It’s been a while since my last message. We have had a wonderful Christmas and new year time and I’d love to share about how things are going over here.
As I review the last semester, there are many blessings to share. This past semester has been one of growth for Maggie and I. We have been studying a book with our small group that seeks to get at the heart of Christ’s message. The book challenges us not to merely do things because we feel we ought to, but to learn to delight in His will so that we delight in our service and relationship with Him. While this may seem obvious, I feel so convicted of how I need to grow in this regard. It so easy for me to let results and recognition drive me, but what He wants the most is for me to be driven by a delight in Him. When I reflect on this, it makes me more motivated to spend time reading, studying, thinking and serving. I have also been blessed to join a monthly men’s study at the church that is helping me learn alongside other guys my age and be more lead and supported by local leaders.
Christmas was a particularly sweet and eventful time for us. The lead up to Christmas was busy as we helped our church with the young adult events, even as we still coordinated the college event. For our college students, we had a party with singing, teaching, discussion and a gift exchange with students from 4 different campuses. It was a fun and encouraging time where we got celebrate with our gardener students and continue to share story of Jesus with students from the school. CJC’s support allowed us to purchase 50 copies of a book called “How people change” by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp. It is a reflective book that I hope will help students be drawn nearer to the heart of the Christian life. Indeed your partnership supported many of our activities for this semester and we just want to thank you deeply for working alongside us.
The young adult events were organized by one of our small group members who recruited our help. They had a new idea: rather than have a single large Christmas party, they asked 20 families to host a small party where they invited their friends and neighbors to attend. Maggie, who has ample experience doing Christmas activities at her work, lead the way in organizing games and decorations. We also helped create materials to help host families lead the event and have a simple way to share the basic Christmas story and its implications for us today. We attended one of the parties and had a great time and feel it is a reminder that sometimes small and simple activities provide great opportunities for people to connect and share life together.
After the rush of all the Christmas activities, we got to enjoy a more quiet Christmas day. We had been reading an advent reading plan that month, which helped us to reflect more deeply on what it is we celebrate each year. Once the new year came in, it was back to work with grading final papers and end of the semester paperwork. Now that I have completed all that, I am taking time to reflect and think about the next semester. We will also go to Maggie’s hometown next week to spend the lunar new year there. Please be lifting up our time with them, that we can keep sharing with them and loving them. Also be thinking of our plans and preparations for next semester. I want to find ways to do more activities like the Christmas one that mobilize more people to interact with students in environments that build relationships and give people a chance to experience christian community. In many ways it remains our dream to be people who are not just serving but also moving others to serve for His glory.
Lukas and Maggie