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Absence of a Voice April 10, 2006

Posted by peterong in Uncategorized.

Hello everyone, it has been a busy week and I have much to write about and very thankful for your audience and your words. Thanks for all of you who remind me that you read this blog and I hope that we continue to engage with one another to pray for mutual inspiration and encouragement. It is in this circle of friendship I feel most pointed towards God, so your presence in my life has been a true blessing in my walk with God.

Easter Reflections: Voices and Silence
Since undergoing this journey of co-leading “Experiencing God” for Grace in Motion, the college and career fellowship group at Syracuse Alliance Church, I have been focused on reflecting on the cross and the experience of Christ on the cross. It has been a difficult reflection because of the sheer brutality of it, the wounds, the voices of accusers, the presentation of Mary by John, and what strikes me most is not the voices that is present but the absence of the Father’s voice…Jesus states that “I thirst…” which water (river, overflowing, etc.) represents the presence of God (see Psalm 23). But somewhere in this moment, I find myself easily satisfied with the voices that seem to affirm who I am…the voice of my wife…my friends…the prestige and celebrity of speaking at certain venues…but I am really bothered by the apparent muted voice of God? He is easily heard in my morning devotions, on my ipod (on my “spiritual” playlist) but I don’t know if I reallly take moments of deep pause to hear Him…not just for direction but the sheer beauty of experiencing His presence.

One of the things that captivate me is the sound of birds…Bird chirping is one of the things that really catches my heart, as I am writing this, I hear the sounds of birds and I stop my typing to hear them…because it is beautiful to me…yet, do I stop to hear God? How often do we really pause to listen, to hear and discern with a sense of holy hunger for God? And yet, what is endemic to the church is the apparent “silence” of God in our lives. I wonder if the “silence” is because of what we are tuning into…what catches us when we listen…a whisper of a beloved, the sounds of the newest sports updates, the approval of a supervisor at work, or even worse, the deceit of the enemy that tells us we are so much less than what God wants us to be. So I journey towards Good Friday with a sense of expectation…To hear…to listen…and to be transformed by the wonders of His words.

Here is a quote I want to share with you:

“I’d always know, in one place in my throat, how Jesus must have cried in the garden—crying not to die, because there was no fear of death, and not to leave his friends, because he walked alone, and not to suffer, because the blood and bruises and thorns were part of his perfection—but crying because he could not find his Father’s face, because when he would suffer all that he could bear, the pain of every person, living and dead, in that dark moment, there was really nobody there.” Paul Shepherd, More Like Not Running Away: A Novel

Prayer Support Letter
I am sending them out this week and you should receive it before Easter Sunday. I will also post it on the yahoogroup site, if you have not done so already, please join the yahoogroup so that you can access the new and old prayer letters. Please pray that it will be able to communicate my calling to this new Asian American laity project and also serve as a source of encouragement.

Laity Ministry
I have made some inroads to launch the ministry in August with some assistance with IV, Campus Crusades for Christ and professors from Alliance Theological Seminary. I am also going to work with some local ministries to come together to serve the Asian American leadership through fellowship, training and mentoring. I am hoping to have a strategy and ministry vision formation at the Eastern Chinese Bible Conference in September.

I am also working together with some ministry leaders to come up with some definitive plans for ministry development for their leadership and to offer some resources and insight for implementing and developing ministry models. Pray that God will use this as a springboard for the ministry to move forward. Pray for guidance and a ministry saturated with Holy Spirit insight.

I am excited to announce that we will move forward to another Refl3ctions event in the summer! The first two Refl3ctions Events were huge successes that was part of a youth movement for engagement for witnessing and to intersect into the lives of Asian American youth. The first one was to challenge them to Refl3ct on three questions and served as convergence event for the Billy Graham Crusades of Greater New York which featured performances by Koo Chung and Jinny Kim. The second one was a historic event of having youth from all over the city and ethnic groups to gather to pray for the lost. The picture from the event was used for a New York Times article. Pray for this next event to build on what God did last year and pray for my leadership in preparing for this event.

I have been invited to serve with OneHouse event happening in the end of summer. At its core it is to bring the churches of New York City to be united and to spend an evening celebrating our unity and to challenge us towards missions and justice. Here is a mission statement from last year’s event…

One House is the celebration of our family united in Jesus Christ, embodied through the worship of our Savior and Lord. As fellow believers in a city of nearly nine million people, many of whom are squished onto an island only 22.7 square miles, Christians here have the awesome privilege of being in one of the largest communities in America.

Because we share the same devotion and commitment to Jesus, not only can we celebrate life within our local houses of worship, but we can all praise Him together as one in this city, in this world, because we all belong under One House under God. Worshipping together is just the beginning. The stage is set for a multitude of opportunities for churches within our community to partner in furthering the commandments of our Lord; first and foremost, to love.

Journey of a Servant Website
I know that there has been a delay in getting this up, but I have made a commitment to get the website up by the first week of May…no excuses…It will feature prayer updates, my venues where I am speaking and also some resources for other pilgrims on this journey towards serving.

Asian American blog
I have been invited by Blogger Dave Park to be a co-author for an online blog for the Next Gener.Asian Church. I look collaborating with Mr. Park on some issues facing the Asian American church. I am still working on an essay for the Asian American church called “Exit Wounds…” I am hoping that it could be a good launching pad for my personal website so that we can start an online thinktank for New York based ministry and also to gain some national perspective. Pray for opportunities for community and for exchange of ideas and strategies and heart felt engagement.

In my last week’s sharing, I expressed a more intentional pursuit of discovering what God is doing here in Syracuse and I am thankful for your words of encouragement and also for the way God continues to unveil the work He is doing here. I went to

Intervarsity Graduate Christian Fellowship at Syracuse held a colloquim called “My Profession as My Mission” by Syracuse Professor J. David Richardson. He spoke with deep conviction and insight about how we are to use opportunities where we work as a field for spiritual harvest and testimony. I have posted his talksheet on the yahoogroup here. I was moved by his authencity in his passions and his shortcomings as a fellow follower of Christ. Truly blessed to also meet other grad students on campus who is working out their faith in Christ and their professional endeavors. I was happily surprised to see Kar-Lai visit the fellowship as well to offer some of her insights and thoughts.

I met with an amazing minister and visionary, Rufus Morris who heads up this ministry bridge through Street BUZZ TV. I was amazed by his heart for the youth in the community and his openness to hear and learn from others. It reminded me of the work that Jeremy Delrio does at Generation Xcel and Adam Durso’s Christ Tabernacle Youth Explosion Ministries. They are exploring media and music to enter into the lives of youth and their heart language. I am amazed and inspired. I hope to visit one of his afterschool programs and ministry in the near future.

I met with pastoral staff this week at Syracuse Alliance Church to discuss opportunities to serve with the church and I am on a journey of prayer and expectation for me to see how I can serve this community. Personally it has been a trying time since I feel that there is a great deal of holding back and just learning the culture here and to honor the existing structure of ministry. I am looking to serve and not to “innovate” but rather to humbly walk aside what God is doing here and to just be a faithful child to the “bride of Christ.” Pray for wisdom and for a deepening heart for the church and its people. Pray that I continue to balance ministries that I am involved in.

Speaking Engagements
I have prepared my talk for the Chinese Evangel Mission Church Queens Coffeehouse Outreach which is in two Saturdays. I will be attending a wedding in the morning of Lauren Chiang and Carleton Mak (I have the privelege of reading scripture for their wedding) and then off to the church. Here is the theme for the evening:”Above the Noise” Ever feel like being choked by the world, and its ways? Bombarded with so many different noises and couldn’t distinguish which voice to listen to? Do you ever wish to be free from the snares of the world so that you can hear the voice of the LORD clearly?

I have accepted the invitation to speak at the Mid-Hudson Chinese Christian Church on June 4th, 2006. Pray for a specific topic for me to preach on and that the preparation is faith filled.

I will be at my 6th Teen Eastern Chinese Bible Conference and I will be doing a workshop on “Vote for Pedro: An Insiders Look at our Identity in Christ” Yes, I have sold-out to the whole Napoleon Dynamite movement. The theme is on Hope…Pray that God wil move in my presentation and my engagement with the youth. Every year I have attended and serve, I am always amazed how God moves to heal and to inspire this generation of youth to become radical followers of Christ.

Hofstra Conference: I will be the main youth speaker for New York Summer Conference. I am preparing for my talk and my workshop for this upcoming conference in July, I am so excited to have this opportunity and reflecting on how God has brought me to so many experiences on this journey that allowed me to “persevere…” It has been filled with His grace and I am still amazed by this miracle of being where I am, despite some of the wilderness journeys I have undergone. Pray that God continue to humble me and to seek His face in what I should share and how to express the word of God in a narrative that is impactful and faithful.
Here is the theme of the conference:

“Persevering Faith”

“…These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” {Hebrews 11:39-40}

Friday, June 30th – Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

Thanks for your support and please continue to lift up these prayer items and also for you to support me financially:

Pastoral and Laity Ministries
48-19 196th Street, Fresh Meadows, New York 11365-1316
Please make the memo out to: Peter Ong/Laity Project



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