A few things to start 2014

A week and a half into the new year, and I have a feeling it’ll be no surprise to you that life is busy! God is doing a lot, including much that I’ve yet to fully process; but I’m so excited for what this year will bring (not just for the wedding!). A few things:

1. The District Church continues to grow.
In the absence of a larger space (which we’re still looking for), we’re going to start having THREE services in Columbia Heights, in addition to our East Side campus. Which means that tomorrow I get to preach FOUR times. Pray for me!

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2. God continues to use us.
After TIME covered DC127 in the fall, our local paper (well, The Washington Post) wrote this story in late December — “DC127 aims to connect city’s foster children with families.” I’m so grateful to be part of a community that positions itself in such a way that God can use us and be glorified.

3. Catherine continues to heal.
My dear friend Catherine, who was hit by a car last fall, continues her recovery by the grace of God. She shares some of her thoughts on how trauma has impacted her here — “A New Normal” — and I’m so proud of her for putting this out there. I know, from talking to her, that it was difficult, even to post it. As she writes:

“Trauma upends everything we took for granted, including things we didn’t know we took for granted. And many of these realities I wish I’d known when I first encountered them. So, while the work of life and healing continues, here are ten things I’ve learned about trauma along the way.”

4. Wedding planning is full steam ahead.
We’re getting married in July, so it’s all systems go. A number of things have come together already, but there remains much to do. Prayers would always be appreciated. (You can check out some of our engagement pics on Facebook.)

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A long overdue update

Apologies for the gap in updates (posting other people’s words doesn’t count!). My parents used to email me when I hadn’t blogged in a few weeks to see if I was okay, because it was an indicator that there was a lot going on! And life has been very full lately, for a number of reasons; so here are some highlights from the last month and a half:

LST ChapelUK: For the last week, I’ve been back in London. I came for my old college roommate Kaz’s wedding, and have been trying to get some rest as well as catching up with old friends. Last Tuesday, I got to speak in chapel at my alma mater, London School of Theology. (Pic courtesy of @tomlcox)

EAST SIDE: We had a couple of great meetings–with a pastor and a school principal–before I left London about a place for the new community to meet regularly, so I’ll hopefully have some good news soon. We also did some prayer walking around the neighborhood recently that was extremely encouraging and reminded us that God’s already at work in our city–and we’re on the right track! More on this to come.

HEALTH: Some of you already know that I made a fun little trip to the emergency room the other week, with what I thought were breathing problems. Turns out, it was actually a heart thing, something called “premature ventricular contractions.” Two doctor friends have assured me that there’s no reason for concern, since I’m otherwise healthy; but I’ll be seeing my primary care physician and then (possibly) a cardiologist in the coming weeks to confirm it.

PRAYERS: Please keep praying: (1) for continued momentum on the East Side; (2) for all of the upcoming Easter festivities, as we remember the most momentous weekend in history; (3) for my health as I return to the States and get checked out.

Jeff & Erin's epic wedding trailer

In case you haven’t already seen this gem floating around the interwebs, check it out. I’m impressed not only by the awesomeness of the trailer and all the effort that went into a project that started as just some weekend fun, but perhaps more so because of their defiance of social height conventions. As a short Chinese man, it warms my heart. 🙂

I’d save the date, and I don’t even know them. Congrats, Jeff and Erin!

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On July 27, 1968, my parents got married.

As one of my models of marriage, I’ve seen from them what it looks like to choose to love, to choose to sacrifice for the other, and above all, to choose to trust God. I know that they remain firm in the belief that everything good (including a marriage spanning for decades) is only possible by the grace of God, and the testimony of their lives together reminds me that God is good, even through the hard times.

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad! I love you guys.