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Arrival through Departure July 26, 2006

Posted by peterong in Personal Ministry Thoughts, Uncategorized.

“”Man may have forgotten how to listen.” From the film Lady in the Water

Dear friends and family,

Thank you for visiting and reading this week’s edition of my prayer update. As I write this I just enjoyed the merging of community as friends from New York City and Syracuse. As they arrived at Lake Placid, each of their faces stirred in me the joy of community as we hiked in the rain for 6.5 hours. As we concluded the day and sat around a dinner table, I saw their stories and how much they have enriched my life…Pam & Jeff (their similar journey towards with Jamie and I as we shared our first year of marriage together…They also share similar love for nature and ministry-they are former Campus Crusades for Christ staff), Joanna (who is discovering her entrance into community again), Linda (who reminds me of my days of leading a community growth group that centered on discovering Christ through scripture), Harvey (who has been one of the most important brothers through one of the most difficult seasons of my life), Amy (this sister is one of the greatest blessings of my life as I see her grow in her faith and how God is working in her) and of course my beautiful wife who continues to support a simple man who stumbles and have little to offer her except my devotion to her and to this unfolding fulfillment of this ministry. I love that God has given us this and how much He provides through community. I feel so free through this expression of community and friendship and I hope that we will have more moments of gathering together, breaking bread and giving thanks.

We had the chance to see Bev as she participated in the IronMan Triathlon and it was such an amazing time especially at midnight when the finishers gathered for the final runners…and they cheered and gave honor to them. These were the “last” runners and it gave me a picture of how it will be when Christ returns…yet, we strive to be the first and look down on those who are weaker or slower. Yet, I am reminded of Paul’s words in Romans 14; in Romans 14 the apostle Paul challenges us to not deny the fact of relationships between the strong and the weak. He accepts Christians where they are in their pilgrimage of faith and challenges us to do the same.

Ray Stedman has been quoted that the favorite indoor sport of Christians is trying to change each other. In Romans 14 Paul says we should not endeavor to change one another to suit our preferences, but instead we should change our conduct so as not to offend the weaker brother. Somewhere I pray that we heed this…to recognize the work in the lives of our family of God.


This Year, Unity Finds its Purpose
I have the privilege of being the speaker for the OneHouse unity worship service in the Fall. As I am preparing for this talk, God is deepening my understanding of how scripture points to the depth of God’s mercy in the midst of oppression, and yet as a Christian family we have “forgotten how to listn.” The planning team are in the midst of raising support for this event. Here is an excerpt from an email that I sent to the team:

“People are desperate for a faith that reaches beyond orthodoxy but to somehow bring into the world a faith that can move mountains. As I prepare for the talk, I am consumed with such a mixed sense of responsibility and hope with it some sense of ambivalence…or cynicism because this is not “clean” stuff…it requires people to take certain stands on their faith and approaching the gospel in a way that will demand a response. A just response. A reponse of justice. I think that for many of us…it will require a shedding of what Dallas Willard calls “Vampire Christianity” where believers are swarming around only concerned about Christ’s blood for survival but for anything more…I am asking that we become different kind of Christianity where we yearn and seek out to address the blood on the streets that cry out for justice.”Pray for my preparation, pray for the planning team to give them wisdom in their service, pray for those who are coming to this event to be moved beyond doing just “church.”

Fund Development
My Ministry Blog is up! I am hoping to use it as a resource for Asian American ministry and for dessiminating information about the ministries I am involved in.

As I write this, I received an card from a girl who I used to serve in a teen ministry. As I opened it, I wasn’t sure what the occasion was (an early birthday card?) and inside the card was a love offering that was substantial…I know this girl, she is a college student, she is comes from a working family and she works part-time throughout the year to support herself…I was so moved and reminded of God’s provision. She offered me this verse as source of encouragement.

I am sending a support letter to Church pastors next week and setting up meetings in New York City in August. Jamie and I are working together for a fundraising/birthday party in August.

Pray for provision and for my continued job search in Syracuse. I am volunteering at the Center for New Americans and there maybe an opportunity for me there. But for the meantime, I am looking at some local administrative positions, I might even look at getting a retail job so I can make ends meet. Pray for my job search and for a sense of peace.

As mentioned earlier, I am using the ministry blog as a resource for Asian American ministry and exploring the possibility of having podcasts on the site and also if funding comes through, I would like to have monthly interviews with prominent leaders in Asian American ministry.

I am trying to connect with Asian Young Life to explore a partnership with them for the Laity Project and to also learn more about the work they are doing with Asian American youth. I am planning a meeting August to see how I can possibly help with Grace Christian Fellowship, Cornell’s Intervarsity Asian American Christian Fellowship in the Fall.

I am assisting in organizing an Asian American pastor lunch with Paul Tokunaga, the author of Invitation to Lead and InterVarsity’s National Asian American Ministry Coordinator and Associate Dean for Leadership Development. We are hoping to have some insight and discussion on some of the issues facing the Asian American church.

I am looking forward to the Asian American Leadership Roundtable during the Eastern Chinese Bible Conference and I am going to videotape and record this as a resource.

I had a prayer walk with the prayer team from the youth group at Syracuse Alliance Church this past Wednesday and it was a blessing to continue this ministry from my old New York days. I am wrapping up my involvement with the youth group as we are preparing for the Field of Miracles a regional transformation youth event in Rhode Island.

I am drafting several topics for the launch of the Laity Project in the Fall and outlining the speakers for the monthly meetings. I am excited to see what God will do in the midst of this and hopefully will bring some momentum as I faithfully move forward in this new ministry.

I will be participating in the Asian American Emergent Skypcast on August 30th. It is coordinated by Bruce Reyes-Chow. This will be a quarterly (every 5th Sunday) discussion on Asian American Christians and the Emergent Church Movement. I look forward to exchanging ideas and thoughts on ministry.

Thank you for all your prayers for Jamie and I, we are moving towards an intentional approach towards our prayer and devotion time. We have enjoyed a renewed but tentative steps towards developing a discipline towards our time together.

Jamie and I are planning her academic year and looking at how God wants to plan for our next stage of our lives together. We are exploring several options for the next few months. Please pray for a heart of surrender to how God leads us.

Thank you again for being part of this journey with us. We love you and so appreciative of your friendship and partnership.

To Financially Support the ministry please send checks (make payable to PaLM) to:
48-19 196th Street
Fresh Meadows, New York
please mark memo: Asian American Laity Ministries or Peter Ong
All donations are tax-deductible


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