Still Here

I (Diana) couldn’t help myself with the blog title.

It’s been a whirlwind month, and there aren’t many signs of things slowing down…or warming up  (The weather is currently 10°F/-12.2°C. Hello Arctic Tundra!).

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 10.52.44 PM(LIFE group snacks that froze in the car. no snack is safe here)

Praise God because I was finally able to finish my resume with the help of a good friend and have begun to distribute it to some people with connections in Singapore. Honestly speaking, it can get difficult to trust in God’s plan when it feels like your life is measured and judged by numbers and titles: GPA, degrees, pedigree, income, weight, etc.  Nevertheless, I’ve been learning that God works best when His power can be clearly displayed. I’m praying/trusting/praying again/trying-to-trust-better that God will provide the right job at the right time.

Recently, I saw a clip of “Millionaire Matchmaker”.  It’s a show (that you really don’t ever have to watch) where a matchmaker finds “suitable” partners for millionaires.  Millionaires have the opportunity to pick their own mate from a pre-screened herd of singles.  As you can imagine, they often pick wrong and the matchmaker heroically swoops in to save them with a better match.  Like finding a needle in a haystack, the matchmaker said something pretty profound: “people don’t know what they want or need”.  I’m tempted to describe the perfect job that would perfectly provide, perfectly make sense, perfectly make me happy, followed by an extensive explanation of why I NEED it. But when I look at my track record of knowing what’s best for me in terms of past jobs, schools, etc., I’m a millionaire fool.  As I remember the detours/dead-ends/delays of my life, I see how God always knew better – what I once scorned as a “safety school” became the place where God transformed my life, the job that I looked down on became a place of steady provision and daily sharpening, the guy who I once thought wasn’t for me, was actually…for me.

Instead of asking everyone to pray for a million dollar job, I’d like to ask for prayers for the right job.  A few years ago, my mentor challenged me with this verse and it’s stayed with me ever since:

“Give me enough food to live on, neither too much nor too little. If I’m too full, I might get independent, saying, ‘God? Who needs him?’ If I’m poor, I might steal and dishonor the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:8-9 MSG)

The leaders of our church have been reading “Prayer” by Tim Keller, and he writes that recognizing your helplessness is a requirement for prayer.  In this helplessness, I’m praying and believing that God will provide perfectly.

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Still New

Three weeks. Since I landed in Singapore three weeks ago, I haven’t afforded myself the time to pause, reflect and get my bearings.

On the first day of 2015, I took the opportunity to pray and think through what I’ve been sensing and learning so far. It’s sobering to know that I’m not even scratching the surface yet since I’m still so new; and that doing life and ministry here will just take time.

IMG_20150101_183233(at the “HortPark” minutes from where I live)

Though Singapore itself is a relatively small nation, it is diverse, has a rich and complex narrative and there’s a lot to take in. Also, I’m really just starting off as a pastor, so there’s much to learn and grow in.

So, before trying to think of something new, I tried to be still and listen. I strolled around a local park, and reflected on some Scripture.

In the stillness, one thing I felt like God was speaking to me about was to remain faithful. In my impatience and eagerness to jump into things, I sometimes rush ahead of God and busy myself with more, new things. Other times, I get lost in the monotony of the “same old” and lose perspective. Instead, I need to be a faithful steward, wisely investing my life into the lives of others so that they too would become more like Christ and make more disciples.

It won’t happen overnight. It won’t be clean. It won’t always be clear-cut. It’s supposed to be hard.

Our church members celebrated together on New Year’s Eve. One of our church leaders asked us to describe 2014 in one word, and what we hope to see in 2015 in one word.

DCIM101GOPRO

I described 2014 as “Finally”.
Finally pursuing after and partnering together with the love of my life, Diana. Finally being sent out by our church on missions. Finally arriving in Singapore after 2 years of preparation.

For 2015? “Soak”.
I want to learn, take in, and soak in the things that God has already been doing here. Just because I am finally here in Singapore doesn’t mean that God will do something new on my behalf. Before longing for the new things, I need to see what God already has been doing through His Church in this region and ask, “How can I get involved in God’s work?”

So, here’s to a whole season of being the new guy, being still and “soaking” in all that God is and has been doing in Singapore!

DCIM101GOPRO

Prayer Requests:
Jobs:
I met up with a key ministry leader in the area who has an extensive network with the Singapore church leaders. Through this connection, there may be some opportunities for Diana to work alongside one of the seminaries or ministry organizations! Please pray for faithfulness on our part, and that God would open the way for Diana to come to Singapore later this year!

Our brother, Varoot, had an interview for one of the companies he really hopes to work for in the future. They have quite an intense interview process, so we are praying that the first round went well and that he’ll get called back for another round. Please pray for God’s provision for Varoot’s job and that this season would be one where he can trust God more and more!

Discernment:
The church leaders and I are assessing where we are at as a church before moving forward. Please pray for unity within the leadership as we engage in much-needed, difficult discussions to really see our church grow in Christ-like character and be on mission for God in this city!