Thursday, July 5, 2018

a move across the world

I'm getting ready for a wedding. And I’m moving to Kentucky. 

Two years ago, when I packed up my purple suitcases, cried, hugged my parents goodbye, and moved across the world, I gave God the commitment I'd stay in Hong Kong until I died if He wanted me to. But I was hoping He didn’t want me to. 

These two years have been really hard and really beautiful.

Jesus wants our attention. He wants us to want Him. He moved me to Asia and He got my attention. He became my strength, the mercy that forgave me when I fell apart, and the truth that showed me how trustworthy He is. He's getting us ready for a wedding - forever spent with Him in love. 

I have a tendency to want to be a hero - to work, to strive, to sacrifice - and closedown the red light districts and save the world. But God isn’t looking for a hero, He’s looking for a lover. Over the past few months of praying and asking wise people for advice, I've sensed that God was telling me it's ok to leave Hong Kong because He has change for me coming up. In the midst of these months, there's also been a fear that I am not good at this "missionary" thing. 

"Is two years enough time to live in a place?"
"Will everybody think I should stay longer?"
"But all the red-light districts haven't closed down yet?"
"I haven't even learned a new language."
"Oh no."

But then Jesus, He enters the conversation I'm having with myself and He tells me I don't have to be afraid (some of His favorite words). He's not looking for a hero, He's looking for a lover. 

The Lamb in love - He’s the reason I’ve spent two years in Asia, and He’s the reason I’m moving to Kentucky. He's taken these two years and made love grow in me, gotten rid of stuff that was no good, and shown me way more of His giant remarkable Heart. Along the way, He's helped women quit prostitution, helped me teach kids in the Philippines about how close He wants to be to them, let me journey to India, Thailand, China, Singapore, England, Holland, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Andorra, and in every step, shown me and others how awesome He is. God has a giant remarkable Heart and we get to discover it. Wow. 

The time's coming when I’ll look back and remember the days I walked through red light districts wearing matching t-shirt’s with my friends; “FAMILY IS REVIVAL” written big across our backs. The nights I sang those words, “I’m no longer a slave to fear” loud in the living room floor, my voice blended with my African sisters’ voices, all of us happy to be forgiven and set free. The Sunday's I went to church as a minority, surrounded by beautiful people who looked different than me. The fall-apart cries I had as I mourned the moments I was missing with my family, while Jesus held me and sang and love grew. These days are amazing ones. And I know the next ones will be, too. 

My heart being given to Him, secretly adoring Him inside of me where no one else can see - this is His greatest desire and the first command He gave me. Me loving Him - it's the main thing. I can't and I won't forget that.

In Kentucky, I’m going to fall deeper in love with Jesus as I help others do the same. While all this love-falling is happening, I'll also help run a food truck for Daylight Church with my best friend, feed the homeless, preach the Gospel, sell great food, and live with some of my favorite people in the world. I'll be in Hong Kong until October, then go on a lovesick evangelism tour through a few countries in Southeast Asia, then move back across the world to start the new adventure. The plan is to live in the U.S. for about a year. We'll see what God wants to do with me after that. 

All you beautiful people praying for me, sending me mail, giving me money, being my friend; thank you. These two years in Hong Kong have been fruitful ones - many people getting to know Jesus a lot better - and we've got to help that happen together. 

A safe house in Hong Kong, a food truck in Kentucky; the main thing's still the main thing. He wants all I am. And He wants all you are. As I keep giving Him myself, continually amazed at the way He is, I get to help others give Him all of themselves, too. And that's what He wants! All of us! Oh to be loved like this! 
It's good, it's good, it's good. 

"You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. This is the first and greatest commandment."
Mark 12:30

*photo taken in 2015 when I came to Hong Kong for the first time