Standing by the east gate river, I stopped and watched as dozens of glowing, red paper lamps rose against a full yellow moon. The Lantern Festival consumed the night; Disneyland fireworks set off at will and random by children and grandparents alike burst across the sky, hot embers hit the rooftops and ashes fell in my hair.

Balancing my Kodak on a bicycle seat, I tried to capture a picture of the scene. Seeing the moon for the first time in a month was lovely – I knew I would want to remember it. Experiencing the Spring Festival was exciting too – I’m so glad to have been part of it. But beyond the fireworks, delicious food, and unique surroundings, in that moment I felt a deep appreciation for the life of adventure and service that I’ve been able to live these last six months.

Before leaving, I was convinced that I would only be in Asia for one year. I planned to come home at the end of my term and “get on with life.” I wanted to fulfill my own desires. I have many dreams and hopes – for instance, I would love to go to grad school and actively participate in the pro-life movement someday.

But I recently realized that *this is* life. This is the only way to live – to know that I have gone where the Lord has asked me to go, to know that I am helping fulfilling his plans. I have counted the costs – life here is difficult sometimes, I will have to put my dreams on hold, and I will continue to miss my family and friends. But I also know, that because my life is so important to me, that I must lay it down before God. He is the one who makes the good path.

God called me here for a reason, and I want to pursue his plan full speed ahead. So, I have decided to come back to Asia again next year! This has become part of a new dream in my heart – to see people who have never heard of Jesus accept his love and to know that his love will radically transform their lives.

Jesus Christ died for us. He saved me from an eternity separated from God, he washed away my sins, and raised me up. I was once lost – and now, the Lord is using me to help save the lost!
Thank you so much to all of you who have stood by me during this time and who support me in my pursuit of Him!