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belations December 23, 2005

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Sorry for taking so long, Jamie and I were preparing for our trip for the holidays and we had a lot of “wrappng” things up for the ministry. I want to thank all of you for our prayers and words of email, comments and chatting online…

Jamie and I arrived Tuesday night into the city and discovered a very upturned city as the transit strike was well on its way. Christmas season seemed belated and somehow subdued with all the streets a bit deserted and people looked determined. I miss this city.

Well, things have been a whirlwind and here is a quick update.

-In a matter of one week, I was invited to speak at college conference for an Asian American ministry of Campus Crusades for Christ called EPIC at Texas (thanks to a great referral from Patrick. Thanks Pat, you and Vicky are always in my prayers and your wife’s constance of encouragement has been great). I was able to express my passions to Clement, the coordinator and told him that I would pray about it. Four days later, I found out the conference was cancelled. Please pray for this Asian American ministry as it continues to seek to reach those on campus. I appreciated Clement and his challenge to the students to not be just a “religious huddle.” I hope to connect with him this upcoming week to see how he is doing.

-I have been asked to speak for the winter retreat for the youth at Long Island Abundant Church for President’s Day weekend, as well as for a Korean church in the Syracuse area praying for wisdom and for diligence in balancing my speaking time with funding. I am looking forward to speaking at Grace Christian Fellowship at Cornell at the end of January. I have also been asked to speak at a youth coffeehouse at Chinese Evangel Mission Church Queens in April.

-We are working out the logistics with the CCOWE conference in July, as they cannot pay for my way to Macau in July, they are asking that we coordinate a teleconference or a recorded presentation. I am looking forward to see how things go.

-I approached some more individuals for funding from Redeemer, my local church in NYC and it turns out that many of the people are financially committed to the church’s Vision Campaign. It is an amazing ministry and the overall feeling I get from the church family is that they are really expecting great impact in this city. So, in one sense, I am discouraged but in another way, I am caught breathless that His church is at work mightily to proclaim the hope we have in Christ.

-I am going to get creative in terms of funding and hopefully connect with some people in Syracuse and also in other Asian American ministry circles, I know that there are many challenges but I also know that there are many worthy workers out there who are part of the need….as long as the gospel is being preached in the minds and hearts of people, I will remain on course…

-Thanks for voting on the website, it should be launched by this week! I will keep you posted as soon it is up!

-Personal prayer request! Jamie and I had some wonderful time with my family here in NYC. They just returned from a three week vacation with my sister in San Fran and was concerned with her family as she is going through so much as a single mom. If you can remember her and her two children. Jamie and I are heading to see her parents in HK. We hope that it will be a time of connecting with them and expressing the love we have for one another. I hope to spend some time with some local churches as well to see how ministry is run there.

Okay, that is all folks, if you are interested in partnering with this ministry please give me an email at ong.peter@gmail.com.

You can send your check to PaLM at 48-19 196th Street, Fresh Meadows, NY 11365-1316. Please indicate on your check that is for the Laity Project/Peter Ong

Thanks and have a great holidays and reflecting on God’s goodness.

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an excerpted chat with David Par December 15, 2005

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For those who are interested…here is a chat I had with David Park about Asian American ministry…

Return of the King December 12, 2005

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Hey folks,

I am on lunch break from my part-time job so here is my Monday updates! I just returned from my weekend trip to NYC. My friend Wai, John and Rich came with Jamie and I to NYC and they were able to take a look around while Jamie worked on her papers, and Melanie, Jamie’s sister studied for her GRE. I was finishing up my sermon and ministry plan.

It was a good time for me to eat some dim sum, have great sushi and to run into my inspiring norman at sushi. It was a good time and had a great time meeting with Chinese Christian Church of NJ missions board regarding supporting me in ministry. I met with them for two hours and then had to preach. I taught on Genesis 22: 1-19 on the testing of Abraham and it was great to see so many youth there in this congregation. Drove home exhausted and slept for 10 hours…

The Ministry Plan is about finished, I will be posting it on the group as a pdf file…please give me your feedback.

Here is a chat I had with Dave Park about the immigrant and Asian American church.

Please make sure you vote on the website templates you like for me at the polls section in the group.

Praise:

A pastor approached me this week and asked that I send him my prayer support letter because his church would like to support me.

During the Missions Board meeting there was a member who challenged me and encouraged me to developing this ministry because of the need. He also challenged me to go to seminary for the kingdom.

For my wife, during the missions meeting, she was such a support to me and it was something that opened my eyes to her direct support for me in ministry.

My friend Jenny approached the board of this ministry and asked that they support me.

Prayer:

Financial situation looks like it is moving but slowly. Pray that I am diligent in prayer and trusting in His provision. I have to draft a Christmas support letter.

I have been asked to speak at Long Island Abundant Life’s winter retreat in February and another ministry in upstate NY asked me to be there winter speaker. Pray that God gives me wisdom and discerntment that what seems overwhelming, He woud provide for strength.

I was challenged to think about my speaking engagement with TECBC and thinking that I would rather serve the kids and the organizers instead of speaking.

Pray for the Academy for Asian American Laity would come along. I am looking at some dates in April for the launch of the Academy and to see where this would lead us. I will be leveraging Intervarsity and Alliance Theological Seminary. I am still working on connecting with some pastors to talk about some topics of interest for their congregations.

I am working with OCM on an Refl3ctions event in Chinatown for youth outreach…pray for logistics and for God to guide this event…for a larger equipping of the church.

Jamie is in Final week at ESF and have papers and exams, pray that I can serve her well and be a support to her during this week and also for us to grow during this whirlwind period.

Advent Rising December 5, 2005

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“Here the impossible union Of spheres of existence is actual, Here the past and future Are conquered, and reconciled”-T. S. Eliot, from The Four Quartets

Hello Friends,

Happy Monday to you all. I pray that this finds you well and for all you East Coast friends, you had your first dose of snow. It is the second week of Advent as we reflect on the coming of the Lord in the form of a newborn child. During worship on Sunday, my heart was overwhelmed to tears to recognize the depth of my sin but more powerfully the measure of His love. That came in the desperate cry of a child in the company of confused parents:

“He has regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden,” said Mary when she saw, accepting her nothingness, the essential love of God and felt her flesh become the dwelling place and nourishment of the Word Incarnate. How wonderful that Mary’s nothingness should attract God’s all. What sweetness in her prayer when she recognized that she was at the opposite pole from God, where humility not only becomes the acceptance of love, but is one of its demands.”-Carlo Carretto, Letters from the Desert

I hope as Christmas approaches, we are reflecting on the advent journey of this child. I will be posting a reflection of Jesus as priest and king on a seperate blog on Wednesday. As part of my ministry, I wanted to have some writings and spiritual musing for expressing some of my thoughts and rants about ministry and my pilgrimage.

I want to thank you all again for the encouragement. I want to thank Jenny for giving me some funding leads and for always encouraging me. Also want to thank DJ Chuang for giving me some perspective on ministry and look forward to connecting with him and listen to his thoughts on Asian American ministry. I also connected with a youth pastor in GA who i hope to connect with soon. This blog is getting some exposure so that is great to know.

I am posting some support forms on the Yahoo Group so that it would make things easier if people want to support me. Thanks friends who gave me some advise on this.

Personal Items:

Tears: I cried at service…it started with songs that are familiar to me…but then realized the depth of my sin…my heart was reminded that 9 years ago…this prodigal son brought me home and then have blessed me so much in my life…even in the midst of so many hardships, God called…in the depths of my sin…he is so faithful.

Married life has been good. Jamie and I are attending a couples fellowship where we are studying Love and Respect Series. It has been a time of refreshing…there is great intimacy and affection in our relationship but also places of healing and restoration. Pray for us to be strengthened to be the man and woman He created us to be and that we may serve others.

Family We are planning to spend time with folks as we come back to NYC and then with Jamie’s parents in HK. Pray for interaction and reflection of the love we have for one another because of Christ.

Pray for my sister as she is going through transitions and raising the kids on her own. She accepted Christ a few months ago and still trying to sort out her faith in the midst of many trials.

Syracuse Alliance Church (our home church here) has asked me to come aboard to serve as an advisor to the youth ministry and also to observe on their strategic meeting. I am a bit ambivalent as it seems that there seems to be a great deal of struggles as the church seeks to move forward. I attended a SonLife Youth Ministry Strategy Seminar this past weekend and took in a lot of the challenges that face the youth ministry. Pray for servant heart and to allow God to use me.

Ministry Items:

-Funding:
I had some leads this week and that I will be able to follow through on those. Pray for boldness and sharing. I am meeting with the missions board of the Chinese Community Church of NJ this coming Sunday as I am speaking. I will be preaching on Christ as the fulfillment of Isaac.

-As I mentioned earlier, my friend Jenny gave me some names for me to pursue a partnership with. I hope that those meetings go well.

-I am praying that I could approach some individuals in Syracuse to connect and partner with them for this vision.

-I am trying to form a committee of intercessors who can pray for me and also serve as a sounding board to raise some funds. Pray that I ask with humility and wisdom those who are close to the ministry to join me.

-Praises! There were some more funding that came in but at this rate, I won’t be able to get paid till next year! But I have faith for He is the Lord who provides.

-Sending out my prayer support letter to Church missions board. I will also send another appeal letter to some of my friends and supporters.

-Speaking:
I have decided that I will speak at Teen Eastern Chinese Bible Conference if their first choice cannot speak. The theme is Hope…which is awesome! Please pray for discernment and passion as I prepare my heart.

I am still praying about the New York Summer Conference and their theme is persevering faith. The organizer and I are good friends and I served before there as a workshop leader and see how God has used the conference to do amazing things.

I had a good talk with Joel, a staff at Cornell who is facilitating the Grace Christian Fellowship retreat in January where I will be speaking. They are still developing a theme and expressed that they have several non-believers coming which is such a burden of my heart.

Academy
I am finishing up the surveys for the churches and also organizing a date for the academy. I was thinking of having an emphasis on youth ministry and leadership the first time around. But thinking of contextualizing it and partnering with Intervarsity and other institutions.

Website
I am in the midst of making a website for my personal ministry page. I have asked a good friend of Jamie’s to develop it and I should have it up soon. I hope to get it up before Christmas.