We closed.

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What a delightful day.  Am I that excited ?  Hah. 

Selina and I closed on the house that we both really like, a beautiful 2003 ranch home. Our realtor Kevin Fu helped us through prayer and guidance on the stressful process.(I recommend him as your realtor on your next big purchase.) However, State Credit Union was a pain. Rather getting the house to close 30 days, it jumped to 45 days, and then to 50 days. Our loan officer lacked interest who never kept us updated. We had to chase for answers and spent time off work trying to get the papers together. Sure, we were frustrated, but we had to slow to anger, and calm our hearts and be patient -remembering that God leads, we follow. 

So why am I “hah” and not ecstatic about a house? Because mission across the sea is very dearing to me. I stressed it many times to Selina how much it hurts that we are not over there. Selina encourages me that God will take us there. “Don’t fret,” she says. A house can be an investment to rent out or sell out. It has its pros and cons. We just don’t want to be tied down, and having an apartment only makes us throw money away. So it looks like God opened door in this area for us.

On a side note, sometimes I come across believers who kill the joy.  I understand that the people groups are coming to the states, but I also know that America has churches at almost every corner and the opportunity is massive. However, know that, that there are people out in the jungle who don’t even have access to the Gospel!  The Bible says, the Gospel must be preached unto ALL the nations and the end will come! I do understand that people are called differently. And that’s totally ok and correct. But it is very important to not kill other people’s joy that God has placed on their hearts. 

Oh yes, in God’s timing. That is why we chose a 5 year adjustable rate mortgage. And we gave ourselves 5 years in general. Which also means I need to sharpen my IT skills in the workplace with years of experience so that I can use that in mission. And for Selina to form her skills in teaching, maybe? We would like to have a kid early between those years as well. We also want to be trained better in the Word and to continue to do more cross cultural ministry. In addition, we want to build relationship if we are soon to become member at Desiring God. (By the way we have a membership class tomorrow 8/27/16.) That sounds about right, right? — as I’ve confirmed with many respected leaders…but you know God, He’s the author of our lives.  He leads, we follow.

I hear many times, when God wants you there, He will get you there. Now that, that, soothes the heart.

So it seems like this emotion is very burdenly-sappy-with joy. Weird –

So please pray for us. We are going to live very simple in our home. And we want it to be a home for missionaries, for discipleship and cross cultural ministry. Pray that we break our inner introvertness and be energized when God place people in front of us.

We also need prayer for God’s will in all of this. And most importantly for us and other body of believers to have a heart for His peopleS.

In Christ,

Sobe

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Desiring God

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Life has been crazy (and good) these past few months.

Perspectives has been a challenging and God’s glory driven course. (Since 2004 after I went on a mission to Cambodia with my youth group, I was filled with a burden. The burden only gotten stronger in 2008 after we went on another.) So during the Perspectives course, I told my wife how fitting it is for us to learn about the different people groups, die to ourselves, and embrace God’s passion for His Name sake. The 15 weeks courses changed the way we see things from January through May. We understood the importance of God’s glory and the unconditional love for His peopleS. We learned how it is not about us. It’s not about our wants of house floor colorings, or if the picture looks good on this or that wall. It’s about God. It’s about His glory. It’s about God inviting us to be part of His mission for the peopleS! Now, my wife and I are passionately driven and confirmed in this calling.

Some time in Spring on a Saturday morning, we participated in a T4T class through Desiring God Community Church. We learned about how to share the gospel through the 2 kingdoms of Good and evil. After the 7 hours long class, we split up and went to a neighborhood to share the Gospel door to door. It was frightening at first, but it was a start. There were a lot of Hindus that live in the apartments. My wife, a friend whom we met, and I all froze after knocking on a door of a Hindu family. We found out language barrier is going to be the obstacle.  A couple of door to door knocks landed us with a teenager whom we shared the two Kingdoms with. It was weird at first, but it’s a start!

After 15 weeks of Perspectives, my wife and I started attending Desiring God Community Church. Just so you know, we prayed about wanting  to grow in the Word, and if leaving our home church was the right thing to do. We consult with some respected leaders and shared our burdens. We felt we needed to grow in a different environment, when one day, it was all God when He pointed us to another church right under our nose while taking the Perspectives course. The message at the church was genuinely solid, the church was mission-minded, opportunities for cross cultural ministry, serve, and all for living passionately for the Glory of God. We are attending Desiring God Community Church of Charlotte for about 2 months now, as well as their weekly Wednesday small groups.

Through this journey, I have been meeting up with respective leaders, people who are mission-minded and are solid in the Word. In addition, I am continuing to meet with my mentor who goes to Calvary Church.  This too, I prayed for. I am also looking to start talking to missionaries, networking and connecting with them, and seeing their perspectives on servant leadership in the mission field. The best way for me is to be a humble learning student, take notes, and study from these respected folks whom God has blessed.

I could go on and on… but there’s just too much. I hope that this blog will help my wife and I  to grow as we look back and see the beautiful plan of God.

These are some things you guys can pray for us:

  • Pray that it is God’s passion and will for us to be confirmed as members of Desiring God Community Church.
  • Pray for the house (we are buying) that is currently under-contract, that this is all God’s will even if it doesn’t go through. We’ve joined a 5 year ARM program so that we won’t be tied down and sell when God open doors to mission. Pray that the house (if it goes through or if it is not) will be glorifying to Him.
  • Pray that my wife and I will be equipped, trained, and engage in cross cultural ministry as we continue to pursue long term oversea mission. (Every day, I tell my wife how my heart aches to be in Cambodia to serve humbly together.)
  • Pray that we both will continue to die to ourselves so that we can spread for the supremacies of God in all things for the joy of all the peopleS.
  • Pray that our hearts will be ready when we do start making a family in God’s timing.

Thank you and God bless

Sobe

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Use me

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The 28th was the last day of work. I’ve been bumming.  I did find a job that starts on the 24th of this month, but why am I not excited? Maybe, because I want to do something church related. I can’t believe members of my church think I should be a part-time youth coordinator or______ (fill in the blank). That’s crazy! To teach and share the message? I do love teaching if I know more in-depth of the bible. Maybe, that’s why I’m longing for seminary? I want to be able to use my biblical studies to share and also put towards third-world mission. And heck, I just want to learn. Oh, can you believe it, I’m not afraid to go to the backyard of the church filled with refugees. One step at a time all brought to you by God’s strength. 🙂

I hope I did the part that God wanted me to do. In every way, I tried to find that open door to share God with the co-workers. I realized there were quite a few believers or “believers”. Lots of memories sharing the God-moment and testimonies, and just many other biblical stuff. Oh I didn’t forget before leaving the workplace, I’ve made it known to the director and upper management about how I am into mission and church related, just to hope for an open door to speak about how God has been good. 

So what now? I am a bit sad with this transition. I’ve been sharing my hearts out to my wife. I want God to use me, use us! More.

Sobe

Deny Self, Pick Up Cross Daily

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I am sorry that we have not updated our blog.

I have been kind of sad. Sometimes when you find out that you’re not going to have a job in 18 more days, you start to feel unmotivated to do stuff. The other part is, not knowing what the next move is like say…. third-world mission. I have been teared up from the past mission videos. Yet, there’s mortgage to pay off. There’s car payments. And there’s more. When will we ever go oversea? Heck, I don’t even know for sure if God has called us to that. We just have to remember to deny ourselves and pick up our cross daily.

I am looking forward to visiting RTS Seminary school. I understand that Seminary school can be a very scary place. I even heard some folks just distanced themselves from Christ. I truly believe I am not going that route. For such a long time, I have stuck to the Lord because I know He is the Almighty. Whether I would think my thinking make sense or not, His thinking will make more sense because He is God. I will never know the totality of His plan. But I’m going to be rest assured He is God. But hey, it’s all in God’s hand whether I’m accepted to seminary or whether God have me somewhere else. Praise Him anyways!

I have been applying for jobs. At the same time, I have to remain calm and trust God wherever He puts me. Though I am sad. 😦

So what’s been happening with me and Selina?

Saturday February 1, we volunteered at a friend’s ministry, teaching English to the Napali refugees. We also help set up coats drive for them. They were filled with joy getting jackets to wear. After helping teach English, my wife, one other youth, and I went to pass out jackets that were given to us to give to a Montagnard family at the backyard of our church. We visited Nin Nin family’s home and conversed while they dig through the boxes for the coat they like. They were hospitable and their mom cooked eggrolls for us. Later that day, we took the three kids to Chuckee Cheese because we don’t think they go out and have fun much. I’m not a Chuckee Cheese person, but the expression on the kids face brightened up the day while we were there. They were having a great time. Our goal was to build relationship.

On Saturday February 8, we volunteered again at my friend’s ministry. Later that same day, we brought plates, cups, and more clothes to the Montagnard family that we received from my friend’s ministry because they do not need it. This time, we set up boxes outside and all of their friends came out and picked out items. Two little boys came up acted like they did not need anything because they were “rich”. I was a little shocked but I know they were just ashamed. I wanted to tell them that I was a refugee myself and that my family started from scratch – but was given helped from a great Sponsor. Anyhow, ended up throwing footballs with the two boys. It was pretty cool.

Selina and I don’t know where this is going, but we believe God could be preparing us for something greater. Maybe oversea mission? I sure hope so. Praise God as always.

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Please continue to pray for us.

Sobe

the Joy in trusting God

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It’s been tough hearing news that you don’t want to hear, especially about work. Yesterday, was that day! However, it’s been such a joy trusting in God. I’m going to trust Him with my all. I am  going to show God that I can trust Him. I am going to nail it! You betcha!

But I just want to cry sometimes…

Even though it’s a pain, I will trust Him. Even though it hurts, I will trust Him. Even though I don’t know the outcome, I will trust Him.  I’m not going to be big-headed and say it easy to trust Him… because the inside, I want to cry, wrap myself up and hide. But yet I know there’s better thing with God when we lean on Him. Right now, how am I feeling? Man, so much joy and peace.    

Can you pray for me and my spouse? Just pray for God’s will in our lives. That’s it.

 

Thank you,

Sobe

Heart

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I don’t know if you understand what my heart is feeling.

My passion is that the world may know Jesus Christ and that God will be glorified. I don’t care! I want the world to know that God exists and He is Holy and Just. He is sovereign. He is patient. He is super slow to anger. He is awesomely powerful. And yes, He has a wrath side to Him. But He is a very loving God. I’m just going to ramble on here… I think. I hate-hate-hate so much that the churches of today love to sugar coat the bible just so that they can keep audiences and bring more of them. I’m not saying we shouldn’t bring more people to church. I am saying, what is our motive? Think! When I say audiences, I mean it. Do the churches view people as the body of Christ or just another audience? Are we trying to strengthen the body of Christ and bring people to salvation and send them out on a mission, or are we trying to bring more audiences so that they can fill the room and give tithes? Nowadays, the church loves to preach on love. Oh the fluffy messages. While it is true that the bible teaches us about love, there are other sides of the story. I bet you most churches don’t preach on the wrath of God that backs up by love.

Lately, I have been in distressed. I look at the world’s view in social media from the disgusting comments to hearing and receiving responses just blatantly ridiculing the deity of Christ. I went to an NFL game for the panthers and 49ers’ playoff just yesterday because a friend gave me two free tickets. While being in the crowd, I heard a lot of cursing, excessive drinking, and just God’s name being used in an utter disgusting ways. Yes it was cool that a pastor prayed before the game, but… sigh, no comment. I see churches everywhere, every corner, every street, oh just everywhere. But what good is the church?

Then I think about the Super Bowl. Read some article talking about human trafficking at the Super Bowl. Seriously? Where’s humanity?

I am saddened by prosperity gospel. I am saddened by TV evangelical healers who only wants to deceive people for money and their own personal gain. I am tired. I am heart-broken. I am tired of hearing about Christians believing that loving people means to tolerate their behavior and to accept for who they are. While it is true to some degree to accept them, I believe we’re distorting what love is. Jesus came to earth, loved the people but also preached and spoke the TRUTH. I mean He spoke the TRUTH to the point that people cringed. But now in this society, we can’t speak the truth or else someone will get offended and calls it discrimination. By no means am I saying that we should reject or hate gays. All I am saying is, why aren’t the Christians grounded/rooted in the Truth/Faith? It’s important that we stay rooted. We can love people and stay rooted in God’s word! Loving people, does not mean tolerating sin. Remember, God HATES sin but He LOVES us… very much.

At times, I dislike Christians and love more of non-believers. Maybe this is why some “christians” turn away from Christ and just doesn’t go to church anymore. They hate what Christians are doing. This reminds me of the Lukewarm passage in Revelation. By the way, it is sad that society seems to disregard the book of Revelation. Too scared? Lame.

And what’s the deal with “God is leaning in MY directions, MY favor?” Then next day, your attitude on life is like low. It was never your direction. I was aching when I saw someone’s status. No look! It’s not about you. It’s about a Holy and Almighty powerful sovereign God that you lean-to Him, His way.

Then I look at myself. I am disgusting. The sin in me, dislike! Reminds me of Romans 7:14. You get the point. I do not deserve Him. But He loves me. He forgives me. Because of that I strive to be OBEDIENT to the Lord and accept His Grace and consider myself a child of the One True King. I don’t want to be a person that sins and ask God for forgiveness and sins and ask God for forgiveness. I want to get it right! But yes we will fail at times. I don’t want our lives to be careless. I don’t want people to think just because you’re covered under grace does not mean you can do sinful things. No! Because of God’s grace, we ought to strive for EXCELLENCE.

In conclusion, all I need to remember is that God is sovereign. I remembered a story that Frances Chan used. He told how he was playing an arcade game with his little daughter. His daughter holds the controller while he holds the controller on top of his daughter’s hands. In the end, they beat the monster or whatever they were playing. The child goes yay thinking she did something but when she didn’t do anything. He illustrates this by showing that God is in total control and does not need our help. He has already got it covered. God’s got it! But God wants us to be a part of His plan. He wants us to ride and work gloriously for His Kingdom on an amazing journey with Him. Through all the courses, we truly see God’s hand at work. We see beauty like never before. That doesn’t mean I’m going to slack off and sit at home as a bum. It just means, we need not to be in distressed, but to trust God. Simple! Like have you ever hear stories on how God was at work right there and then? I want that! We got to keep pursing God’s heart like king David. We’ve got to be obedient and serve one another in love through the Truth.

Sobe

Operation Possible

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Yesterday, we were blessed to have the opportunity to serve the refugees in the apartment complex behind our church. A month ago, I had little doubt that we will get 50 shoe boxes with toys. But praise God because He good as we obtained a little over 50 boxes filled with items. All of this came from a burden that God pressed on my heart. The youth and young adults came together and worked on this project. Ahhh! God is at work. The Holy Spirit is wonderful.

Our first stop was at Hinh Hinh, Ninh Ninh and Cho San’s apartment.  They are our regular students at our weekly Tuesday tutoring session.  With their help, they lead us to each family and as we handed out gifts to the kids, their face lit up as bright as the sun and a smile appeared from their mouth.  Many of these families are refugees and due to financial difficulties, many of these kids never received a Christmas gift before.  Thanks be to God for the opportunity to serve our community, especially during a time when most people are so focus on themselves or their loved ones that they tend to forget about the less fortunate.  Im so proud of our youth and young adult for coming together to help make this possible for these families!  Praise be to God!Image

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Sobe and Selina