Dear friends,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope that you’ve all been happy, healthy, and resting in the joy of the holiday season. You’ll all be glad to know that I had an awesome Christmas brunch –consisting of French toast, eggs, coffee, and a warm cinnamon roll from a nearby Western bakery. Delicious J

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve continued to experience some ministry ups and downs. As my teams have done in the past, we also had a Christmas party for our Asian friends this year. But unlike previous years, this time we decided to do something a little more intimate. We decided to each invite a few close friends – which is a big difference from the 60+ people parties we’ve hosted in the past. Our heart was to let our hungry friends really experience the pure meaning of Christmas in a loving way. I handmade invitations and individually invited 9 girls. My team planned out what kind of food to make, what games to play, a special skit, testimony time, and printed out Christmas songs in the local language. Moreover, we decided to get each friend a special gift with a special meaning. For example, I bought my Buddhist friend a Rubik’s cube, saying that, at the beginning, the truth is simple. But as we grow up, the truth gets mixed in with other things and it seems very complicated, when in reality, it isn’t. I got my sister Amy a hat because she really wanted it and a candle to represent her being a light in the world. You get the idea J

I was really excited until the day of our party. It started in the morning when Grace, a sister from last year, called me and cancelled for work related reasons. Several hours later, Yu Ting cancelled because of her final exams. Then, Judy and her boyfriend cancelled without explanation. And finally, even Allison cancelled. I had gotten gifts for all of them. To add to my disappointment, two of the guys unexpectedly brought their girlfriends, and I didn’t have anything special to give them.

It was for me both a disappointment and wake up call. The party still went well, but I realized that this is what we do to God all the time. He has gifts for us, one of particular importance, and we can choose whether or not to receive them. It also made me realize that I need to keep praying and pray harder for God to bring forward hungry girls who are interested in Christ and invest as deeply as I can into the ones who are ready.

By the end of next semester, I am praying to raise up at least two disciples who are on fire for God. I want these girls to have a passion for righteous living and reaching the lost. These girls are going to be people who transform their campus and community, independently of me or any other foreigner, and they’ll reach more people than I am ever able to. The longer I work with CT, the more I realize that I cannot expect to be in one place forever. So, I want this time to be powerful, and plant something that lasts forever.

Thank you for your thoughts. I’m missing all of you!