I have been in Chiangmai for a little over five years already. I still remember the edgy nervousness and anticipating excitement I had when I rode the bus up to this mountain town, nine hours away from my Bangkok home. Since God brought me up here, He has blessed me with wonderful friends, adventures and new-found love for children and marginalized people – those whom God has called to shame the strong and the wise. I have learned how to live in need and in abundance and to depend on God’s grace each day. Through each circumstance, God has been molding me more and more into His likeness and gradually revealed His heart’s desire for my life.
Now is time for the new adventure. In the beginning of this year, God had spoken to me about stepping out in faith, and given me confirmation repeatedly through people and bible scriptures, which finally led me to resign from Compassion Thailand, the ministry I had been involved in since I first came up to Chiangmai. It was a hard decision because I was still so much in love with my job and had fun living life. Yet I knew God was right – I started to create for myself a comfort zone. So, when He told me to leave, Like Abraham, I am on the road out of Ur.
At first, I was not so sure what I would be doing next. The only thing I could do, and all I have done is to seek His face and press into His presence. For the past five months, I have begun to realize that it is not so much the destinations – as in successful career or sufficient amount of money in my bank account – that He is after. But it is more of the daily fulfillment – that I be driven by His purpose, to wholeheartedly rely on Him to provide for my needs and be transformed into His likeness, each day. It has not been easy but, by His power and grace, it has been possible.
Having spent some time off, I recalled one of the goals I never got around to do because of my work schedule – attending a Bible school. It has been my desire to dedicate a time of focusing on studying His word and growing in the knowledge and the experiences with Him so that I would “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15), as Peter encouraged us to do.
As a result, I have submitted my application to the South Pacific Bible College in Tauranga, New Zealand (http://spbc.org.nz). It is a two-year diploma in advanced biblical studies. I have prayed over this decision, and felt at peace in pursuing the degree. I am excited about the upcoming journey. And I would like to invite you to join me in this new adventure. There are two ways you could get involved:
1. Praying – If you would like to pray for me, please let me know so I may add you on my email friend’s list or ask you to follow my blog, where I will be updating on my progress. First request I would like to ask now is for the successful application process in a crunched time. I have a little less than three months to get everything ready. Pray that God’s favor would be over each process.
2. Funding – If you feel led to support me financially, an easy way to send the money is through Paypal account (www.paypal.com). You can click on the given link. It will lead you directly to the main page, where you will see the “transfer” tab. Click on that, and enter my email address – firstname.lastname@example.org with the amount you wish to donate. Then follow the website’s directions.
Another option is through a bank transfer service from where you live to my account. If this is your option, I will send you my account number.
Currently, my needs for the first year are:
– Tuition fee $7,200 US/ year (Asking for discount from college now)
– Insurance $378 US/ year
– Airfare $1,000 – 2,000 US/ trip
– Monthly expenses about $840 US/ month
I am trying to raise as much money as possible by the end of January. As of now, it is not yet announced that I am accepted into the college but I am trying to prove that I will have enough financial provision to support myself while there. I would be grateful if you could help me be ready for that. However, if it turns out that I am not accepted, the donation will be returned. I’d be honored to have you as my partner, in one way or the other. 🙂
Thank you so much for taking your time to read this post. I appreciate your friendship and support over the years past. Following the Lord, in our own unique ways, is always challenging and not so comfortable. But this is what God calls us to do – to obey and to live a life that He has called each and every one of us to for the glory of His name.
One final thought- Many of us tend to romanticize the Christian hardship. We get starry-eyed when we hear a story of someone abandoning their wealth to live in a third-world country; or of a doctor who sacrifices expensive salary in sterile hospital to serve the poor in mountain villages with only rice and eggs in return; or of a woman who says to her abusive partner, “My worth is priceless. I do not need to be someone’s punching bag. I’m out.”
It is one thing to celebrate these people’s bravery but let us not get caught up in others’ stories. Yes, we should applaud people who perform the act of total obedience, of dying a daily death to themselves and of walking in faith with no direct steps. We should cheer each other on. We should ooh and aah at what they have accomplished. But we should not forget that each decision comes with long hours of praying, of pushing themselves into His presence even when it does not make sense and of making up their minds to follow Him with tears-stained faces. So please, do not walk away and say, “Wow, those are great stories. But I am glad it is not me to have to do THAT.”
Oswald Chambers wrote,
After sanctification, it is difficult to state what your purpose in life is, because God has moved you into His purpose through the Holy Spirit. He is using you now for His purposes throughout the world as He used His son for the purpose of our salvation. if you seek great things for yourself, thinking, ‘God has called me for this and for that,’ you barricade God from using you. As long as you maintain your own personal interests and ambitions, you cannot be completely aligned or identified with God’s interests. this can only be accomplished by giving up all of your personal plans once and for all, and by allowing God to take you directly into His purpose for the world. your understanding of your ways must also be surrendered, because they are now the ways of the Lord.
I must learn that the purpose of my life belongs to God, not me. God is using me from His great personal perspective and all He asks of me is that I trust Him. I should never say, ‘Lord, this causes me such heartache. To talk that way makes me a stumbling block. When I stop telling God what I want, He can work His will in me without any hindrance. He can crush me, exalt me, or do anything else He chooses.
He simply asks me to have absolute faith in Him and His goodness. Self-pity is of the devil, and if I wallow in it I cannot be used by God for His purpose in the world. Doing this creates for me my own cozy ‘world within the world’ and God will not be allowed to move me from it because of my fear of being ‘frost-bitten’.
Loved ones, God is carving your own story. It will come with grease, mud and dirt too. Ask ourselves today – how can we cheer each other on? How can we become a part of this global Christ-lovers community in order to advance His kingdom? I know that you know the answer. Each time you say yes to His purpose, your story arch is shifting heavenward.