Hello! How are you doing? I hope this update finds you in the greatest joy and health! The past few weeks of my life have been some of the most trying times I’ve ever experienced. I am sincerely sorry for the tardiness of this update but I hope the following can explain a little bit about what has been going on here.
About two weeks ago, my team and I took a trip to HK for a visa run. We were super excited for this trip. However, the adventure soon turned into a nightmare. As we entered HK, we were informed there was a typhoon rolling through and our return flight had been rescheduled for two days later. A bit shaken but hopeful for some rest, we found our way to our hostel only to find that our hostel was booked for the wrong night!!! Despite our tiredness, we trekked around the city (it was midnight by now) looking for another hostel. We found one eventually but the owner wouldn’t let all 11 of us stay so four of my team members and I spent the entire night in a nearby McDonald’s! I laugh about it now but it was not the best set-up after a long day of traveling.
Despite the night from hell, one of my team members contacted one of their supporters who lived in HK. Their family graciously opened up their home to 11 crabby, tired and might I add, stinky missionaries. This family was a gift from God! They opened up their lives to us for a night, leaving us feeling the most rested we had in two months!
But the craziness did not end there. Upon returning home, the team and I had about two days to recuperate before the next bomb dropped on us; the father of one of my roommates suddenly passed away in the States. Doing what we do, we all grow to become each other’s family here, so a blow to one person is a blow to the entire team. She made the difficult decision to return home temporarily to deal with the passing of her beloved father.
My leaders gave me some time off from ministry this week so I could process everything that happened. Everything I mentioned above happened within the span of a week. I have come to one conclusion: there is no amount of pain or suffering that changes who God is. He is still as faithful and good, despite our good days or bad days. In James 1, it says to consider it pure joy when we face trials for it builds in us faith and character. All of these things have not happened to break us down but to build us up as stronger and more refined people. So be joyful in whatever you are facing right now; God has a beautiful plan.
Which leads me to my next point… I have a somewhat large request; my mode of transportation around Asia has been a bicycle. However, since I have been here, my bike has been more of a hassle than a blessing. It has broken multiple times, leading me to have to rely on taxis, which is beginning to get expensive and/or public transportation, which is not always reliable. This is beginning to have an impact on the work that I do here. I’ve been praying and asking my leaders what to do. They said trust God and He will provide an answer. Because of the amount of travel I do on a daily basis, it was suggested to me that I should invest in an electronic bike.