Struggles, Breakdowns and a New Foundation

Hello friends and family,

It's been a little over a month since I moved out here and I think the struggles of living here and actually breaking down has hit me a lot sooner than I thought it would. I have been turning my apartment into my actual home and it is going quite well. Buying little bits of furniture and things of comfort has been great but there is a desire to want to use my finances for His glory. Here's a brief sharing about how i have been doing and some pictures from some past events here. :)

Firm Foundation

6 So then, just as you received Chr'st J'sus as L'rd, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

- Colossians 2:6-7

The main heart struggle is figuring out where I place my hope in. For someone who has walked many years as a follower of G'd, you think you know the answers but there has to be patience with how He provides and it can be frustrating when you feel like you need the community now.

The answer isn't an easy one. The answer in fact, is to know that G'd is with you, literally right by your side in everything that you go through, that you are not alone, and that He has His best interests for you in spite of the little answers you are getting right now.

Breakdown

14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?

- Esther 4:14

I recently had a breakdown this week where I felt my fatigue (having fifteen days of restless nights in a row) and my sins of slothfulness and laziness, loneliness, and reliance on myself. It all caught up to me and caused me to first confess to the L'rd and then to confess to my staff and young adult small group. 

In my young adult group, we are going through the book of Esther and this week's passage really stuck out to me. G'd prepared Esther for "such a time as this" (Esther 4:14). When calamity and doom was about to befall those around her, she was placed in a position and role where she was able to save them and be obedient. Likewise, this is very similar to all of us and where G'd has placed us. G'd places us in positions where we may not understand why He puts us there, but He is preparing us to trust Him and to be obedient so He can fully utilize us for His Kingdom. 

When G'd says we need to rely on Him as our firm foundation, He absolutely means it. Only when you leave the country and try to do m'nistry do you really experience how much you lack and how petty and s'nful you really are. It has been an amazing time of receiving pr'yer and just knowing that people have gone through what I am going through right now. Pr'y for my time here and to continue to celebrate the daily little victories. 

Pr'yer Requests:

  • Pr'y for preaching and teaching. I am about to start a d'cipleship series this week and am thankful for how it has been going so far.
  • Pr'ise the L'rd for a great second student leadership meeting and just for wonderful adult leaders. We have w'rship, icebreakers, and announcements all figured out but I am still struggling on what my vision of philosophy looks like to everyone. It will take time but I'm looking forward to better communication.
  • Pr'ise for honestly wonderful people here in Shanghai and for a great place to build community even when it doesn't feel like it.
  • Pr'y for vulnerability and confession with my community here. I am still a young and single leader and I am continuously discovering new people to trust and to share with, and have received so much affirmation. So many people are pointing me back to Him and it's a blessing. 
  • Pr'y for better sleep. I can't sleep for more than 7 hours for some reason so after a week and a half of that, I am pooped! 
  • Pr'y for my personal d'votional and pr'yer times too! I just created a pr'yer closet and am really excited for my time in there.

 

 First time pr'aching on a Sunday! 

First time pr'aching on a Sunday! 

 First time pr'aching on a Sunday! 

First time pr'aching on a Sunday! 

 Lina is an old friend from CEC in San Diego. For some reason, I had 3 former CECers visit me on the Sunday I got to speak. What a blessing! 

Lina is an old friend from CEC in San Diego. For some reason, I had 3 former CECers visit me on the Sunday I got to speak. What a blessing! 

 There was a joint youth retreat at the beginning of October and I just really fell in love with the youth kids here and am thankful for how open and excited they are for me. 

There was a joint youth retreat at the beginning of October and I just really fell in love with the youth kids here and am thankful for how open and excited they are for me. 

 The high school boys small group that I got to lead. 

The high school boys small group that I got to lead.