesus, I need you.”
Sincerity was met with sweet relief as I waited there, knowing the rest would come.
Okay, maybe this did not literally take place. I think it may have been a dream, or a daydream, perhaps even a vision…Regardless, it felt real and this depiction is basically the past month and a half in a nutshell.
“In her agony of mind she went to Him who had never failed her yet, and He gave her guidance.”
I read those words in a biography of Mary Slessor, pioneer missionary to the West Coast of Africa. The truth and the timeliness of it! To put it in plain language, I had hit a wall of discouragement accompanied by a lack of vision for the next season of life. So there I was, in the fog, crying out to Jesus with great desperation and expectancy. After seeking some wise counsel, I started to test some waters for direction. The result of this was finding where I will not be in this next season. In an unconventional way, this was a step towards somewhere.
Amidst all of this, so many feels have been felt and my tear ducts could not testify to a dry season. I mean really, how do you practically prepare to have your heart ripped out? You fasten your seat-belt and hold on to the roller coaster of emotion commonly known as life – that’s how.
Oh and yes, I know, “nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard.” Thank you, Coldplay.
So, we embrace the season and we press on – feels and all.
As emotional and confusing as these past weeks have been, I must not fail to mention that growing pains bear fruit in perspective, vision and heart.
It is easy to get carried away with thinking complicated thoughts and obscuring ideas in theology, missions and personal calling but really God just desires that my heart be devoted to Him and Him alone.
“I have one passion and that is Him and only Him.”
– Count Zinzendorf of the Moravian church
True theology (by definition) is all about God. The heart of missions is all about God. A pure, personal calling for missions is all about God. It is His love that compels us, it is His love that sustains us. This is why we do what we do. This is why our hearts tremble and grow in size and stature when we look to Him in all of His glory.
Now friends, as I spend these last couple of weeks at the Zichy Kastely in Vajta, Hungary I have some theology credits to finish up and a few bags to pack. From here, I journey back to America into the unknown. I intend on attending the Calvary Chapel Missions Conference (hope to see you there!), meeting with some pastors and missionaries, and reacquainting with dear ones that I have not properly seen in some years.
In a sense, I really do not know what I am stepping towards, but I do know that God promised to never leave me nor forsake me and He has called me to go and make disciples. So that is exactly what I want to do.
Options are way open and very present. I am in a unique place in which I am committed to no one, no place or no thing. So much freedom, so much possibility. I am only committed to what is most important – my heart is stayed on my God; He is my refuge and He has made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights.
If any of you are wondering, winter is cold. Yes, even on an island in the Mediterranean. The thing that I cannot seem to wrap my mind around is the fact that it is often colder inside homes than outside. Those of you that have spent any amount of time with me in the cold know that I do not have a very high tolerance for this thing called winter. So, how does one as fragile as I survive?
That, my friends, is an empty milk bottle, refilled with boiling hot water. Tuck that thing in your vest and carry it around like a little baby, or toss it under your duvet to warm up your bed and you are good to go! This is a little trick I learned from the missionaries here, ’tis a beautiful thing, loved ones.
Cold weather means seasons and holidays, which means January and a new year.
It is about that time of year for the “New Year, New Me” sort of posts concerning commitments, goals and things of that nature. So, without any further ado, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As 2014 snuck up on me, I thought of what my goals or expectations for the year are. This only led to the realization that I honestly do not know what to expect/want to happen in this new year. However, I honestly do not know what I am going to be doing a week from today, so how can I pretend to know what I might be doing or what streets I might be walking in 4 or 5 months time? Alas, this is what some might fondly hash-tag, ‘missionary problems’.
This is my life.
Let me not fail to mention that I would not have it any other way.
An adventurous spirit needs adventure to thrive and what is more adventurous than that which is unknown? Maybe this is what the ancients call ‘walking by faith’. I am certainly in the midst of it, with no other option but to trust that God is going to continue leading me and thus, He shall indeed.
Perhaps, I do have an expectation: Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Oh, and perhaps I even have a goal: Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)
Yes, I suppose I do have expectations and goals for 2014 after all. Exceeding abundance and pressing on for my upward call. Pretty legit if I do say so myself. As for the details and what that might look like…I’ll let God deal with that. He does a perfect job with the details of my life.
Dear ones, if I could encourage you in thinking of your own goals and expectations for the year, I would give you this sweet quote from Charles Spurgeon:
We will not open the year to the sorrowful notes of the organ, but to the sweet strains of the harp of joy.
χρονια πολλα. Maligayang Pasko. ¡Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas & so on and forth.
My Mom asked me to write out one of those Christmas newsletters for the family, so here you go Mum!
Although I was not with them for most of 2013, I know that there has indeed been much activity for the Lum’s this year with many weddings, a birth and visits here and there.
My oldest sister, Rosely got married in July. I flew in from Hungary and 18 or so relatives flew in from across the country and stayed in my parent’s home for the event. You can imagine that many Filipinos living in one household. That certainly makes for a loud time with plenty of food! So not only did we have a wedding celebration, but also a family reunion.
My Uncle also got married in Stockton,
As well as my cousin Jordan in Ojai, California,
& my cousin Lovely in Maine,
All wedding celebrations aside, my family has had much to keep busy with. Dad and Mom have been serving at church and working. Also, Mom has taken to doing 5k runs with her friends, like the Santa Run and the Color Run as well as a run for Leukemia.
Meanwhile, they both enjoy being grandparents. Very much.
Jeff and Rose live in Southern California, both staying busy with work. Rosely found a job with a school district as a BMT (Behavioral Management Therapist), working with elementary aged students with autism.
Chris has been the youth pastor at my home church and Kim has recently returned to substitute teaching.
April 30th marked the birth of my niece, Atienza! I took this picture in July, so she would have been like, 2 and a half months here.
As for me. Well, in 2013 I finished off the Internship Program at Calvary Chapel Bible College Europe. I got to serve alongside a bunch of wonderful people. It is safe to say I have become very fond of them.
Then, in October I found myself in Paphos, Cyprus to minister with the Calvary Chapel here! From where I write this Christmas newsletter thing.
Well folks, that was 2013 in a nutshell (rather, a blog post)! It is easy to say that it has been quite the eventful year. We have indeed been very blessed. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)
Cheers to a New Year and everything that will come our way, but FIRST…