Hello Christ Journey Family!
It has been a whirlwind of a semester and some time since I last wrote you. In this time as usual we have blessings and prayer requests to share. I should go ahead and share the big news, that Maggie and I are going to have a baby! We are so excited, nervous and thankful in this time. We would love to invite you to join us in praying for this precious little life that we think about so often and are waiting so eagerly for. Pray that our baby will be healthy, pray that Maggie and I will be faithful in serving as parents and pray that baby will ultimately come to know the Lord and receive His grace. Also be praying for us to have wisdom in how we approach family and ministry, as these are two giant responsibilities that we have from the Lord, and only by His grace can we serve well.
We continue to see blessings and encouragements in this time, even as we face some challenges. We have continued to do a mix of teaching, training and outreach as our main work. This semester I got to train one of our older guys (his name is Xiao Feng) to lead Bible study. The first time he led study I helped him prepare and saw that he has a passion for studying God’s word and wanted to lead well. He said the first time went ok, but by the second time he led, he was feeling much more confident. At the same time, I’ve begun discipling a new freshman boy in our group named Zhang En. We are doing a study that includes basic principles about how to live as a Christian and learn from God’s word. I’m excited and praying for his relationship with God, that he could grow and learn in this time and realize more and more how precious Jesus is.
As for outreach, I can say that on the one hand we have indeed built many connections and gotten to share the gospel with many students. We trust and hope that seeds are being planted, but at the same time we haven’t had any people come to Christ yet this semester. This is sometimes a struggle for me, as I want to see lives changed and God glorified. However if I’m honest with myself, I can still struggle to think that this is what determines if I am a success or not. In this way, I’m prone to make outreach about me rather than about Him, and that is something that I need to confess and need prayer for. Even after being here for 7 years, I see how deeply I need to understand the gospel, how much more I need to cherish God’s glory.
I am currently reading St. Augustine’s confessions, and in it he writes of a time that his mother would weep and pray for him to return to Christ. Augustine wrote that his mother prayed and wept for him more than a mother weeps for a child that physically died because she understood that he was spiritually dead. And in assurance to her, a young parson said “Surely the son of these tears will not perish.” This sobers me to remember that what we are proclaiming is the way to life. We bring truth and good news and it is right to grieve when people reject it. But we must trust in God, that He is the one at work in us, and He will not fail to accomplish His good purposes. And so I’m moved to pray for the students that I have connected with this year, to pray that the Lord would mercifully touch their hearts and that I would be a willing servant to speak His gospel. Pray that I too would trust in God more and live to glorify Him. At home, at work, and in the ministry.
May God bless you all and encourage you too to join His work, whether in Miami or Asia, of sharing the good news and living to be a blessing to your community.
~ Lukas & Maggie