A Reflection on My Sabbatical
Thank you so much for giving me this chance to have a sabbatical. It was such an incredible time of growth and refreshment. God did a lot of work that I pray he will continue to use to make me more like Christ and a better pastor for you.
I had three specific prayer requests going into my time away. The first request was for truly refreshing rest. That was achieved, but not in the way I expected. I thought I would enjoy sleeping in, working out, and going on vacation. God had other plans. At the beginning of my time, I contacted a pastor friend and asked if he would give me spiritual direction. He led me on a deep dive into myself, my family, and my culture, focusing my attention on generational sins and struggles, the immigrant experience, and past trauma.
In this process, I interviewed a lot of my family members (my parents, aunts, uncles, and my sister) and I spent time reflecting on my own experiences. My eyes were opened as I identified generational sin that was prevalent in me that I had been ignoring, Coming face to face with the results of sin and trauma in my life brought healing and a new commitment to allow the Redeemer to continue sanctifying me. This process wasn’t easy. It was full of emotional times (I’ll admit I cried), but rest came because the stuff that was pushed into the dark, came to light.
The second request was for a renewed vision for Waypoint. Prior to embarking on sabbatical, I told the staff that if they gave me a list of some of their favorite Christian books, I would read all of them over my break (some of the staff really jumped at this challenge and I made it through most of them). This helped orient my mind and heart, and I’ll bring these to the church library if anyone wants to borrow them. As I reflected, I realized again that God has blessed us with a unique church and a wonderful vision, and I’m so excited to come back and be on mission together.
One specific lesson I learned is that God is faithful to complete the mission he has given us. I saw this play out specifically with the Gambia and Malaysia. God brought these two nations to our hearts several years ago and we started out with so much momentum, but during the past two years, it just felt like nothing was happening. However, over the course of the past couple of months God has opened more doors than we could have imagined. In the Gambia we were able to be in contact with a church that shares the same mission to the Jahanke people and they have a Christian medical clinic that we can help serve. And in Malysia, God is opening up a door for us to provide missionaries by opening up a Sushioki in Kuala Lumpur. It’s plain to me that what God has called us to do, he is faithful to complete! I feel like the man in the parable of the growing seed (Mark 4:26-29) with a crop that has come up while I was sleeping!
The third request was about a vision Jina and I have for a school for exceptional children. During this time of prayer, we are confirmed that this is something we truly desire and something that is needed in this community. We have shared with others who share this vision, but we lack the funds needed. If it is going to happen, we need God to provide powerfully and abundantly. We remain in a posture of expectant prayer, and we ask you to join us.
Waypoint family, I truly believe God has called us to be kingdom advancers in this place. I have renewed hope to see God’s mercy, grace, justice, and love flowing into our community and the world. I believe we are called by God not because you’re awesome, but because he loves us so much--and I think you guys are really awesome. I love you all. May we be united with a passion for his name and a desire to see his kingdom come!