6/16/2019

moving in my heart

LOGAN Hope 2019. Hi hey hello! Preparations for my mission trip have been steady and ongoing, so a catch-up on the blog is quite long overdue. Since the last post, I've 1) sent out my support letter, 2) learned the importance of cherishing the Gospel, 3) participated in refreshing email prayer chains with my team, and a lot more that I'll elaborate on. It is officially T-14 days until we leave for LOGAN Hope.

Something that I've been wondering recently: what does this trip mean for me, what does this trip mean for the greater community, and what does this trip mean for the Kingdom? One thing's for sure: ever since I made the choice to obey Him through missions, I'm seeing, more and more, how relentlessly He moves, how gracious He is, and how much more broken I am.

MUSCLES


Like I mentioned, my team's email prayer chains have been very rejuvenating for me. We've completed three chains so far, and these are some of the topics that we prayed about:
  • God's presence: to invite Him to work at LOGAN Hope
  • God's work: for seeds of God's truths to be planted and watered in the hearts and minds of the children
  • Deepening: for deeper relationships within the team and with LOGAN Hope
  • Strength: for the emotional and physical health of each team member
  • Spirit-led: for the Holy Spirit to bring spiritual breakthroughs, cover logistics, and make divine appointments for us to share our testimonies with the community
I'm reminded again and again of just how powerful prayer is, so I'm glad that I've been better exercising my prayer muscles through this mission trip. We've also been exercising our actual muscles to get strong and healthy before we head to LOGAN Hope! ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ (I am in love with this determined text symbol face that is now a keyboard shortcut on my phone)
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
1 Corinthians 3:7

Prayer requests: I would appreciate it so much if you could pray over these topics with us. Each and every prayer counts!

HEART


LOGAN Hope School was originally founded to serve the Cambodian refugee population of the Logan neighborhood in Philly. During the 70s, many Cambodians had fled from their country to escape the brutal genocide of the Khmer Rouge, but were left to face extreme poverty, health issues, and lack of education in their new environments. I had the opportunity to visit Cambodia during my family vacation last month, and I have a feeling that the Lord timed it that way for a reason. I was able to not only witness the natural beauty of the country, but also learn much more in-depth about Cambodia's history and people while I was there; specifically, about the atrocities that we can't even dare to imagine, about the dreadful trauma that followed those who escaped, and about the difficulties of pushing aside that very trauma to assimilate to a new culture, adopt a new language, and provide for one's family. I used to teach English to refugees in Philly from a wide range of countries, including Syria, Afghanistan, and Myanmar, and I distinctly remember how similar (and similarly traumatic) each of their stories were. The pain of trauma is unfathomable, debilitating, and lifelong—which all the more makes me yearn for refugees especially to know Christ and the Gospel.

A friend sent me a missions update from her own friend back home who had recently returned from a mission trip to Cambodia. From that letter, this spoke to me profoundly:
"In Cambodia, where the dominant culture still assumes that the soul and the supernatural exist, the thing that most hits home for people is that you don't have to earn God's love."
My heart has grown so much for the children I'll soon be encountering on missions, and my hope is that God will use me well as His vessel to love and encourage them.

Prayer requests: Please pray that God will keep my heart soft and open towards the children of LOGAN Hope and that He'll be ever-present in the children's hearts, too. If there is any trauma that is still lingering or affecting their families, pray with me that He will comfort and heal them.


MIND


So, I had a little mishap with getting my background checks completed. I'd like to attribute it to the fact that my mind has been absolutely all over the place ever since I returned to Philly... I had gotten my fingerprints done with a fellow teammate and was supposed to mail them to a federal office in Virginia last week, but for some reason I thought it was fine to write no address or return address on the envelope (or even stick on a stamp) before throwing it into a mailbox on the street. LOL. I realized my mistake two days later and couldn't find another solution besides redoing and resending them.

I started work the day after I got back from vacation, and adjusting has been a bit hectic and rocky as I am in the midst of trying to figure out how to balance everything else in my life with work life (the most important aspect being relationships). Sounds like the typical dilemma of a new young adult, eh? As frazzled as I am, it's also been just a few weeks, so I'm brushing aside the worrywart in me and telling myself that things can only get better from here. I'm grateful for my coworkers who are so sweet to me, for the fun tasks I get to do, and for the loving community I can come home to every day. I simply need some extra willpower to stay strong through the rough patches, because I don't think I really have ample time for significant rest and reflection until after this mission trip.

There are a few other matters that are contributing to my overwhelmed state of mind and that I still need to come to terms with, namely 1) during my vacation, I became aware of some hard things to swallow about my relationship with my family, 2) someone stole my beloved bike, 3) I'm moving to a new apartment at the end of this week and no longer living alone, and 4) I found out that my best friend won't be coming back to Philly from what was supposed to be temporary time at home due to unforeseen circumstances. It's kind of a random mix—but honestly, more than anything, I've just been experiencing a lot of unexpected sadness from it all that's making my mind quite murky. Wah. :'(

Prayer requests: I'm planning to send out my new fingerprints this week, so please lift a prayer for the rest of the procedure to go smoothly! Spiritual attack whilst God's work is being done is very real, so please pray for my mind to stay focused on the Lord and for me to be able to have good rest and time for processing everything after missions.

Interestingly, although I have many, many thoughts and feelings as I head into my mission trip, I don't think I have specific expectations. Rather, I'm trusting that the Lord will move as He always does—and whichever direction He chooses, my heart will follow. I'm asking the Lord to keep me grounded in Him, to deepen my love for serving His people, and to provide me with a more humble, bold, and disciplined heart.

Finally, I want to share a song that my church often sings during worship and is now my current go-to when I'm walking on the streets or sitting on the bus. It's Elevation Worship's Here Again, and boy does it get to me every time.

Can't go back to the beginning
Can't control what tomorrow will bring
But I know here in the middle
Is the place where You promise to be

I'm not enough unless You come
Will You meet me here again
'Cause all I want is all You are
Will You meet me here again

As I walk now through the valley
Let Your love rise above every fear
Like the sun shaping the shadow
In my weakness Your glory appears

I'm not enough unless You come
Will You meet me here again
'Cause all I want is all You are
Will You meet me here again


Not for a minute
Was I forsaken
The Lord is in this place
The Lord is in this place
One of the comments on the YouTube video says, "[I'm] blasting this on replay until every barrier and bondage is broken." I feel this on so many levels. Same dude, same.

Thanks for reading, guys. And thanks for partnering with me on this journey! Here's to cherishing the Gospel—not only for missions, but also throughout all contexts of life.
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the Gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last.
Romans 1:16-17

Much love,
Chaereen