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It’s been a two-year journey of self-discovery, introspection, and growing in faith. I have a couple weeks left of my missionary service. I officially end my service on July 11, 2014 as a Global Mission Fellows – US-2.

There has been laughter, tears, growing pains, joy, and dancing, over my mission service but through it all… God Is Able. God Is Able to Heal, Protect, Love, Provide, & Save. That was the theme of the Harambee¹ conference based on Ephesians 3: 20 I attended this past week. I believe the theme “God Is Able” should be the ubiquitous anthem or mantra for missionaries all over the world. It sums the work of missionary service very well. Missionaries are the vehicle to which God is building His Kingdom.  Missionaries are masons building the Kingdom of God. Kingdom builders. Plaster by Plaster. Brick by Brick. Making disciples for the transformation of the World.

And after my years of service, the most important message and take away I can offer to you all is that of grace.

My family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ, grace is the final word. It’s the final word I can garner to sum up my US-2 experience. Grace is the powerhouse propelling us into the self-hood that God calls us to be. It brings about the uniqueness of ourselves purposed for God. A professor from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Mark Teasdale said it well when he said, “grace is the empowerment to be able to move in the presence of God . The empowerment to please God, to be able to honor God and to live into holiness that God call us to.”

Mark Teasdale then continues to add, that [Grace is] “God empowering us to live according to God’s calling.”

Mission is grace. One of the interesting things I heard before I even moved to Chicago was spending time at Stony Point Center in New York for a few weeks of training with my fellow missionary class and hearing the phrase, “offering and receiving grace.” It was a relatively new term for me. I am not sure if it’s  just in missionary circles, or Methodist circles, but it spoke to me regardless. With better understanding of grace through the Global Mission Fellow program, from staff at Interfaith Worker Justice to Global Ministries, and all the people I have met along the way, I have a fuller appreciation of the term offering and receiving grace.

Missionaries in our world are offering and receiving grace simultaneously through the power of God. It emboldens and empowers individuals to seek and move in the presence of God. A presence of abundant love and peace. A presence of holiness.

Prayer: Gracious God whose love reigns over the whole world, provide us the opportunity to live fully into the people you call us to be. To be restored and renewed by the Holy Spirit when we fall short and in spite of ourselves. Our communities are hurting, our congregations are dwindling in size and there seems to be a lost of hope. There is talks of schism within the church, the Body of Christ. Deep suffering. Our world seem to be in chaos and disarray. But God you are truly able to as the scripture said to do anything. Please heal us. Let your love pour out into all our hearts so we can find reconciliation with other people,  ourselves, and most importantly with you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Go forth and offer and receive grace so you may ever be moved closer to the presence of God.

¹Harambee is a Youth Conference sponsored by BMCR (Black Methodist for Church Renewal) to develop skills that will increase their spiritual life, improve their leadership abilities and teach them the value of their interpersonal relationships.

To learn more about the young adult missionary program within the United Methodist Church, visit http://www.umcmission.org/gt

To donate to my advance, go to my missionary profile  and click “Give Now”

 

 

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They asked each other, “were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us? (Luke 24: 32)

The 2013 Nexus Conference was held in Chicago, IL. In its  first conference of ministry-based initiative to strategically network Korean-American ministries in their specific ministry endeavors was held in Wheaton College from July 10-13, 2013. A ministry that seeks to connect the English-speaking disciples of Jesus Christ who are of Korean descent and/or serve the Korean UMC.

I was honored to have Global Ministries invite me to engage, connect, and grow from the new development of Nexus made possible by work and ministry of Transgeneration Ministry (TG) and the Center for Korean-American English Ministries.  It was a pleasure to be welcomed  within the Korean-American community and witness their bold, inspirational project to building the connection and relational aspects within United Methodist Church for Korean-American communities. I got to worship, co-facilitate a workshop, and witness a new infrastructure starting to develop.

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Being held in Wheaton College, it brought me back to memories of being on a college campus. Some areas of the Wheaton College campus made me think of the Stamp Student Union and Memorial Chapel at my alma mater, the University of Maryland. The day was pleasant, the skies were blue, and grass was green. It felt like a summertime storybook.

In my co-facilitation and my missionary presence in the workshop, I got to hear Liz Lee, the Executive for Young Adult Mission Service of Global Ministires speak so eloquently about mission grounded in scripture, the historical landscape of mission and a contemporary assessment of mission in today’s world. The workshop was entitled Holistic Mission and Mission Opportunities Today. These kinds of opportunities to attend events like this always serve as a helpful reminder to my missionary service and what it truly means to be in mission. Missio Dei, God’s mission and not our own. And fairing out that my US-2 colleague reminded the US-2 cohorts of 2012 yesterday was the first day of our second year of mission service.

In Nexus’ theme, “the cross and flame, ” representative of the Methodist insignia, the Nexus mission takes from its Wesleyan heritage wanting to connect disciples of Jesus Christ to Transform the World.

If you want to check out Nexus UMC, click here for more information!

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Before I begin this post, I have two business items I would like to address and they are as follows:

1. Any material or opinion of this blog site does not reflect the beliefs or views of the General Board of Global Ministries nor the Interfaith Worker Justice. This blog is intended as a creative outlet, sometimes a spiritual discipline, and most importantly to connecting you all to my experiences, observations, and stories as a US-2 missionary for the United Methodist Church. It allows you the reader to gaze through my lens for the duration of your readership of my blog content. It is independent, and personal reflections on contemplative matters.

2. More likely than not I will never really offer a daily description or day-to-day activities of my work and so forth. Even when I draw from different events that happen it’s for grasping a larger idea or theme that I will be addressing in that particular blog post. Therefore do not expect so much details into events unless it’s life-altering and engages with the prophetic ministry in some capacity.

Additionally, I would like to point out that this is not a one monolithic story and mission of a missionary. My story is just one of my many and my story is to give you a full scope of what I experienced at particular time, at a particular place, from my particular perspective. As discussed in my training as a missionary, there is more than one story. There is even a danger to culminate a singular story for any individual or group of people. Chimamanda Adichie, a storyteller, in a TED talk reveals this issue further, so feel free to watch the video here.

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