Dear friends and readers,
It certainly has been a long time since I wrote something in the HSUVa blog! Part of it was a creative drought after the big “Glee’s ‘Asian F'” post (which took over two weeks to write & edit), and I was spending much of the winter break with family and resting up after what has been an amazing but exhausting Fall. And unfortunately, I’ve got nothing else just yet to write. I do however want to share an event update and prayer requests. Here’s what the Spring has in store:
- Community Group (Jan 23-Feb 9): I am very excited to restart community group! For the next four weeks we’ll be doing a series of activities geared toward preparing for Winter Conference. We’ll look at culture/ethnic identity and how the Gospel can be present in our every day college lives. Pray that we’d acquire God’s vision and that even this month we’ll have new students who will even come to Winter Conference!
- Winter Conference (Feb 10-12): Our area conference will draw over 500 students from 9 different chapters. Our speaker this year, James Chuong, will guide us as we consider “a life of impact and steps to get there” in small group & seminar settings to. Pray that the AIV students experience God’s call on their individual lives & on our fellowship life to have impact on everyone around us.
- ECAASU Seminar (Feb 24-26): I’m in the research/writing phase as I prepare to deliver my seminar on the need for unity between religious & non-religious Asian Americans in order to achieve social impact. Pray that I’d be productive, that my words would encourage new understanding, & that it would provide a gateway for people to engage cultural, spiritual, & social issues!
- Spring Break to the Bronx, NY (Feb 3-10): I can’t wait to bring AIV students to the Bronx, NY as I’ve done so many times in college. Our week with Harvest Church will help us see why and how neighborly love is crucial, and doable. Pray that AIV students would be willing to go/get permission from parents, and that we’d grow deeper in love with God’s plans & ways.
That’s enough for now I think. Thanks for your reading and praying, and for waiting even when I don’t post!
Our last Community Group of the Fall. Pray for us as we continue to grow & advance in God's calling for us to serve others!
It’s Fall Break here at U.Va but I’m still hard at work. We’re having team meetings for our area (western Virginia). Thankfully, we’re convening here in Charlottesville so I’m actually at home tonight. We’ve had some great conversations already and I’m looking forward to the rest of our time together. Well, mostly… I’d be totally enjoying it if I didn’t have sermon preparations to do. I’m preaching THIS Wednesday (Oct 12) @ 8pm at one of the other InterVarsity groups at U.Va.
Greek InterVarsity — a branch specifically geared toward reaching and meeting the needs of fraternity and sorority students — has kindly invited me to come preach at their Gathering! I’ll be the third and final speaker in their series about idolatry, speaking about self-idolatry. We rarely see scripture (let alone real life) portraying self-idolatry in terms of building a statue of ourselves (though there was that one time with Nebuchadnezzar… but I digress); usually, our self-idolatry is less about narcissism than it is about self-concern or self-assertion. To that end, my talk is called MIRROR, MIRROR, explaining how everything goes wrong in our lives (and in the world) because we are more concerned with our image in the mirror than with the image of God given to us.
Prayers are much appreciated as I’m speaking to Greek students I’ve only met once before. Plus, I’m bringing some friends! I’m very excited to have friends and acquaintances from other places, VSA in particular (Very Superb Asians indeed), come to support me! Pray that I’d speak clearly and that the truth and love of God would be apparent to everyone.
Please pray for me as I prepare and preach on Wednesday
Dear friends and supporters,
I want to inform you about the loss of a first-year student who died on Sunday night (click here for the news article). He was a Christian and a member of Reformed University Fellowship; any death is a loss for all, and, moreover, many of our students (especially first-years, as he was) were friends with him or knew him.
It is often our desire to run from pain and grief and dwell on other things instead but we know that we have to face the grief and not bottle it up. As Jesus says in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” This is the promise for relief at this very moment, when the blessed hope and truth we intellectually know cannot pierce the pressing and immediate hurt. His family undoubtedly is going through unspeakable pain.
Please pray that students and especially his family would experience this powerful comfort both now and through the long road to grief. Pray also that his family (some are traveling to get here now) would have mercies for travel, and that people would rush to serve and comfort them as they bury their son.
Today there was a time of prayer at the Center for Christian Study and obviously many of the students are taking the loss very hard. There is a lot of pain right now, and questions, and shock and there is probably more to follow in the coming days and months. The campus ministers and the staff of the Center for Christian Study have been working hard to give comfort, prayer, and support for those who’ve been hit by this loss. One of the staff mentioned that students were streaming in continually on Monday crying and very hopeless. And of course it is hard for all of us, I feel the shock and awfulness of this loss even though I am not close to him. It is season of serious pain.
Please pray for the staff of the Study Center and for all of us campus ministers that we would gently lead students into the love of Jesus and guide them in their grief.
The timing of this death as been particularly hard for Matt, the ministry intern (like myself) for Reformed University Fellowship. The head campus pastor is out of town this week for a conference and Matt was scheduled to preach at their large group tonight (Tuesday) at 8pm, and moreover is now charged with addressing and guiding the chapter through this tragedy.
Please pray for Matt and the other RUF ministry intern Libbie, as well as the student leaders — that they’d have strength, wisdom, peace, and that first would experience God “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Thank you for your prayers in this difficult time.
I’ll be preaching for our spring Invitation Large Group… TONIGHT @ 8pm! If you’re in the area and want to visit, we’re meeting on Grounds in Maury 209.
To complement our Proxe Stations and the topic of relationships, dating, sex, etc., our talk this evening is called “TRUE LOVE: God, sex, relationships, & all the complications.” (Facebook event is HERE).
Please pray for me as I preach the Gospel to (hopefully!) a large crowd. Last fall’s invitation large group had over 200 people (approximately 60-80 were newcomers/first-timers or non-believers). This is my first preaching assignment as a staff worker and it’s the first time I’ve given a full-length evangelistic message with a call to respond. I hope to record the talk and post it later. Pray that people would hear God’s love and decide to begin relationship with Him because that’s the relationship we really need!
Our Facebook graphic for the event!
This week is UVA IV’s Witness Week – a time where we’ll focus on getting trained and stepping out to witness to the University in two ways: (1) Proxe Stations (conversational booths) that allow IV members to engage UVA students about issues of injustice, suffering, and God, and (2) a special large group that addresses those same questions in a more comprehensive fashion, especially for non-Christians or those who are skeptical or unsure about faith in God.
Today we begin our Proxe Stations on UVA Grounds at two locations. Even though I’ve done them two times before at Duke, and been part of the leadership group over them once, I’m still nervous and apprehensive every time — fear of logistical details or oversights, what if I forget to say/ask/do [fill in the blank]?, the fear of being turned down multiple times (which always happens), the list goes on.
I think the students feel the same way (minus the strategic/logistical concerns) and I’ve been praying for them also, that God would use this opportunity to witness to show them the truth about the campus — that people really ARE eager, curious, or aching to have conversations about deeper spiritual things. I also hope that it will grow not just their capacity but their conviction about the need to be a community that really witnesses in word and deed and in the flesh, not just at 2 locations for 3 days, but with hallmates, classmates, teammates etc. And of course I’m praying for God to bring us people like the Ethiopian Eunuch, and that we could help them take whatever next step is needed in their spiritual journey.
Your prayers are appreciated for all these things! Thanks very much!