December 2005


So, this year is literally hours from being over. I have to admit that it has probably been one of the most life-changing years I have experienced as of yet. Joining CTI was one of the biggest decisions I have ever made and one of the most rewarding. I have never really felt so comfortable in God’s will as I do at this point in time. I am not saying that my life is perfect, and that there are not any struggles, in fact, it is quite the contrary. However, it has been such a joy to struggle and look back and realize how God has used this year to grow me more into the person that He wants me to be.

So in retrospect I am so grateful to God for blessing me with the opportunity to serve Him by doing the thing that I love doing the most in the world. It blows me away that He cares enough about me to take every aspect of life into consideration. I have really enjoyed being home for a break. I think it has been exactly what I needed and what our team needed after the intense experience of Hong Kong. I think that we will all come back from break refreshed and ready to get back out on the road.

Several things I learned while on the other side of the world:

1. The world is full of people who do not have any clue about who Jesus is.
2. The world is also full of people who do not have any clue how to walk down a crowded street in a civilized manner.
3. Hong Kong YFC really makes you feel like your time investment is worthwhile.
4. The “Chinese” food we get here in America is nothing like the real thing.
5. Chopsticks are a lot of fun to use once you get the hang of them, until that point they are the bane of your existence.
6. You learn a lot more about people when you live with them and minister with them overseas.
7. God will NEVER give you more than you can handle.
8. God will ALWAYS give you all that you can handle.
9. Hot peanut-butter waffles are the best culinary concoction in the history of the world.
10. Being a servant means more than just a lip-service committment, and you don’t really get that until you’re in a situation that forces the true level of your committment into the open.

As you might have surmised, I am safely home from the land of dragons, soy milk and concrete jungle. I am actually writing this from the comfort of my very own room in Illinois. It feels so incredible to be home. I do not think I have ever needed a break so desperately as I did this one. And that has nothing to do with being tired or burned-out, but it has everything to do with needing some time to process the life-changing experience I just had. Just being able to take a step back from my life for the past four months and especially the last five weeks has been invaluable to my mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

Hong Kong was so paradigm altering for me in so many ways. I think for once I caught just the slightest glimpse of what it truly means to serve. When things seem to be overwhelming and illogical to be able to trust the sovereignty of God’s plan and His never-ending concern for our welfare really connects you with the Heart of God. I learned a lot about myself and my teammates in the five weeks we were there. I also learned a great deal about the culture there and the difficulties one faces when trying to minister to a culture such as that. Imagine trying to witness to someone who has absolutely no foundational knowledge whatsoever about who God is, and other basic tenets of our faith. Talk about starting from the beginning. It is hard to offer someone a chance at salvation when they have no idea that they need to be saved.

We also got our first listen to the completed album when we got back from HK. It sounds great and it will be for sale soon on our website (www.ctimusic.org). It is so surreal to be a part of such a professional sounding project. It makes me feel even so much more comfortable in the desire of every part of our ministry to produce the best that we can give. You can listen to some advance clips on our website too.

I’m enjoying my time at home, seeing old friends and seeing family. It’s still all slightly surreal, but it is sinking in and I am having a great time watching it all settle.