As I write, I am currently sitting in the lounge of the CIU’s fitness building using the wireless internet on campus. So much has happened since I’ve last written, but I’ll try to write it in some coherient manner.
Last time, I asked for prayer for two issues, and God has answered them both!!
1) Lonn, my roommate, had received my security deposit with no problems. I met him when I arrived at the place yesterday and he’s a nice guy. I also met the neighbors. The guy who lives beside us is an Ohio State fan (unfortunately), but he does like basketball, which strangely enough, was really encouraging. Also, praise God that the place that I’m living at is pretty nice. Its spacious and the kitchen has a ridiculous amount of space AND it is literally a 5 minute walk away from campus!
2) The 2nd prayer request was concerning the cost for the fall semester. As of the beginning of the month, I needed $1,700, which I didn’t have, but was rather trusting God, through prayer and faith, to provide. Thankfully, He has! Thank you to all who joined me in faithfully praying for the Lord’s provision in this!
While I was shopping with my family down here at CIU, my mom sorta pulled me to the side a bit and handed me a check saying that they would like to support me. This was a big surprise because my parents had talked to me earlier in the summer about how now that I’m a seminary (grad) student, that I’m on my own financially. Of course, if I were ever in need, they’d help out, like food money, housing, etc, but for the tuiton and whatnot, I was on my own. They had suppored me 1/2 of the cost for my undergraduate studies, which is already a lot, so I already appreciate what they have done for me in that respect and thus was not expecting them to support me financially. So for them to support me was not only an answer to prayer, but also meant a lot to me. They also took me to Walmart (twice), Dollar store and a Chinese store to buy groceries and anything else that I needed! I am really thankful for them and appreciate all the support they have shown through the years.
Additionally, my parents told me that my grandmother will be sending me a check soon. This was a big surprise to me as well as earlier this summer she had given me, in addition to a “congrats on graduating” card, a small check for my seminary studies. So for her to send me a larger check, without me even talkign to her, and her not seeing this blog (because I dont’ think she’s techy enough, ha), is really an answer to prayer.
With those two checks, I am over the $1700 mark with a little bit left, possibly for books! Granted, these aren’t quite the random annoymous provisions that seem to pepper the stories of George Muller and Jim Cymbala, but I am still amazed at how God provided. The whole time, while driving down here (and with the $1700 hanging over my head), I was thinking to myself, “How will God provide? In what glorious manner is He going to amaze in the way He’ll provide?”
I was trying to keep thoughts of “Is God really going to provide? What do I do if He doesn’t provide?” out of my head. Instead, I’ve been trying to meditate on “How will he provide?” and for him to provide, through two unexpected sources, was pretty amazing!
On another note, my time here, short as it may, has already been encouraging. While here, we (parents, sister and I), we had dinner with Chuck Kwok (AFC board member) and his family, and the pastor and his wife of the local chinese church; we met with Robert McQuilkin, the 3rd president of CIU and friend of my father; had a meeting with Dr. Alex Luc, who might be one of my professors; and then met with Bill Jones, current president of CIU.
One thing that I came away with from the McQuilkin meeting was the motto of CIU: To know Him and to make Him known. I really like that as I can see how that succinctly summarizes the theme of the Bible. In some ways, I can really see how that has already been taugh to to me and permeated my thinking from my days at Calvary. Some themes that I can draw from my time at Calvary are “Blessed to be a blessing” and “Cat and Dog Theology,” which is about how the Bible/Christianity is all about God and his glory, and not about us.
But going back to the CIU motto, I think that should be the core of Christian living. Our focus individually should be to know Him, the Creator God, God Almighty, and our Lord and Savior. The Bible mentions so many times of how we should grow in the knowledge and love of Him. And although I can’t quite remember the phrase “personal relationship” anywhere in the Bible, God having and developing personal relationships with the different characters of the Bible is more than evident!
And then our second focus should be to make Him known to others since God no doubt expresses this desire consistently throughout the Bible. Growing up in Calvary church, missions seemed like a second nature to me. I always felt that a church without missions is like a McDonalds that doesn’t serve burgers, it just doesn’t make sense! So whenever I see a church where Missions (and Evangelism) isn’t preached, isn’t taught, isn’t considered… it breaks my heart.
So I’m really glad that CIU’s motto is “to Know Him and to make Him known!” I’m really looking forward to studying here and seeing what God has instored for me this semester. Once again, thanks for all prayer request in the past and present (and future! haha)!
-classes start Tuesday