Missionary that built a Flying Car!

Flying car and the inventor
Flying car and the inventor

Source: CNN

I know… the title of the post seems… unbelievable!  But it’s true… this missionary wanted to be able to reach the indigenous tribes in Ecuador easily and so sought out to solve the problem himself!  Not only that, powered by a 250-hp Subaru engine, this baby will do 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds!

I salute you, Mr. Saint (yes, that’s his name!), on a job well done!  His non-profit group I-TEC will build and sell this puppy at $80,000 and hopes to build about 100 per year!  Wish I had one!

I found a man who not only has heart for missions but also the innovation to make it happen!  My hero of the year!

Video can be seen here.

Becoming a Missional Church

So this semester around, our Pastor Shawn wanted to do group study on the book The Shaping of Things to Come by Michael Frost. In it, he talks about what it means to being missional church and how we must adapt to reach out to the communities surrounding us.

It’s funny we should start that book. You see, back in July or so, out of the blue appeared these two Korean guys. Dae Hyun and Jung Seop, the two unlikely guy and brother-in-law came to our church after watching a movie nearby. You see, they came to US from Korea to learn English on an accelerated program. None of us really thought much of it. However, with Dae Hyun being such a social person reaching out and befriending others, the number quickly doubled and is now almost tripled!

For us, a rather small church of 60 or so, having 12 international students is pretty significant. Soon enough, we invited them over to the book study on the very book mentioned above. The book talks about being flexible and adapting to mold the church around the people in need. Again, funny that came up in the first few weeks as we started on it. The book, as great as it is, is by no means meant for those that are learning the English language, let alone surrounded by lots of non-believers.

So needless to say, our Pastor Shawn suggested that we change the book to something more tangible and meaningful, as well as easier to understand, for the international students. So he suggested we do Purpose Driven Life for the group, especially filled with quite a few seekers. I am so glad that he was so flexible and trying to be a missional church in existence!

On top of that, Joanna also jumped and caught onto the missional concept, and she’s been very engaged in reaching out to these international students. It’s amazing to see how God can make wonders happen out of nowhere! Being a second-generation Asian-American church, we didn’t expect anything like this to happen, but now that God has given the opportunity to us, we are taking it thankfully! 😀

CNN’s Top 10 Heroes of 2008

Article with the list

What have you done for the year to date?  CNN has listed its top 10 people that have seen beyond themselves to help those that are around them, both near and far.  It was such a moving story to see how one person changed and helped so many.

The point to strive as a Christian should be as to be on that list but without being actually in it.  After all, God said to do a good deed in secret so as to not let your hand know what the other is doing.  Always trying to reach out beyond myself will always be the goal of my life.  Why?  Because God has inspired me to be and without Him in the first place, I wouldn’t be where I am to begin with.

Are you challenged?  If so, challenge others.  I want to be a radical transformer of our society for Christ.

CCSC Experience

Though schedule seemed to conflict, I was able to make it to CCSC this past Saturday to volunteer.  CCSC stands for Christian Community Service Center, and our Pathways Church has been volunteering every second Saturday of the month.

As I chewed on my turkey sandwich, I was trying to think of what to share, I realized that this past Saturday was very special for me.  It was my first time to serve as an interviewer!!  :O  You see, CCSC has a building near our church where they open up to help out those who are in need of financial, food, and clothing help.  Families, who may have been stricken with some kind of tough situation, like losing a job, and needed some food to get by, or help with paying rent or bills come to seek help here.

It’s a great place.  I’ve been serving here mainly in pantry and administration side of things for past year, but never had the opportunity (or even dreamed of) to serve as an interviewer!  So needless to say, I was very surprised when Ruth, the head honcho Korean-American lady that runs the place on that Saturday, asked me to interview!!  I panicked!  What if I miss questions, what if I forget to include something… what if I… but most importantly, what if I ask or say something stupid to offend these people who are in need!  The last thing they need is to be offended by my saying something totally insensitive!  🙁

I watched another interviewer in action for a while and then Ruth asked me to interview this one man who needs to leave soon for an interview!  So trying not to look too nervous, I asked him to come in.  Shook hands and introduced myself.  Told him I was a total newbie at this and apologized in advance of my mistakes and any other shortcomings.  This man had things going… his occupation was an accountant but lost job due to illness and was always looking for contract work inbetween.  He told me himself that he gets very sensitive and proud.  This told me that he probably didn’t want to be here, if at all possible.  And his record showed just that.  His visits were sporadic, and due to an illness that I can’t mention, things were going rough for him.

This is when I told myself to look beyond the appearance and the voice of this man.  This man is in need of help, I told myself.  He doesn’t need me to criticize him on his personal skills, but for me to just be kind and courteous and get him through the paper work so he can grab some food for himself and leave in time for his interview.  Prior to this experience, it was hard to really get a face-to-face time with these people in need, and thus made feel more and more segregated… and left me feeling… different from them.  This interview process totally changed that.

I wanted to make God proud of me, just as any human tends to try to get his/her parents proud of him/her.  So I put my opinions aside and just helped.  I hope to be able to serve as an interviewer more often… a bit selfish on my part… so that I can connect with these people in need better… and closer.  It was a good day.

Montrose Street Outreach Experience & Terry

This past Wednesday, our church was given an opportunity to participate at a Montrose Street Outreach Service.  They meet in the small parking lot behind near downtown.  We met up at 6:30 pm and there were quite a few people already, some from other churches and good portion from the street.

Since there were too many people, I tried to stick with just one person.  There was a rather outspoken lady in a wheel chair.  Don’t let her disability fool you, Terry, or as she said she prefers to be called sometimes, “Sister T”.  🙂  A Caucasian lady approximately of age over 60+.  She seemed to have her entire life strapped onto that chair.

At first, she seemed a bit… intrusive and … wordy.  We struck up a conversation about Elvis, of all people!  😀   She told me how she met Elvis before he was big.  She also asked how many grammies he had won.  I said maybe at least 50?  She said ‘no’ and answered “3”.  All were from gospel music.  Not sure if that’s true but if true, wow.

She had a rough past since childhood.  She is from the west Texas and things have never been easy.  She eventually turned up in Houston and has been here ever since.  In all the 2 to 3 hours I spent with her, in worship service and conversing, I was able to see through her mean-looking exterior and discovered a beautiful lady who was beyond confident when it came to one:  Christ.  Despite her environment, she was able to always find God and his providence and protection for her.  It was hard to think that she was a homeless person.  Not just that, but she had an uncanny researching skill using the Internet!

Her electric wheel chair was given by helping this one guy who had been trying to find some info on a property in the northwest of Houston.  When she said she could help, many around her scoffed at her, but Terry is a very strong person.  She ignored those people and got him the answers.  That’s how she wants to make a living and it’s evident when you find out her e-mail address:  neighborhoodrenewal@yahoo.com.  She’s something else.

She does speak.  A lot.  And can seem irritating at first.  But when I got past that, her confidence in Christ and His provision was just astounding.  Simply put, shameful for someone like me… that my confidence in God is not even close to her level.  She was also a veteran homeless.  She didn’t care so much about “less useful” things like candies, but wanted clothing and socks.   There was never a dull moment being with her.

Additionally, after nearly 3 hours on the outside, it was hard to imagine how the homeless without shelter survive these tough winters.  My hands were shivering and my head was spinning from the weather.  I can only pray that there will be more opportunities to help.  It was a humbling experience, one that I didn’t expect.  But then again, that’s God.  🙂

Glass by Yuri – Online Jewelry Store

I’ve met Yuri (meaning “glass” in Korean) while I was in Austin. Back then, she was only in junior high. Now, she’s all grown up and working in NYC! Now, she has just opened, starting today, her very own online custom made jewelry store!

Glass by Yuri

She has a fairly large collection already online and I’m sure she will add more as time goes by. What’s more, she will donate portions of the income towards local and international mission support! She started making jewelry for sale to help out a local missions group at first. I am so very proud of her.

Please go and support her by buying some! 🙂