Wednesday, August 28, 2002

HEY:) You wanna read this! Some invaluabe things I learned and some experiences:) :)

Jen Chen's Trip to Taichung, Taiwan (7/5/02-8/12/02)
This summer I was able to join Over Seas Missions (OSM) and go to Taichung to teach English to Taiwanese people and to share the gospel. About 120 students came from the U.S. and we were all placed into various churches around the Taichung area. I taught English to 3 different classes, ages ranging from 9 to mid 20's for about 7 hours a day, four days a week. The trick was incorporating the Gospel into each English topic for the day and to come up with a full lesson plan. But God was faithful! Through it all, I have learned some very valuable things that I would like to share with you all!!

1) People are HUNGRY for the truth in life and for their spiritual hunger to be quenched! And we have the answer! The world offers false securities. realities, and hopes. People will try different ways to quench their spiritual thirst but we know only God can fully fill us and show us the truth about life. People's eyes need to be opened for many do not see, hear, or even seek God. Pray for this.
2) We are given SO many opportunities to share the truth. Let's do it and be ready!
*Boldness: Many times Paul asks to preach the gospel with boldness and he does it! We should do the same and NOT be ashamed of the gospel. If God is for us, who can be against us? We have the truth, God's power, so we need not fear. What can man do to us? We must take that step of faith and realize that...
* God will give us words to speak: Moses was afraid when God called him but God said, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say". There were times when I was given amazing unexpected opportunities to talk about God in my English lessons. A few of those times I knew God anointed me and I felt his commanding presence as He gave me words that flowed, made sense, and touched people. I was shocked myself, especially when I was able to so fluently and deeply preach all in Chinese. I learned also that even though what I shared did not cause all people to accept Christ, that what I did share God was going to use somehow because...
*We don't know if we are the ones who plants the seed, or waters it. God does the growing (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). Even though we may not see the people we encounter come to Christ, God is working in His way that we cannot see. I learned that we must FOCUS ON WHAT IS UNSEEN not what is seen (2 Corinthians 4:18). We will only know what our works surmounted to when we go to heaven. It could be that you simply said an encouraging word about God, helped someone, or gave a Bible to someone that eventually caused that person to accept Christ years later. You NEVER KNOW how God can use you, so act now and always be a living testimony!
3) "If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:4). I learned once again that when we serve, we must depend on God and the leading of the Holy Spirit or our works are done in vain. The success of my trip was because I was one with God, in His word, on my knees praying before, during, and after the trip. I could sense a lack in God's power and leading when I begun to depend on my own strength and wisdom and sought to glorify myself. God would remind me of this verse and I would be drawn back into full dependence on Him: "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." [Galations 1:10]
4) God's grace overflows beyond our imagination. It was through the little things that occurred each day that touched me as God opened my eyes to see His graciousness. As it says in 2 Timothy 2:1: "BE STRONG in the grace that is in Christ Jesus". For example even seeing my kids flipping through the Bible, or being given an opportunity to talk about God is because of His Grace. For example, God gave me an unexpected opportunity to talk about Him with a store clerk while I happened to be shopping for socks and to even visit her a few more times.
5) Prayer makes a difference. Through praying and the prayer of those around the world, God was able to use me and to make a difference in my life and in the lives of others. Love, Power, wisdom, strength, protection, boldness come through prayer and these were all essential for my survival and the work of God in Taiwan. God answers even the littlest of things like asking a kid to fall asleep in a Christian concert because he's distracting! (which I prayed and occurred!) This is how we discover that God's grace is abundant, as we see how prayer makes a difference for the little and big things in life. So keep praying!!! He hears us and will answer as we listen and watch!=)

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Hahaha, oh my gosh MEI MEI my dog is so funny! I don't know how she wants to eat so much! I kinda did an experiment, where I just held a grape and watched her try to get it and look at it for like 5 minutes! Don't think I am being mean! hehe:) she just wants to eat anyway and looks for food all day so 5 minutes is nothing to her and plus she got the grape in the end:) I wonder how long I can get her to try to get a peice of food from me, but maybe more than 5 minutes is torturous. She ate a big parsely leaf yesterday hehe:) No MORE paresely leaves for her.
A verse that God gave me that really speaks to my heart and deepens my convictions about this life: 1 Timothy 6:17
"Command those who are rich in this present world NOT to be arrogant nor to PUT THEIR HOPE IN WEALTH, WHICH IS SO UNCERTAIN, BUT to PUT THEIR HOPE IN GOD, who RICHLY PROVIDES us with EVEYRTHING for our enjoyment".
A perfect message God gave me while I was listening to the radio in the car. We should press on for God's will to be done on this earth and carry the right mindset of who God is.
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Another thought on being a "light in this world": On the car I was listening to a pastor speak about us being a light in the dark places...which is this world that is full of corruption, sin, etc. As I was listening I thought, how true....if I want to be a bright light that brings much much glory to God, I need to step out where it is difficult to shine, but knowing that God can let me be a light unto a place that needs to be lit. (Speaking all in metaphorical terms of course=) )
A thought on fearing God: Last Bible study we had a discussion on the fear of man versus the fear of God through Peter's denial of Christ and Habakkuk. It helped me to understand what it means to fear God as I examined WHO God was...His power, His justice, His rage against sin. I thought about how Satan tries to distort a healthy fear of God. For example, when we sin...Satan puts in the wrong kinda of fear where we feel like we CANNOT come back to God and be with Him....thus we end up straying even further from God. We have to remember that when we sin or have guilt for habitual sins, GOD WANTS US BACK! HE IS THERE WITH OPEN ARMS TO FORGIVE AND TO LOVE! This is His promise and the way our heavenly father is. We can approach His throne of Grace with confidence!!(Hebrews 4:6).
So, God has been placing on my heart the desire to teach! I am asking for clear direction, but in a situation like this it gets tricky. Because sometimes God just wants us to GO and to STEP OUT in faith.....not necessarily will it be something like a huge awakening. But thus far, God hasn't been pushing the idea away . Granted there are some difficulties that I have occurred...like with my parents, my schedule, just simply what are some practical steps to take for now. But God has been faithful. I am so blessed with parents that seek God's will to be done in my life....and that they realize that they are just a keeper of me on earth but that they are to sacrifice me for God's kingdom. I know their concerns for me in terms of living ok on earth financially and such. Even though I may be short sighted in terms of how hard it really is to survive in this world with all the competition, etc etc if I don't make enough money...but I thank God for opening my eyes and the eyes and hearts of my parents in seeing that with God we shall not fear....we should have faith and not just simply think in our heads that God provides and will not forsake us, but make it something we believe with our hearts and to act out that message!! I am 100% that no matter where I go God will provide me with just enough.....God's just shown that too much in the Bible and we hear stories even in our day that it's undeniable. It's exciting because I feel like I am now living out the gospel message more and more. This is by the grace of God alone as He has opened my eyes and has transformed my heart slowly. I continue to press on, on my knees for God to give me HIS heart cry for my life and I will follow with faith.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Wow, been a long long time since I have been around this site! I came back from Taiwan last night. I don't think I've ever had 5 weeks that was so meaningful and where I saw and did soooo much!! God has truely been good and has answered prayers from all over the world: Taiwan, U.S., Hong Kong and probably other places that I don't even know. I saw people come to Christ and God unveiling the eyes of the blinded (figure of speech=)). God has given me an even deeper desire to live this life for Him. I am still waiting for that calling, or a clear message of how God wants to use me. I am ready for anything, just waiting.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

hello! haven't written anything in awhile. Let me see....yesterday I went to the city to meet up with my Umich people who live in the jersey area or who happen to just be around=) Ate, walked on 5th Ave, the usual.
So i really tried to not get involved in "Civilian affairs" and "to please my commanding officers" (2 Timothy2:1-7). Really cool bible study on in the previous night at College Group at Church. It managed to help change my mentality for the day, quite interesting on how I approached the day differently and even saw my sins more clearly.

So it's my last week in jersey and I'm going to make the most of it! I went to see The Bourne Identity. Good movie! Got me thinking, it was a little bit like Spy Game...the unfolding of a story.
ok i dunno what else to write, i'm bored!!! but i still have to do homework for Calc.

ok time to go bye bye!

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

i've had a good day today! piano lessons were good, lunch was yuuummy, visited my friend ben, went to class, my test went well, swam a lot, yep=) Not to mention I had an awesome time praying to God in my car tonight=) Strange? It was amazing, there's nothing like drawing close to our heavenly father anywhere. I'm just so thrilled by how he answers prayer and His grace for our sins. I was really reminded about His grace for our sins today, reminded to not think that we can't overcome habitual sins or that we should not NOT try to deal with them because we fail so much. To do that would deny the reason for the cross, or the power behind overcoming sin (Which Christ ultimately did!).
hm....so yeah, counting down the days i'm leaving. so thrilled to see asia again=)
My friends continue to intrigue me (hehe pris=) love ya!)
Jon is doing well (He's my boyfriend if you didn't know=0) ). He's busy working for Credit Suisse First Boston, doing IT (computer) stuff and is continuing to impress the big guys=) yep!
ok i'm outtie, more later=)

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

So i've not been very good at posting daily! Well,these past few days i've been really psyched about going to Hong Kong and Taiwan! I can't believe I'm leaving in 10 days! There's so much to prepare still for this missions trips. I have to find cool pics for the topics we're teaching about.
Today I found one of my old mozart pieces and fell in love with it again when i "revived" it.=) I never realized how much music is part of my soul, it always was until I decided to leave my piano days behind in high school, partly because I moved to Hong Kong. So it's nice to pull back old pieces and to take lessons after so many years this summer. Cause music is me, not to mention i really miss singing too!!(Don't do enough of that these days)I still wish that I can one day sing Les Mis (Eponine's part) on broadway=) Got a snapshot of what that felt like in highschool, but the REAL THING would be cool=)
Eh, I'm tired. I'm going to sleep now cause I have a long day ahead of me. Calc test tomorrow, wohoooo! it's nice to know all i need is a C hehe:) ok. bye!

Saturday, June 15, 2002

Wow , time always flies so fast! I've just been struck with the thought again that God desires not quantity but quality. Yes we can do our quiet time and pray, but how much is it quality!? What is our attitude?? I think instead of asking myself did I do my quiet time today or pray to God today to instead ask, "Did I have a QUALITY quiet and prayer time today?" "Did I EXPERIENCE GOD today?". What a challenge. Sometimes I get too wrapped in what I got DONE than HOW it was done, where was my heart? Where was my mind?

So today, I'm just chilling at home trying to have a productive day.....trying not to be sucked up by evil idleness.

I got to eat a Zhong Zhi today, fillled with red bean, it's yummy! I'll be eating plenty of those in Taiwan probably=)

Well that's it for now, hopefully I'll back soon, being able to report all that I got accomplished today!