Remember Remember, September and October!

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A photo from Jono and Mel’s wedding earlier in the year

They say time flies when you’re having fun, but I think the same can be said about busyness! Whether you’re student or worker (and if unfortunate enough, both!), these past few months can most likely be defined by the words such as ‘busy’, ‘insane’, ‘hectic’, or ‘full-on’. Moreover, I’ve always found the months from September till November to be months of Reflection, Denial, and Anticipation.

Reflection because you realise that the year is almost over, and you think about all the great things that has happened up till now.  It’s a time of rejoicing and thanksgiving because you know that there have been things prayed for and answered, and you’re just happy that you’ve come this far.

Denial because you realise that the year is almost over, and you are reminded of how much needs to be done before December (or end of semester) and you wonder where the year has been. It is at this point in time where you think back on all your New Years resolutions and settle for the fact that ‘it ain’t happening this year’.

Anticipation because you realise that the year is almost over, and the New Years resolutions can be ‘carried over’ or ‘rolled over’ to 2015, which gives you great hope because ‘maybe next year will be different’. It is the time when you look back the year, acknowledging all the joys, victories, broken dreams, shattered emotions, and believe that God had intended it all for a purpose, and that you are much more prepared for the new phase in life.

So what are my reflections, denials, and anticipations?

1) Reflection

Joys are often not absent of challenges. Therefore, the ministry that has brought me the most satisfaction this year has also been one that has been equally as challenging.

Over this past year, God has been gracious in allowing me to witness steady growth in the Community Group that I lead. As of last week, we’ve finally finished studying Paul’s Letters to the Romans, and it has been an incredibly adventure. Firstly, the only ‘whole book’ Bible study I’ve led is the Book of James, which is convenient because it is very short. Romans was a completely new challenge because not only was it dense, but it was also theologically deep. Thankfully, the other leader of the group help split the leading/teaching load, but having to prepare fresh material on a regular basis was both challenging and rewarding. Because of my preparation studies, I had the opportunity to dig into commentaries and books that I wouldn’t have otherwise done, and because I have been freed up to do all this, I have had much more time to reflect and focus on what I’ve learnt in order to teach it better. Secondly, it is really rewarding watching those you lead come to a deeper understanding of specific doctrines and its applications, grow closer to one another, and look forward to meeting every week. Of all the different groups I’ve led, this years Community Group is the one that has the most consistent attendance with members who sacrifice study time, work time, and sometimes even dinner, just to be with the group and dig deep into the Word.

So dear CG, if you’re reading this, I’m so grateful for all your sacrifices and I hope that it will prove to be valuable for your walk in life.

2) Denial

At the beginning of 2014, the staff at RICE anticipated a team of about 8 people taking part in RICE’s first ever short term mission trip in July 2014. However, due to a variety of reasons, this has been postponed till January 2015, and the team is not 8, but 18 people this time round. This is a daunting task because I realised that these team members are all dynamic leaders in their own spheres of influence, and if I’m not careful, I’ll just get in the way of them serving God.

But writing this on the 23rd of October means that there is only a little more than 2 months left before we take off, and theres still much to be done! Thankfully, a good chunk of the administrative stuff is out of the way and we’ll get the ball rolling fast for team planning in November. We had our first team meeting on the 5th of October, but have decided to have ‘crash course’ meetings starting in November because October is pretty ugly for most (such as HSC, Uni exams, and the like).

I’d love to introduce you to the team one by one because all of them are so great. We have high school teachers, high school students, bankers, commerce students, photographers and videographers, Chinese medicine students, musicians, and everything in between! All of them come from different churches spread across Sydney, united under the banner of serving Christ by loving people. So stay tuned for more updates as we begin our rigorous meetings in the upcoming month.

3) Anticipation

October 11 marked the official launch of SWCCC’s new church planting venture in Bankstown. We held an Information Brunch session to provide interested parties with progress updates and prayer points as they consider partnering with us either through prayer or by joining our launch team. We prayed that God would bring about 60 people along, but as always, He knows what’s best and brought more than we had anticipated.

The goal of this church plant will be to reach out to second generation migrants and beyond of different ethnicities, with hopes of bringing the Gospel to them in a culturally sensitive and contextualised manner. As you can imagine, that vision will bring about a host of challenges, so we really do value your prayer. Specifically, please pray for a meeting location and our finances. Fortunately, Bankstown is not short on places to meet. However, we do pray for the most conducive space, one that is convenient, accessible, suitable, and of course, affordable. Secondly, do pray for us as we seek out difference groups to fund the initial stages of this church plant. I don’t know the exact details of this but I do know that churches have already been very generous (including South West Chinese Christian Church) and we’re in the process of receiving some grants from Christian organisations. So do pray that the grant applications will be successful and that we would all be radically generous with our giving.

***

Thank you all for your support that enables me to take part in all this great Gospel work. Do pray for me as I begin transitioning from Intern to Student Minister over the next few months and as I strive to make this website more accessible and informative to all my supporters.

I’d like to especially thank all of you who prayed for me as I prepared for a sermon that I preached last Sunday. If you’re interested in finding out how it went, the media player below contains the audio file of the sermon titled ‘Dressed for the Occasion’. I’d love to hear any feedback you have on it.

Until next month!


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