Monday, February 09, 2009

can't sleep

Hi! It's been a while since I've written on this little place in cyberspace.

I'm still in Taiwan, and it's been an interesting ride thus far.

But right now, it's 2:50 am, and I can't sleep, and i attribute this to the thought of certain people and their spiritual conditions...for which i am deeply concerned.

seeing as how anyone can access this site, i am not going to say as to who these people are, but these are people that i have known a long time and have been seeing on a regular basis (no, it's not my own family).

In my younger years, i did not know them very well, but nowadays, i'm able to spend more time with them.

Knowing that they have attended church for practically their entire lives has led me to believe that they would be a great source of spiritual encouragement for me. At first I was quite excited that I would be able to spend more time with them since they were so good to me when i was younger.

but the truth was so far from my expectations....

I have to say that I've never been so discouraged and disappointed in my life. i'm serious. i'm not easily disppointed, but this one has really done it.

Every time i see them i see evidence of their love affair with the world. their concerns lie in materialism. they wouldn't admit to it, but it's true. all i hear about are stocks, 401K's, money, investments. and when the bible or religion is entered into the conversation it is either awkward or some sort of negative comment is mentioned, like "why do people at church always have meetings?" "churches shouldn't dabble too much in politics!" I remember telling them my call to missions and the fact that if a certain man does not have the same calling, i don't think i would be able to accept him as a potential mate. i could sense disappointment and worry in their eyes. i remember one of them was trying to tell me that i could still serve God by serving my husband if he were an engineer or businessman....while that's true, at this point in my life, God's more important than a husband right now, and if this man is anything like this person, i would reject him in a heartbeat. i also remember another one telling me that my parents should go to China to be missionaries because they'd be more successful there...when ministry has nothing to do with my parents' success. i don't see them serving in the church either.

every time i leave their house to go back to mine, i would stay up late that night just thinking about them and how depraved they are, but how helpless i am to show them the way. they're older than me, much older. one of them is older than my own parents. but sometimes, every part of me wants to yell at the top of my lungs "STOP!!! WHY ARE YOU LIVING LIKE THIS?!" every part of me wants to reprimand them. "GOD DOESN'T JUST WANT YOUR MONEY! GOD DOESN'T JUST WANT YOUR SUNDAY MORNINGS! HE WANTS YOU! YOU! YOU!"

but i can't. it's not my place. i wrote this on facebook couple weeks ago.

i'm starting to realize that i expect certain things out of people in relation to their background (who doesn't?). but when these people are VERY FAR from meeting those expectations, i get quite judgmental. why aren't they what i pictured them to be like? why don't they treasure this aspect of their life?

okay, i'm mainly talking about Christians, and i know that there's an amount of grace that goes along with it, but really, just how much grace do i give to someone who has gone to church for maybe his whole entire life and cares more about his job and money than the lost people who need Jesus? his childrens' grades and reputation than their own spiritual lives? people who seem to care more about the going ons of the world than living their life for eternity? who thinks serving in the church is a waste of time? who don't seem to strive for Christ-likeness?

and God reminds me....my grace is sufficient for you, and for them. they may not love me, but i do. they may not treasure me, but they are precious to me. they may be stubborn and want their way, but that's not your battle to fight, cindy. let me lead you. let me show you what it means to love others like i do.

I know my love for Jesus isn't perfect either. it's something i need to work on too.

and yet I'M STILL PRIDEFUL! yet i still judge them. yet i still want to yell at them in contempt and tell them that their wasting their lives away.

oh Lord teach me....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

tales from taiwan

i will be moving overseas to taiwan very very soon. not joining a missions organization just yet, but i figure that if i called to do missions there, it'd be best to live and understand the people there first. i'll be blogging elsewhere with my parents who are going to overseas theological seminary in san jose.

big changes are going on in my family. may God be glorified in all this.

http://thewufamilyblog.blogspot.com

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

devotions

one thing i appreciate about my family is that they keep me more accountable about doing my devotions than anything else.

since taking up the role to coordinate vbs at my home church, the need to stay close to God has been imperative. but even then, even if i hadn't taken that position, it would still have been important.

i've learned that once you neglect the Word, slowly and slowly your relationship with the Father will be...almost non-existent. it would be as if you've never known Him. the more you neglect the relationship, the farther apart you seem.

the same thing happened with me and a friend. at first, we were practically siblings. we spent lots of time together. but then, for some reason, we just stopped talking. stopped hanging out with the same people. now it's gotten to the point where i can't remember when i last felt like we were truly friends. what happened? i have no clue.

and then i related this feeling to my relationship with God. i started to realize that the same feeling i had toward this friend, i had the same feeling with my God....how sad is that?

do i ever want my relationship with the One who save me to ever be this way?

never

Monday, May 05, 2008

spring 2008

this semester was another hard one, but one filled with hope that God is faithful to bring His will to fruition. it's also the semester of change.

in a matter of months, i will be moving halfway across the world, and my parents will be moving to the other side of the united states. it will be the first time in history that the wu family will not be serving at dcbc and to be so far apart. but i anticipate God using this time that we're apart for His glory. i can't say that i have the gift of prophecy, but i can't help but feel that God has something great in store for my family.

how was this semester? it went well. i know that teaching 1st grade in american public school is not gift or calling. hahaha however, there's a chance for ESL. but the fact of the matter is, missions is still on my heart and using the training i've been given for the past 4 years as a means to develop relationships to advance the preaching of the gospel is what i feel called to do.

quite honestly, i guess once i made the decision to go to taiwan, i kinda slacked off. waking up to go to school everyday was a bother, and i was just counting down the weeks. ESL went very well. i had no problems there, but when i got to first grade, which i knew already was not my calling, that's when it became very difficult to be excited to go to school. i guess it was senioritis too. whatever it was, i wasn't being a good witness.

on top of that, the 1st grade kids i taught were hard to control. one girl in particular would come to my mind. she's smart, and if her home life were better, she'd be at the top of her class. however, her sister had to go to special programs for a couple of weeks for major behavior problems, and it's always impossible to get in touch with her mother. sometimes she'd have this look of pain on her face, but she'd never tell me or my mentor. and she always seems to cry for positive attention. whenever i ask her to go back to whatever she's supposed to be doing she always gives this emphatic no or gives this "hmph" and sits and totally ignores me. but then at other times, she pulls my hand and wants me to play with her. and there are probably 3-4 other kids in that class alone with home lives that make me feel so sad. the story of another kid and someone else's class almost brought me to tears...

but God has been faithful nonetheless.

i'm excited about taiwan. i was talking to a colleague yesterday, and she was telling how great it was having nothing else "tying me down." the circumstances could never be more perfect. God's really paved the way for me. not that i'm surprised or anything, but i'm very grateful for His sovereignty.

yet, it seems too perfect. i dont' know why i'm having such thoughts. i mean, i should go with no fear, but the thing is, i don't fear anything else. it feels weird not to be afraid of something. my fear is that i have no fears...that sounds silly, doesn't it? maybe it's something deeper, and i don't know it.

but whatever, it's what God's called me to do, and i will do it.

i'll be studying in taipei, and living with my grandma and uncle. i won't be joining a missions organization just yet as i want to spend some quality time with family and studying. i'll be writing on the blogosphere every now and then to testify to God's greatness. =D

soli deo gloria

Thursday, January 10, 2008

community action

one thing that has been on my heart is the church's involvement in the community.

as sad as it is, it's something that i don't really see in the Chinese ethnic church (at least the ones i know of here). the only support i see is merely monetary.

so at render, i asked, "how do we get the people in the Chinese church to be actively involved in the community?"

one pastor mentioned that people are just scared of interacting with such people. i also talked about this with several friends, and they seem to agree. in the chinese world, people don't really engage in random acts of kindness or giving help to strangers at not-so-random times even though they respect those who do.

i guess i have this burden because i see this especially where my mother works. now on hand, it's a bit selfish because my mother's work there is our only source of income now. on the other hand, if it weren't i can still see that they need lots of help. within the past 3 years that i've been there, the number of classes have dropped, and the number of people that work there and go there have dropped some (at least from what i've seen).

i'm glad that this community isn't a stand-alone one but rather one that has offices in other parts of the states as well. however, they're there to focus on their city they're in, but it's hard for me to see the progress.

so, if the people who should be serving in the community are scared because of interacting with strangers, how do we mobilize them to get involved?

i don't know

i'm still trying to figure this one out. God has given me a heart for the chinese community, and i hope to be effective for Him in it, but i don't know how to go about that quite yet.... that's a big reason why i feel that God is calling me to Taiwan to learn Chinese. that way, i can be more effective in communicating with them.

my He use me as He pleases.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

render

like i said, render* was the best retreat i've attended in my life...hands down.

what made render so great (aside from the fact that God's presence was evident and active) was the people. Everyone there, even though some have only met since the first day, was purposefully encouraging one another. Everyone was touched or blessed in some way. Even the mentors were thoroughly blessed.

also meeting people who have had experiences and have gone before you has helped a lot. i met a guy who had lived in taiwan for two years and hearing about his experiences and being educated on the process has help me tremendously in choosing whether or not to go do language study overseas.

If you've known me long enough, i have been very anxious about post-graduation. What am i going to do? will i teach in the public schools? will i go into linguistics? am i teaching right after graduation...am i going to teach at all? God's given me peace about it at render, and i see Him revealing His plan to me one step at a time (because quite frankly, that's all i can handle...well and everyone else for that matter). so, i'm now taking steps to study Chinese in Taiwan. May God bless the school and scholarship application process.

Another thing that was great was that i got to meet and get to know passionate Christians within one year of my age! this may be hard to believe for some, but i only know a handful of people within 1-2 years of my age that are truly passionate for the sake of the Gospel, but i don't come in constant contact with them b/c of various reasons (ie location, responsibilities elsewhere). This makes me wish that i had met them earlier in life, like in my high school days. I felt I was lacking in fellowship in youth group b/c not only did i always feel weird around my high school sm grp (for certain personal reasons) but mostly i felt weird because their passions in life differed from mine. but i'm so glad i know them now.

Granted I only knew and talked to these people for 3 days, but I know that through the bond we have in Jesus Christ, these are people that I will keep in touch with for the rest of my life.

I miss them already. If the fellowship we have in heaving is anything like the fellowship i had experienced at render, Lord, take me home!!

Yet there's a reason why we were put here on this earth: to love and be loved. the Father loves us and He wants those who have experience it to share it with others. The struggles and hardships are worth it. His love is extravagant; it's worth knowing and for others to know.

Coming back, so many of us, including myself, have faced some hardships. it's spiritual warfare. I feel myself creeping back into complacency. I promised myself and to God that i don't want to go back. I have friends who aren't getting along with their parents b/c of their decision to put "all on the altar." May God give us the strength to endure because that is all that can help us.

*for those who don't know, render is a tri-annual retreat that is very unique in that it is for asian-americans who are thinking of full-time ministry. every attendee has a mentor, and these mentors are people who have served in full-time ministry for quite a while and have a wealth of knowledge to aid those who attend. we had workshops, and some of the workshops included topics like balancing ministry and personal life, women in ministry, finding the right seminary, finding a significant partner, telling your parents...etc. we also had forums conducted by these ministers and pastors. we talked about the purpose of ethnic churches, myths of ministry, and we had the opportunity to ask questions as well. if you would like to know more about render email me at wusergomer(at)gmail(dot)com and i guess put "render" in the subject line.

Monday, January 07, 2008

God's faithfulness and sovereignty

i just got back from a retreat, and it was by far the best retreat i've ever attended. i shall detail on it later, but i would like to share something God has been revealing in my heart.

i am so thankful for my parents. normally most chinese parents have this tendency to cringe at the thought of their children going into full-time ministry. my parents, on the other hand, are happy to hear such news. granted they say the cautious stuff like, "you better know if it's really God's calling," but they know that i am not merely their children but am God's

so, when it comes to trying to encouraging my friends that go through this struggle, i feel helpless. i don't know what to say. how on earth do i encourage someone that is going through a struggle that i've never encountered or anticipate to struggle with ever?

but that's the beauty of it.

i don't have to say ANYTHING. such things are in the control of the Spirit. none of it is in my hands, their hands, or even their parents' hands. my responsibility is to lift this up to the Father having full faith that the struggles of my friends will come to peace through His providence. my responsibility is to bring such things up in prayer and to support them in that way.

and it's not that there will be no one that can say something of encouragement. God will provide the people. it may not be me, but as long as there is someone who can give that encouragement through the graciousness of Christ, that's all that is important.

one individual can't provide the needs of the entire body. that's Christ's job.

and if you are one who struggles with following God's call while honoring your parents, hang in there! God's grace is sufficient, His faithfulness unfailing. Stay close to the Father, stay faithful, for true faithfulness and love withstands any trial.