Archive for the 'Member Spotlight' Category

An Interview with Naomi Yu (AR09)

by Grace Wu

Which barrios (neighborhoods) did you go to do door-to-door evangelism?

This year, God gave me opportunity to return to Juan Pablo and Smata. This was my second time in both of these neighborhoods.

What was your time in Smata like?

I really enjoyed my time in Smata because I got to see three of my contacts from the previous year! There was this one lady that my translator and I spent a lot of time with last year. She struggles a lot with depression and being paranoid. For example, her reason for not trying out the weekly Bible Studies is because she is afraid to leave the house, even though the meeting place is just across the street for her. She worries every morning when her husband goes to work, filled with anxiety that something bad will happen. She tries to keep her kids home as much as possible to keep close watch over them.

Wow, so how did you minister to her?

Well, last year my translator and I listened as she shared with us fear after fear that consumes her thoughts. Our only response and remedy for her was the gospel. We told her that she needed Christ and the hope that He alone can provide. Her sins have already driven her to spiritual death, but Christ came to give life to those who would believe and live for Him. After going back to visit her this year, I found that she still struggles a lot with anxiety and paranoia. She still is afraid to leave her house but one neat thing is that the church has been following up with her! One of the older ladies of the church has been going to her house to meet with her on a weekly basis. Together, they read the Bible and pray for this woman’s heart to trust in Christ.

That’s awesome to hear! Were you able to see any of your other contacts grow in their understanding of the gospel?

Yes I was! There was another lady who I also met the previous year. Although she claimed to be a Christian, she wasn’t active in going out to church. She seemed kind of stagnant in her faith when I talked with her. However, this year, when I went to visit her, I noticed that her demeanor had changed. She shared with me about how her family has been consistently attending a local church around the neighborhood (not IBM, but a solid church I hear). She’s been growing and even trying to share the gospel with those at her workplace. She shared how difficult it was because the message of the cross isn’t appealing to her coworkers, and she feels like they see her as a fool. We were able to spend some time looking into 1 Corinthians 1 together, where Paul talks about the cross being foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. It was neat seeing and hearing of how God’s grown this woman’s heart this past year. The gospel was no longer just a distant message and Christianity was no longer just a label, but to see her actively living out her faith despite the trials that come was such a blessing!

How about your time in Juan Pablo? Was it similar to what you experienced the previous year?

My experience in Juan Pablo this year was very different from the previous year. I felt like God gave me opportunities to be involved in a very different type of ministry than before. Last year, my translator and I were assigned a block of the neighborhood, and we went to each house with one goal in mind – to preach the gospel! However, this year, I was paired with Monica Lizzaraga, one of the elder’s wives, as my national. Monica and her husband Julio are very involved in the neighborhood of Juan Pablo and have built many close relationships with families there. Because of that, our time was spent very deliberately to visit those families. Many of them, I learned, had gone out to the church at some point in their lives, but due to the circumstances of life or their hardness of heart, were unwilling to go anymore.

Can you share with us in more detail about one of these cases?

There was one particular woman we met with who had a very difficult time respecting her husband. According to her, he says one thing and does another. And the reason she has been hesitant to go out to church was because the last time she went to a women’s meeting, she heard a message about wives needing to submit to the leadership of their husbands. It drove her away from the church because she felt like she couldn’t submit and that she would be looked down upon for not wanting to abide.

How did you handle situations like this?

What was different for me this time around was that I found myself doing a lot of listening. People’s circumstances like submission issues, broken marriages, or dealing with disobedient children were some of the hardships they had to endure. The hard part was that these people that we went to visit had already been exposed to the gospel. It wasn’t like they were hearing it for the first time. However, at the same time, their hearts were so hardened. Instead of finding hope in Christ, their difficulties drove them further away from Him. This was hard for me to see, but God used this experience to teach me so much. I learned that in his Great Commission, Christ commands us to go and preach the gospel. However, he also commands us to make disciples, and this entails so much. It isn’t a one-time thing of helping people to understand the gospel so that they can be justified before God through Christ. Discipleship is a lifelong process of helping people to be sanctified in living for Christ. Through Monica’s example, I saw the need to keep persevering in coming alongside people who are struggling. She taught me how to listen, to comfort, to gently rebuke, and to help carry other people’s burdens.

It sounds like God taught you a lot during your time ministering in the barrios. Thank you for taking the time to share with us what you learned!

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Nathan Kwak

by Steven Hong

Last summer, the encouragement level at Lighthouse took a dip when Nathaniel Kwak left San Diego indefinitely. Upon completing his undergraduate schooling at UC San Diego, Nathan moved up I-5 to La Palma, California to be with his family. Nathan always stood out as an encouraging brother, greeting anyone and everyone with a warm smile and a friendly word. The Beacon had a chance to catch up with Nathan, who is now a member at Good News Chapel in West Covina.

Where are you now and what are you up to these days?

I currently live in La Palma, CA. I’m working at a corporate Bank of America office, pretty much a cubicle 9am-5pm job. During nights and weekends I’ve been involved with my church, meeting up with people to get to know them better. I’m also involved with some new programs that we are starting up in the new season coming up at our church.

How was the transition in regards to moving churches? Were there any particular lessons you learned at LBC that helped the transition?

Since I was already a member of GNC prior to LBC, I had ties when I went back. However, it still was (and continues to be) a work in progress as the time away in college was long enough to lose some intimacy in relationships. I felt very much at home at LBC and losing much of the weekly (and sometimes daily) relationships made it tough in terms of accountability and the expectations I had for church. LBC has such gifted preachers and teachers up on the pulpit. But two main things that I took away from LBC were the importance of committing to a church and the importance of discipline in the individual. Being a very shy guy initially, having these two things drilled into me really aided in getting acclimated to church quicker and with much joy knowing that I am a part of the body of Christ.

What advice would you give to those who make a similar move after college ends?

Even though church is a main topic at LBC, something that I had to do upon returning home was to dive straight back into Scripture and understand the role and importance of the local church. As I studied, I, as an individual, really took a back seat as I saw how God uses His church to glorify Himself. This provided much comfort as well as rebuke time and time again, especially when selfish thoughts/motives tried to control my thinking. So understand the church and apply that knowledge. No one person is safe from falling away, especially when accountability is lacking.

How have you been growing and challenged since you’ve left LBC?

I don’t know how much space I have, so I’ll keep this short. As well as learning much about the church, God’s been continually growing in me a deeper and more intimate faith. Sometimes I used to wonder, am I serving God because it’s the thing everyone is doing? Or am I truly Christian, having died to myself and following Christ in his righteousness? A lot of strengths that I thought I had were immediately dismantled having returned home, especially having to once again live with family. They bring out the best and worst in me. And in hard financial times, I had to once again re-evaluate, is God the one and only satisfaction in my life? When Paul says to live is Christ and to die is gain, do I believe it? Do I count all as loss? No, no, and NO! I didn’t. And I’m still learning to let go of all the things that I’m holding onto. As I’ve prayed hard and received counsel of going into seminary, a deep fear of God is becoming entrenched. In the midst of growing deeper in my relationship with Him, I don’t think I’ve ever had a deeper fear of God.

Read any good books lately?

Desiring God by Piper, Reflections by C.S. Lewis are two I’ve recently finished. Man, its been so much harder to with work! Props to all you workers out there… I respect and admire all of you so much more having become a part of it.

One that I pick up a lot is the Valley of Vision, the Puritan prayers. I love and deeply recommend this one to everyone!

What are your plans moving forward and how can we keep you in our prayers?

I’m going into Talbot Seminary in the fall, God willing. Please pray for guidance from Scripture and to continue to grow in fear of God. My character is a concern of mine always, as I see the high calling of the gospel something that is frightening. Man, I’m not sure I knew the depths of what I was getting into when I became Christian. But it becomes more and more amazing as I understand the heart of God better each day. Please pray as the economy has caught our family in a deep crunch as well, especially as my parents have been delayed now in going to Vladivostok, Russia as long-term missionaries. I’ll be praying for you all as well.

Grace Yi

by Courtney Chow

God has brought an array of people to Lighthouse and to be part of the church family. Among the believers with very different backgrounds is cheery and gentle Grace Yi. She is in her second to last quarter as a UCSD undergrad. Grace is actively a part of the Collegelife ministry as well as Lighthouse Kids Club, and Cleaning Ministry.

I know you’re not a native to the San Diego area so what do you consider to be your hometown?

I’m a Navy brat, so my hometown has always been where my family was. Currently, my parents and youngest brother live in Seoul, South Korea. Most of my tours were international, each lasting 1-3 years. College is actually the first time I’ll be in one place for four consecutive years!

Wow. We don’t have many people who grew up in Navy families at Lighthouse. What is your family like?

My family of five includes my two younger brothers: Jonathan, 18, and Michael, 13. Contrary to what many may think, life with a military dad is actually quite relaxed, apart from our morning physical training sessions and marching practices. Just kidding. We’re a pretty relaxed bunch and frequently organize family trips. While there is no evidence that they are believers, I’m extremely thankful for them nevertheless. God has used them to teach me to cling to Him.

Since you did not grow up in a family of believers, how did you become a Christian?

Despite having been a faithful church attendant and participant for a good chunk of my life, God began shedding light on my heart’s true condition towards the end of 2007. I had begun attending Collegelife earlier that year, and to this day remember how moved I was to hear the series on the Foundations of the Gospel. It wasn’t until that fall that God helped me see how ugly my heart was by my hypocrisy; my words and actions were not aligned with what I was learning from God’s word. He showed me how undeserving I was and how much I needed Him. I stand before you today as one who loves Christ more than ever. We serve an amazing God.

Why did you decide to become a member at Lighthouse?

I decided to become a member because I wanted the accountability. Over time, God showed me the importance of a church family and the wonderful blessings that came with being apart of one. I wanted others to help me grow in my love and devotion for Christ, and, God willing, the opportunity to help others love Christ more; membership was that chance to make that happen. Also, I was very encouraged by how serious the leaders of LBC took the issue of membership. It was great to see how passionate they were to have the church fulfill the MVP. To this day, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

What aspects of the Lighthouse family are you most encouraged by?

I am so encouraged by how the LBC family strives to be disciples of Christ 24/7. Sunday mornings and Friday evenings are not just a time to charge up their religious power meter to cruise through the rest of the week. Instead, this family shows a concern and passion to honor God every minute throughout each day, week, month and year. I’m also encouraged by how members have followed the command to serve. From the guys in the sound booth to nursery staff, I appreciate seeing how people have stepped up to the plate.

How do you want to be involved at LBC in the next year?

God willing that I am in California next year, I hope to be more involved in the lives of LBC’s families. Serving in Lighthouse Kids’ Club has given me the amazing opportunity to meet the children, but I hope to build relationships and serve their families as well.

Charter Member: Hwa Park

by Moon Choi

When Hwa first arrived in San Diego after coming from Maryland, there had already been a strong Christian base with believers from KACF (Korean American Christian Fellowship—the precursor to today’s CCM, an parachurch ministry found at UCLA, UCI, and UCSD), of which Peter Lim was a part of. Peter had already been leading a group of guys at the “old Dennison house.” Hwa then met John Yi and Eugene Park. To give a relative idea of how ten years ago felt like, Hwa also met Pastor Patrick Cho as a junior at UCSD and “guys like Mike, Min and Albert were seniors or had just graduated.” The mostly male collegians/singles (note that there is no distinction between the two) were guys who all lived together were like-minded with each, especially when it came to the gray area issues.

“Church was always a priority and Sunday was long and fun. There was no youth and Jenna was the oldest at about 6 years old.” Hwa also recalls that “in no time people started to come out and visit,” but also noted that the families that came to visit did not come back since there was not much of a children’s ministry. That was not the only challenge that the church faced in the early years. Hwa also mentioned how difficult it was for Pastor John as he had a full time job to support his family, on top of being the senior pastor. And though the shortage of ladies at Lighthouse had been a challenge for the men at Lighthouse, Hwa fondly remembered Suzie Jung and Beverly Kang who were still teenagers at the time. “I remember I used to help Suzie pick up and drop off the drum set every Sunday, it was backbreaking work but looking back, it was well worth it.” He could not recall any other challenges as “we had plenty of single men willing to do whatever it took for
the church” and mentioned that they were at church for half of the days of week “and it was great.”

In those early days, everyone in the church family knew each other and all the men were able to have Pastor John as their small group leader. Hwa said, “We were all single, no kids, no mortgage, ready to save the world” with which he quickly followed with, “But the current blessing of having a spouse, kids and even a home is pretty cool too.”

Through it all, Hwa points to God’s faithfulness and sovereignty in bringing the “right people at the right time” and even with the people who stayed at Lighthouse. He pointed out how Lighthouse was able to grow because the Titus 2 principle is actively applied and that when a new need arises, there are trained men and women ready to meet it. “It’s more exciting now than it has ever been,” Hwa said, referring to being able to see the church grow, people getting married and having children.

As for any lingering nostalgia for the good ole days? “The good old days were good but aren’t all that great. Life gets better every year and His blessings abound evermore. Yeah, the small church was great, we played golf every week and played ball without checking with the wife but now I have a foxy wife and all the benefits that come with that, a daughter who thinks her daddy is the kind of the world and now a son that pees all over the place, can’t get much better than this…”

Charter Member: Eugene Park

by Courtney Chow

It may be hard to imagine Lighthouse when it started with only three families who were praying about planting a church in San Diego. While everyone can research the facts of the early Lighthouse years, Eugene Park, a charter member was there when the church started in 1998. Though he is currently studying Spanish in Argentina until July, he was still able to give The Beacon the low down on what LBC was like in the beginning.

Where were you shortly before coming to LBC and how did you decide to become a part of Lighthouse?

I grew up at a local Korean church in the San Diego area and was really involved in the leadership as well as the praise ministry within the Englishspeaking congregation. However, after serving there for years, I grew increasingly frustrated with the difficulties of serving in a ministry that was under the umbrella of another ministry. I was also concerned about some of the doctrinal stances the church took on some issues. So one day in February of 1998 I decided that it would be best for me to move on and find another church I could serve at. I continued to serve as well as training people to do the things I did over the next 6-7 months…my intention was to leave on the last Sunday of August.

My plan was to visit churches the last 4 months of the year and then commit to one and serve at that church starting in 1999. Because of my frustrations with working in a Korean church, my intention was to go to a non-ethnic church and those were the sort of churches I visited. I heard about LBC because a lot of my friends from the on-campus ministry we served in were planning on going to that church. I really didn’t want to go because I was just done with the Asian church scene but John Yi dragged me to the bible studies LBC had during the midweek. Over time I grew to love the teaching and the fellowship. And even though I was still attending other churches on Sundays, I was longing for the fellowship and teaching at the LBC bible study. By November my mind was made up, LBC was where I was going to serve. And so on December 6, 1998 LBC had its first official Sunday service (A popular trivia question!)

What was it like when the church first started?

When we first started we were meeting in the afternoons at a church located in a business park in Mira Mesa. They let us use one of the bigger rooms upstairs for our Sunday services. Min Chol and I were in charge of the sound team and had to setup all the equipment each Sunday. One of our “prized” possessions was a tape deck we used to record the sermons. Eugene Cho (who has since moved back up to L.A.) was our first praise leader for Sunday services. The Sunday praise team had quite a few members, including John Yi, Angela Kim, Jane Min (later to be Kim), and Patrick Cho and when they went up it seemed like half the church was up there. Our services typically had around 20 people which included the 5 or so kids. So it was definitely small and newcomers stuck out like a sore thumb.

What were some of the challenges in the beginning?

One of the more humorous challenges we had in the beginning was that the singles group was made up of all men, maybe around 8-10 of us. There were some ladies in college, but there were no women in the singles group. And it was said more than once (but not by me), “How are we ever going to get married?” Occasionally single ladies came to the church. But after seeing the overabundance of men in the singles group, they quickly moved on to another church. Or one would visit our singles bible study during the week and that made for a really weird dynamic. Pastor John kept saying to us, “Be patient, be godly, and she will come.” And sure enough, one by one, almost all of those original men got married…almost… :)

What were some things that were blessings in the early years?

Same thing, it was just men in the singles group. When you have a church that small in the beginning, and a small group of men that dedicated to learning God’s Word, and all a part of something we started together, you can’t help but have a strong brotherhood.

Pastor John Kim

by Steven Hong

No, that’s not a guest speaker preaching on Sundays. That’s our head pastor, John Kim. After a hiatus from ministry, he’s back in full-swing, one month earlier than originally scheduled. The Beacon had a chance to catch up with him to discuss the purpose of his time off, how it was spent and what we can look forward to as he jumps back into ministry.

First of all, to clear up any misconceptions, what was the purpose of your time-off?

The past year and a half has been difficult, to say the least, as we have faced a number of challenges at church that have been quite unlike anything that we had faced before. There was the turmoil with the pastoral staff that really brought much pain and discouragement. I felt like my heart had been torn out. It also affected a good number of relationships within the church as well as in my personal life and so the consequences ranged pretty far and wide to the point where I felt like I had been emotionally and mentally battered. I know it sounds a bit dramatic but I can’t even begin to describe the pain that was in my heart. There was also the stress of our moving to the new facilities and adjustments in leadership. There were various trials at a leadership level that at times had been very disheartening and all of these things put together had a severe affect on my body as well as my spirit. As I shared a number of months ago, I started to get severe chest pains and a host of other ailments that led to visiting the emergency room and medical specialists. I have been put on several medications and also various recommendations regarding health care. So as a result I asked for a medical leave of absence that would give me time to address both my physical and spiritual issues. It definitely was not a time of sabbatical where you would seek refreshment and opportunities to study and grow. It was more of a time of laying aside my pastoral responsibilities fully so that I could get physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual recovery time as I was at the point of severe exhaustion and emotional depression. To be honest, I was very close to the point of wanting to simply resign and pursue a quiet life. The job that appealed to me the most during this time was to be a librarian, as you know that I love to read. But God was gracious to give me time to recover and get my heart and head straightened out enough to be reminded that whether it was my physical ailment or spiritual struggles, He is faithful to provide all that I need.

How were you able to spend the time off?

For the first time in 21 years of ministry, I actually set aside my pastoral responsiibilities fully and was disengaged from the regular duties. I took the time to get some sleep, visit doctors, and spend time with my family. There were two weeks that I was able to visit Austin, Texas and stay with my brother-in-law. It was there that I was truly able to experience some solitude, rest, and reflection as it was literally very quiet all day and I had the whole day pretty much to myself. I did a lot of reading, watching football games, and sleeping. It’s amazing what happens when you get sleep. I was thinking back to the point where my sleep debt had started to accumulate and I believe it was in 1988 when I started seminary. I was just starting out in ministry as a youth pastor and so since that time, I really had not slept well or consistently. So getting some good prolonged sleep was pretty significant. I also started exercising so as to strengthen my physical state. I really felt my body deteriorate over the past year and a half from the stress and troubles that I had been going through. It got to the point where I really was troubled at how I felt. It even scared me because I didn’t know that my health could go downward so fast. So I started working out and have been pretty consistent since then.

How is your health currently?

As I mentioned, I have been exercising and that has been helping me a lot. I am still taking various medications and will be monitored as to my heart condition, my digestive tract, as well as my general health. So I would still appreciate prayer for the state of my health. But while addressing my physical condition was significant, my spiritual health was of a greater concern because I had come pretty close to the point of despairing and giving up. But I am happy to say that I am doing much better spiritually and much of that has been related to my spiritual disciplines.

Has your mindset in regards to ministry changed in the course of your time-off?

I have definitely learned many lessons during this time, many which are still ongoing. Just to share a few:

    1. Trusting in the Lord needs to be a higher priority, particularly when circumstances are stormy. Proverbs 3:5-6 has always been a favorite passage but I think over the years it has become more precious. But I realize that I still struggle tremendously with FULLY trusting the Lord alone. I still tend to want to add my two cents. I rely on my past experience to guide me rather than seeking heavenly wisdom. I wrestle with fearing man and what people would think and say. But I am driven back again and again to the simple reality that I am ultimately helpless and God is ultimately sovereign and that it makes much more sense to trust Him than myself or other human beings that will ultimately fail.

    2. Take time to rest and pace myself. Yes, the Christian life is a race and I tend to, as a former sprinter (all of my one year in running track my sophomore year in high school), run hard and fast. There is much to do and I don’t want to waste even a day not giving my all. But I am learning that it is not all up to me and more importantly, I need to ask myself the question, “Am I truly worshipping God in what I do? Or am I just busy with a lot of activity that makes me feel spiritual?” I need to spend more time in God’s Word for my personal growth, not just to preach. I need to pray, not just because there are so many prayer requests, but because I need to just commune with God. I need to serve the church family, not just because I have gifts or need to show that I am involved in ministry, but because it should be a natural extension of my love for God (Matthew 22:37-40). While I need to make the most of each day, taking time to rest and strengthen my body and soul is not a waste of time.

    3. I need to delegate more but take time to train up trustworthy people to pass on the work of ministry. I do tend to carry a heavy load because I want to get a lot done. But I do not have the gifts and talents to do all things well and one of the things that would maximize the ministry would be to focus on the depth of growth so that the breadth of the growth can be increased. This takes longer and at times seems not as quick a solution to the present needs that we have. But the reality is that we can’t just delegate responsibility to anyone. 2 Timothy 2:2 talks about faithful men that Paul passed on his legacy so that they might pass it on as well. That is my hope as well.

    4. To focus more on the positive and not get dragged down by the negative. I tend to be very sensitive to criticism (I don’t know too many people who aren’t) and so I do easily get discouraged. When people are deliberately hurtful and inflict pain, all the more it really gets me down because I just don’t understand how someone who is a Christian can be cruel and mean. Yes, we are all capable of hurting people with our words and actions, but there always seems to be a few in any church that make it their business to really inflict the kind of damaging hurt that is meant to really last. I think this is what affects me the most as I have experienced this now a few times in my years of ministry. But then I read about the apostle Paul in Philippians 1 and see that he is able to still experience joy, even though others are taking advantage of him. So one of the things that I am resolved is to really be thankful and purposefully focus on the good things that God is doing in our midst.

How can we as a church be praying for and encouraging yourself and the other elders/pastors?

I think it would be helpful that every member would be careful in considering how they are fulfilling their role as Scripture calls them in relation to the leaders. I don’t say this to be self-serving but there is a very clear reason why many pastors end up getting disillusioned and then even quitting. I talked with many pastors and the majority of them struggle with all sorts of discouragements. Recently one pastor asked me how often I thought of quitting. He told me that he thought about it every week. I think if church members really knew what was going on in the hearts of their pastors, they would be horrified to think that they might have contributed to their discouragement and even despair. John MacArthur has given a message titled, “The Sheep’s Responsibility” based on 1 Thessalonians 5:13. Here is the link (http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/52-25). Read it, or you can even listen to it for free since Grace To You now allows you to download all of John MacArthur’s sermons for free. If you take this message to heart and apply it, I think you will do much to bring encouragement to the pastors.

Anything else you want to share with the body as you jump back in the ministry here?

I just want everyone to know that I am so thankful to God for our church family and that I am excited to be back. Please be patient with me though. I still am not in the best physical shape. I haven’t preached in almost five months at Lighthouse so I’m a little nervous. But at the same time I am very anxious to get reconnected and involved in the life of the church.

Tia Han

by Jen Shin

What have you been doing since you moved back to San Jose?

I’ve been involved at my church up here. I work with the college and single girls Bible study and the church praise team. Home-wise – hanging out with my family a lot, especially my younger cousins. School-wise – Got a teaching credential and now I’m at business school at Santa Clara University. I’m still cracking corny jokes and bringing people to the dark side…of corny jokes.

Have you brought anyone to the dark side?

I have – two of my cousins, two more to go.

Anything else you’ve been up to?

Making excuses to go to San Diego.

What church are you involved at and how has it been there?

East Valley Church. I went back to the church I’ve been going to until I left for college. When I first got back, it was hard, because the church was going through a lot of changes and a difficult period. It’s better this second year around. It has more to do with my own heart rather than the church changing itself. I came in with the attitude of missing Lighthouse. But then, it’s been really good. This past year we’ve had a lot of personal difficulties that people went through. I think it really brought the church together.

What have you been studying with the college and singles girls during Bible study?

We’ve been going through Romans. We’re onto the last passage next week. A lot of the hermeneutics I’ve learned at LBC – I relayed that information to them. So we’ve been going through it like how flocks did Bible studies.

What has God been teaching you lately?

Always lessons on humility. That’s the foundation to everything. But branching from that, I’ve seen how wrong I’ve been viewing my sin. I didn’t see it as something that divided me from God and that it was against Him. There was a lot of self-righteousness. Also not returning evil for evil. It doesn’t have to be huge things – no one is coming after my life or trying to kill me. But in the little things, especially with family. Returning small grievances with grievances. Not to think those are my rights, but be loving in return. It’s a lot harder than it sounds in my head. Since coming home, God is a lot bigger than I thought He was. He’s not only in certain places or people. What I need in order to grow, He’s here too.

What are some of the challenges of being back at home?

Now that I’ve been home for awhile, it’s about not getting so comfortable. When I first moved home, I knew I was coming here as a servant, not as a normal family member where I think I have obligations. But now it takes more effort to stay alert, be awake, and not just grow comfortable. Another challenge is really applying the things that I know that are true, even when I don’t see it happening all the time, whether it’s me continually pursuing holiness or trusting God to transform me or other people. I think living in a family with a lot of unbelievers, they’re quick to say, “Oh that’s naive. Things aren’t that simple.” Just a lot of worldly wisdom that is true in the world but not true in the sense of what God is able to do in working in other people. Trusting that God can provide or change people.

What about the joys?

Seeing my grandpa come to know the Lord before he passed away. Seeing how God really did bring me home at an opportune time. My cousins are all at a certain age – all at different ages. Seeing how they have so many questions and are thinking more about God, even the youngest one. Seeing their hearts soften because of the gospel. Seeing prayers answered through my immediate family. The girls at church are growing and are hungry to know the Word and God and love and obey Him. Seeing God prove faithful to what He says in His Word. How God is sovereign in salvation, even with people who we thought would never be softened or have an interest or come to faith. He does what He says. That makes being up here more than worthwhile, even though I miss friends and church family down there. Seeing these things is so heartening.

Any prayer requests?

Always humility – a humble heart that deeply, truly loves Christ more than anything else. That I will obey, remember, and delight in Him in everything. For the salvation of my mom, brother, cousins, a lot of aunts and uncles. I’m praying for their salvation, that they would come to know Christ. That they wouldn’t just say they know God, but really love God. For the church up here – that we would continue to be firm in the truth and have love for each other and for those who would come into the church. For strong men and leaders in the church, especially for the college/singles ministry. There isn’t a whole lot of guys. Lastly, for uncertainty in where I’ll be, and what I’ll be doing in the next year and the year after. It’s always unsettling in some ways but trust God with it.


About

The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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