Just as I was all set to graduate and walk in June with my Masters of Theology degree, God pushed me for the third and final time to change my degree to a Masters of Divinity. For both me and Susanna, after our trip from Chad, Africa back in the summer of 2010, our call to become overseas missionaries became more cemented in our hearts. Actually, this call had already been deeply cemented in Susanna’s heart, but for mine, it was a gradual change. As I stated in my “Heart of Africa” documentary, the most impactful event in my trip to Chad was visiting the orphanage. I knew in my heart, that I wanted to establish an orphanage, but I kept resisting that urge to be a missionary. Many words come with presuppositions and definitions that don’t change. To be frank, I always placed being a martyr as the first characteristic of being a missionary, thus convincing myself throughout these past two years, that this was not for me.
But it is for me because:
1) This is and has been Susanna’s call for most of her life and I cannot take that away from her.
2) I will not leave Susanna alone to be a missionary by herself
3) I want to establish an orphanage to orphans and abandoned children.
4) Many signs and confirmations already from God, dreams, people, visions, etc.
Often, it takes a simple change in perspective. Don’t call yourself a missionary. Call yourself a person taking up residence in a new land with new people and new surroundings. Then let the work of the Lord be almost like a by-product of your living there. I do have experience moving a lot actually. I have moved 11 times in seven years. Maybe this was all some sort of training.
So the third and final push from God? It was a measly car ride, driving a volunteer from Azusa Pacific University to the first night of our 3rd Annual Unplugged Revival at church. She happened to be an MK (Missionary Kid) and despite her age, was full of wisdom and experience. She said a few things after hearing of our aspirations to be missionaries that both penetrated our hearts. You can almost imagine the following scene from a movie: Closeup of Paul hearing the MK’s words, and then his eyes widen and stop as if someone said something profoundly deeply. He slowly turns to Susanna who’s in the driver’s seat. Shot of Susanna and Paul’s heads slowly turning to each other. Closeup of Susanna’s eyes. Closeup of Paul’s eyes. A mutual agreement about something is exchanged. Moments later, they arrive at church. The MK thanks Paul and Susanna “Thank you so much for taking me!” “No problem,” says Paul. “We’ll catch up with you in a bit. We have to get some things.” adds Susanna. The MK nods and walks ahead. As soon as she is no longer visible, Susanna and Paul look at each other. “We have to pray.”
So we immediately went to the prayer room ignoring all of the current tasks at hand for the revival and we get the beginning of our many confirmations to pursue a Masters of Divinity, simply for the reason that we know it will come to be a great tool in our adventures abroad.
Flashforward to June. I change my degree and I begin my Greek Intensive class, where basically three quarters of Greek are taught in one summer. In the end of June, Pastor Matthew approaches us and sits us down, asking us to pray about possibly guest speaking for YooChiBoo (Pre-K – Kindergarten) for up to two months. As he was discussing all the details, me and Susanna were actually thinking, this could all be training for later handling such things as orphanages or other types of ministries. And we found out that Pastor Kyung, whom we had previously met with a couple days earlier explaining all of our goals, said the same thing about this opportunity being a possible training ground for our future goals of running orphanages after Pastor Matthew told him about us speaking for YooChiBoo. Regardless, after praying about it, we decided to take on this task.
It’s been such an amazing experience thus far. The greatest thing is simply establishing relationships with all the teachers and the cutest children in the world. My heart broke to see last Sunday, a four year old boy who had a tracheal tube in his throat because his muscles are apparently weak, not enabling him to swallow properly. He also has a feeding tube. Reflecting on this boy this week, I heard God say, can you handle my children? Can you handle even children that are born mute, blind, deaf, has cleft lips, or even lame?
And then I saw a documentary called the Father of Lights. The part that made me bawl my eyes out was the story of an American family. They are the typical American couple: a Caucasian married couple living in their suburban home with three children. However, they were nominal Christians, attended church every Sunday, sat in the back, and were the first ones to leave after service was over. One day, I forgot how, they decided to attend a conference and there was an anointed pastor, Randy Clark, who prayed for them. The glory of the Lord fell upon this couple and to sum up what happened: God rocked their world. They experienced God’s radical love upon them for the very first time in radical ways. What was their fruit?
They sold everything they had and moved to China. They waited upon the Lord for direction. It’s revealed then, where their interview is being held in. They are being interviewed for this documentary in a lavish multiple story orphanage, where they took in dozens of Chinese orphans into their home, along with their own three children. They simply love upon these orphans and become their parents. It was one of the most moving things I had ever seen.
God has many ways to move his people and to show his glory. I think for us, we are being trained in seminary first, then this temporary position as a Yoochiboo pastor (Kindergarten), and then the next stop, we do not know. It is exciting to walk with the Lord. He is not just someone to pray to in the mornings or at meals; He is someone to do life with. To talk to AND hear from. To love and be loved by Him. To be told no and yes from. To be instruments of His love because we first knew what it meant to be loved.