She said, “Yes!”

The month of September is a special one for (more recent) personal reasons.

Here are two of them:

10th September 2014 – Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower said, “Yes” to me by approving my work visa so I could move and live in Singapore.

13th September 2014 – Miss Diana Jhin said, “Yes” to me when I asked her to marry me so we can live the rest of our lives together.

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I’m blessed by both “Yes’s”

This past week, my working visa was approved a second time! That means my family and I can stay in Singapore for 3 more years!

As far as Diana and I know, we’re called to make Singapore our home for a long time – we plan on raising our kids here and we’re in it for the long haul. We’ve had the mindset of buying “one-way tickets” from the US.

Even though we’ve made that commitment, that’s not entirely up to us on the practical end. We were sent out by our local church in the US, we were received by our church community here in Singapore, and we can stay because the government allows us to. In all of this, we are believing by faith that God is sovereign and has called us to be here for His purposes.

Someone recently asked me how “I knew” that Diana was “the one”.  This, too, wasn’t totally up to me. I honestly had no idea how Diana would respond when I first approached her to be in a relationship (looking back, it was kind of a proposal to be honest…). I was genuinely surprised when Diana said her first, “Yes”.

The way I see it, before I chose Diana, she chose me. Before we chose to come to Singapore, God chose us to follow Him.

Saying “Yes” every day

At the beginning of this year, Diana and I came up with a theme to commit ourselves to. For us, it was simply “Faithfulness”.

I’ve been learning that daily faithfulness is driven by hope – hope in Christ – that he’s not through with us yet. If there’s nothing to look forward to, there’s little reason for daily diligence. And this hope in God is fueled by gratitude. Once I lose sight of God being my Sovereign Lord, Provider and Guide – I start forgetting immediately, get hard-hearted, then get worn out. And this gratitude? Gratitude is learned and must be willfully exercised as a joyful acknowledgement of God’s unfailing love and goodness. Every day.

Long before I said, “Yes”, God had a “Yes” for all those He would draw to Himself in Christ, and who would believe. That is an amazing truth to live by.

2 Corinthians 1:20-22 (ERV)
2The yes to all of God’s promises is in Christ. And that is why we say “Amen” through Christ to the glory of God.21 And God is the one who makes you and us strong in Christ. God is also the one who chose us for his work. 22 He put his mark on us to show that we are his. Yes, he put his Spirit in our hearts as the first payment that guarantees all that he will give us. 

We are His in Christ! AMEN!

 

Prayer Requests:
1. Pray for the health of our incoming baby and for Diana’s health too! We’re exactly 1 month away from our baby’s due date!

2. Please pray for God’s financial provisions. We have started raising support for our new year in Singapore and there is a lot to cover with the baby on the way. We’re believing by faith that God will raise up supporters to partner with us in finances and prayer! (If you’re interested in giving, please visit our giving page)

3. Pray that our church would do the work of getting deeper in our relationship with God, relationships with one another, and with ourselves.

4. Pray for our upcoming H-Games (October 1st), where we’ll go bowling together as a church and reach out to friends, colleagues, and students. Pray that we’d exemplify God’s love and grace towards others while we enjoy ourselves!

 

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New School Year!

The vision of our church is to multiply churches on campuses and cities to transform the next generation among the nations.

Meaning, no matter what stage of life we’re in, we’re focused on reaching students and making disciples of Christ on campuses! This is a huge part of why Diana and I moved to Singapore, investing our lives in students is something we’re passionate about.

During the first week of August, we held “Operation Campus Reach”, or “OCR”, for short. OCR is when we welcome in new students at the beginning of the new school year and introduce them to biblical community and Jesus Christ.

We’ve been meeting new students along the way and have been steadily building relationships with them. We’ve mainly met a lot of international students and it’s been great sharing some local Singaporean culture and helping some folks adjust to their new home.

In fact, realizing that we have a mostly international group, we’ve named our campus LIFE Group, “HOME”, which stands for “Having One Mission Eternally: To welcome people home”. We want to be a home away from home, but also welcome people into a relationship with Christ!

A couple of reflections:

  1. It’s kind of wild to think that after over 1 year of living and working in Singapore, we can now welcome other foreigners into our new home. I think this time, last year, Diana and I were still kind of blindsided by all the transitions in our lives and we were still unfamiliar with our new surroundings – it was difficult to imagine that we’d ever be in the position of welcoming others instead of being welcomed ourselves.
  2. I’ve personally been encouraged by the people in our church. They’ve been awesome about taking steps of commitment and faith to invest in students. It’s no easy task to step outside of what’s familiar and enter into an environment most people leave behind for good after graduation. As one person put it, I’m so glad that we’re not alone in loving and serving a whole new generation of students.

IMG_3831Playing Ultimate Frisbee oncampus! A lot of first-time Ultimate players!

IMG_3848Introducing new students to Singapore’s National Day celebrations with a home-cooked meal and a holiday hangout!

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IMG_3920Touring around Marina Bay on bikes – we even got to ride around on the national F1 racing track! 🙂

IMG_3965Pizza-making party (I think this may have been my favorite!)

For this month’s prayer requests, please pray specifically for the campus LIFE Group using our LIFE Group values as a guide:

  1. Open Doors – Please pray that we’d always welcome in new students and friends and pursue genuine friendships. We’re specifically praying for undergraduate students and student leaders who’d influence other students.
  2. Unity – Please pray that as we build community together, that we would grow in unity – unity as a church family and unity in our faith.
  3. Real Love – Please pray that as disciples of Christ, we would grow deeper in love with God and genuinely care for one another. Please pray that we wouldn’t give up on one another as we strive forward in faith and point one another to Christ!