When to skimp and when to save

Hello everyone! Diana here.

I would say that one of the things I love to do most is find a fantastic deal.  Growing up, I never dreamed about what my wedding would be.  So when wedding planning came around, I dreaded it.  I didn’t care what colors I used, or what matched, or what was placed where.  BUT when it came to haggling down prices, finding good deals, etc, I was in heaven.  I would say one of my top 5 moments of the wedding season was finding my SUPER AFFORDABLE caterer.  He was literally a gift from God.  I was praying earlier for God to provide a caterer that was under a certain price (that was, honestly, pretty impossible) and then BOOM. A married couple suggested this random caterer and after some negotiating, THE PRICE WAS UNDER MY BUDGET.  Top 5 moment EASY.

Amidst all of the wins, there are still some bruises i’m tending from my financial fail moments.  I have a really bad astigmatism (450 for those of you who know eye numbers) and I’ve worn glasses since I was in kindergarten – yes, destined for coolness at a young age.  My glasses have always been incredibly expensive because of my eyesight, so whenever eyeglass dealers offer promotions for free lenses, my prescription is always disqualified.  One day, I found a place that would make my prescription as part of their promotion!  I was so excited because once again, my wallet won.  Unfortunately, what then ensued was a 2 month migraine, living in darkness, suffering under a plethora of drugs and side effects, and a delayed realization that my migraine culprit were my glasses.

After that, I stuck with an old pair of contacts until I could get better quality frames made.  Having come to Singapore, I went to my first Asian eye doctor and I was amazed!  He saw that while my prescription was correct, my lenses weren’t suitable for my eyes.  Long story short, my American eye doctors and frame makers didn’t understand the added complexities of the Asian face and its needs in frames and lenses.  They could diagnose only a fraction of what I needed.  Only an Asian, or someone with experience with Asian people, could understand that a prescription itself is not enough, the prescription also needs to be specifically framed to the wearer.

It was nothing short of revelatory.  I couldn’t help but think about its profound implications on church planting.  The Gospel is the prescription we all need, but in different cultures and countries, we need to frame it in a way that makes sense to the people.

We paid a good amount for the glasses, but it was so worth it.  Because we weren’t just paying for the product, but the expertise and promise of excellence behind it.

I can’t help but think about what I’m willing to “pay” as we build the church here in Singapore.  How much am I willing to sacrifice in order to excellently present the Gospel and God’s community to the people here?

There are definitely days where I’m tempted to skimp and focus more on me, my comfort, and taking shortcuts.  But as I look through these glasses that are suited perfectly for my eyes, my heritage, my life, I see that I want people to experience the kind of Gospel that brings clarity and life, not headache and strife.

Our church is heading into its 5th year of existence, and we’re praying for more stories of transformation, and servants who are willing to sacrifice everything to see that vision come to reality (starting from me and Joe).


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