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The Return and Homes August 22, 2007

Posted by peterong in Ministry Update, Prayer Update, Uncategorized.
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It has been a wonderful week and there is much to report so without haste…here is a picture I took on my walk on the Williamsburg Bridge on my birthday. Here are my updates:

I now longer serving at Chinese Christian Herald Crusades and had to say good-bye as I am in my new season developing the Asian American Laity Ministry with PaLM and serving at a new church (keep reading)

Jamie is back! After spending 8 weeks in China working on a water project in Nanjing, she came back just in time for our 2 year anniversary. We celebrated by going to Nobu Next Door where our friend and chef extraordinaire gave us some generous dishes to help us remember this special day. We topped of the week by going to the PaLM Yankee game with some ministry folks Hosive (Vision), Pastor John (PaLM), Howard (PaLM) and Donald (Boon Church). The Yankees lost in dramatic fashion (again) and then headed out to the North Hamptons for some reconnection time with Jamie at a Bed and Breakfast. It was nice as we spent time sharing and healing from our seperation.

It is now official, Jamie and I are now attending Living Faith Community Church. I have known Pastor Stephen Ro since 2000 when we met at Concerts of Prayer Greater New York Pastors’ Prayer Summit. I have come on as part-time staff as their Director of Gospel Community (There was a rumor that I would be their DOS: Director of Something). I will assist with their leadership, communications, inreach and outreach. So far it has been a great home for us as we seek to develop a “Gospel Driven” community. I will be facilitating a Sunday School conversation entitled, “Rules of Engagement: Moving Beyond Belief.“Here is the blurb:

“We go to church on Sundays and Fellowship during the week where we have flashbacks about the sermons but we find out that our faith don’t seem to translate into where we spend the majority of our waking lives…at work. God has called us to engage and to live out a gospel narrative but we find our vocabularies seem to confuse more than to clarify. We will wrestle together about how faith and culture should intersect in our lives. We will have also have conversations on the topics of engagement of culture, being missional, postmodernism, culture wars, social justice and the challenge of building authentic communities of faith. Bring a cup of java, your bible and some open minds as we seek to move beyond belief.”

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I had great retreat with Christian Testimony Long Island two weeks ago. I spoke on “Being in the World and Not of It” a theme that I have been developing since speaking on this topic at the Midhudson Chinese Christian Church‘s Revival Meeting last Fall. The CTLI Retreat was a great time and I did a special workshop with first generation parents and their teen children. It was moving to see so many tears and I closed the workshop with the parents praying with their kids. I was moved to see some healing take place that weekend. It was good to reconnect with some of the youth I worked with years ago at Teen Eastern Chinese Bible Conference.

Thanks for your prayers. I will speaking this year at Boston Chinese Evangelical Church at their Career Fellowship and will be doing a series on Jesus Uncensored.

I will also be doing a special one day training workshop at the Reload Conference. I am so excited to be on the same venue with my good friend Jeremy Del Rio. They have some of the best local and national leaders in Youth Ministry represented.

I am prepping for a trip back to the ‘Cuse so Jamie can drop some water samples. I am looking forward to it. I will be finalizing my support letters to go out. I need to raise another $20K for me to go on full time with PaLM starting in January. I am meeting with prospective funders and supporters. I am looking for some exciting and new ways to facilitate some new ministry initiative such as an Asian American Youth Workers Conference in the Spring of 2008, an Asian American Leadership Fellowship and continue with the Monthly Fall 2007 ENGAGE series which will focus on Leadership.

Thanks for your prayers and support, if you would like to learn more about the Asian American Laity Project please contact me at peter [at] palmny [dot] org. See you soon!

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re-re-re… July 30, 2007

Posted by peterong in Ministry Update.
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After spending a weekend checking out matrix trilogy on HDTV (oh my such eye candy, my pupils are on the verge of cavities), the two sequels were “Re-loaded” and “Re-volutions.” i re-flected on the the “re’s” in my life. In many ways, this new season of life is being “re-newed” and I am going to “re-visit” and “re-flect” on this transition. In so many ways, I going through moments of ambivalence…excitement because a new chapter of ministry is on the horizon and also deep withdrawal from my old haunt at the Chinese Christian Herald Crusades. But as I conducted the Herald Youth Center staff development, I felt I was instilling in them a great confidence that God can do mighty things through the team.

This week has been an amazing one as I met Christine at Habitat for Humanity New York. I was so blessed by her vision for faith and poverty that it took me the rest of the day to unpack some of the things she shared. I am hoping to develop a core vision for engaging in social justice and the Asian American church. Part of that journey is to learn and to also act. I working with OneHouse again this year and hoping that through our conversation we develop a deeper sense of what it means to seek a diasporic expression of our faith communities.

Speaking of engagement, if you have not done so already, Tim Keller is part of the Gospel Coalition and has a list of interviews here that are invaluable to those pilgrims seeking to engage culture and faith. I had an impromptu opportunity to share about this at Grace Faith Church Young Career Fellowship this past Friday. I had dinner with my good friend Andy (who I happen to think is one of the best preachers out there) and he asked me who do I think is the best re-flection of “emergent” or engaged preachers out there…and after two heartbeats I unequivocally said “Tim Keller.” I don’t think that there has been anyone who has been a greater influence to my faith and ministry as much as this Redeemer Presbyterian pastor.

Things are pretty exciting and Jamie is coming back in less than two weeks! I am so excited to live out this new season as we serve together in this new season. I will be coming on with PaLM full-time in January and looking forward to build on the momentum of what God is doing through this ministry. I am speaking at Christian Testimony Long Island at their Summer Retreat. I will be speaking in the evening sessions and also doing a workshop on intergenerational relationships. It is something that runs deep in my heart. I am prepping also for September retreat with Boston Chinese Evangelical Church. I had a great and challenging exchange with one of their pastoral staff about engaging faith in the lives of the congregation and was touched by the depth of re-flection that came out of that email exchange. I will be also prepping my talk at the Chinese Missions Conference in December where it is considered the “Chinese Urbana.” I will be giving a talk on the youth track.

Things are coming along and I love serving and learning. There are so many saints out there doing great work and I am so amazed that we are participating in this wondrous work. This amazing extension of His mercy.

will write soon about my thoughts…

Deferring Trust August 7, 2006

Posted by peterong in Ministry Update, Rants.
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“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37:5-6

This week has been a tough one, I still have not found a part-time position in Syracuse and I just found out that my start up time for the Asian American Laity Project is now almost one year later than what I had hoped to start. The initiation of the project is being pushed back for another season. This could be the beginning of a temporary pause of my involvement in ministry. I am filled with a mosaic of emotions because on one hand, my prevalent passion and desire is to serve and be used by God for kingdom work but on the hand I have peace because I know this is a time of pause until provision arrives. I am also put into a different gear of pursuing and sharing this vision of my minstry more diligently . Part of me wants to challenge, part of me wants to wait, part of me wants to go out to share this burden and in the darkest reality, part of me wants to quit.

Quit and surrender to God. (more…)