Without a doubt the number 1 question we get asked after returning from Taiwan is, “What do you do during home assignment?” Apart from routines of life, the most obvious one is to find rest & rejuvenation from being on the mission field & away from home & loved ones, which affect your soul in ways that one cannot fully explain, especially for those who thrive in close relationships with family & friends like my wife. Therefore, it’s been a tremendous blessing to be around those who have shared life with us & who continue to love us, not to mention new relationships with people whom we share many commonalities. The second thing that demands our time, energy & prayers is something that we like least to do, which is raising financial support for our missions. Still developing partners is something that needs to be done if we are to continue our mission work. We are truly grateful for our partners who continue to pray for us & support us and they are in our regular prayers.
Our favorite thing that we do during our home assignment is mobilization. What is mobilization? Our simple definition is to help God’s people to see where they fit in the furthering of God’s kingdom. This means that as we visit churches or meet with people whether it’s missions related or not, we are striving to help people become aware of what God is doing in our world, and how they can do their part to participate in His works. Therefore, mobilization is much bigger than our mission work in Taiwan. We, like many others, are simply trying to do our part. Some of us are a financial partner, some a member of their church missions committee, some join a prayer group for missions, some are actually on the field as a missionary. However we are involved in missions, we all have a crucial role in furthering God’s kingdom which is the ultimate goal.
As we begin a dialogue with people, one thing that we have to remind ourselves is that it is always a process for every person. Obviously, we desire everyone we meet to plunge in & get involved in furthering the kingdom of God, but every person is at a different place in life & awareness. So if someone is completely unaware about God’s kingdom, it’s our hope to lead him or her to awareness. If aware, then we try to encourage the person to be interested & be concerned. Ultimately, it’s our prayer to see Christians become actively engaged in furthering God’s kingdom. In a perfect world, everyone will go through the process of mobilization very smoothly, but the reality is quite different. A person may not move from being aware to being interested for a long time. Another person may even be concerned about the lost, but slow to take steps to do something about it. More often than not it’s a long process and an imperfect progress at that.
We have grown to love the phrase, “imperfect progress,” which applies to all things in life. Understanding this will probably spare many from unnecessary frustration & discouragement. Instead rejoice in the progress that God graciously allows us to make. God is perfectly holy & perfect in all His ways, but He never demands perfection from His people. It is only imperfect men & women who demand perfection from others. How grateful we are that our Father in heaven finds pleasure in our imperfect progress for His glory.
Updates & Prayer Concerns
I still do not feel used to the cold Chicago weather, but it has been a real joy to live near friends & family. It’s something that we had missed for a long time. Also being part of a wonderful church has been a tremendous blessing for our whole family. Our daughters are loving their youth group. Jeanette & I are also enjoying the favor & fellowship of God’s people.
This month, Calvin had an opportunity to go to a church in Chicago to share God’s Word & to mobilize. It’s a church that Jeanette & Calvin served as youth group teachers before going off to seminary. It was encouraging to see some of the students we used to teach all grown up & serving the church.
On March 15 & 16, Calvin will be sharing about pursuing a missional life at our church’s young adults retreat. Please pray that our time together will be insightful, encouraging, inspirational & glorifying to God.