Saturday, August 17, 2019

To Thrust and Trust

Well, the day finally came! - the final day of my grueling three week long Greek summer class. The above is the picture of how the class looked like before the final test paper was handed out. Reading the New Testament in its original language has heightened my appreciation of what it means to "rightly divide" the Word of God - not according to my own preference, but in the context by which it was first written.

On another note, we are so, so happy to meet up with Eliza, our eldest who came to visit us after her summer internship - indeed the joy of reunion is quite indescribable! This is an amazing season in our lives where the four of us are all students at the same time (Debra will be attending a few classes as well)! This is such a God-given opportunity - especially for my wife and I - to deepen our roots in Scripture which is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:17). We took a drive from Charlotte to Wilmore, Kentucky on Friday to send Eliza back to Asbury University where she will begin her fourth and final year. Praise God for His faithfulness!

Please pray for us
We are now quite settled down in our apartment here in Strawberry Hill, Charlotte and am starting to get used to the US-life routine. Thanks for praying for us.

Do pray for us in the area of regular financial support - we have a tenant who will be moving out end of this month and thereafter, the rental income will stop. Also, my online coaching project is not kicking off as expected. Hence, the cash flow visibility is not as clear as we planned initially. As we thrust ahead with fulfilling God's calling for us, we also aim to trust Him with all our hearts, leaning not on our own understanding but to acknowledge Him in all of our ways (Proverbs 3:5,6). 

Classes will begin 21 August and there are many more subjects to look forward to!

Thank you for partnering with us in this journey of joy. 

Joseph, Debra & Eunice.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Pressing the "Reset"

We have just completed 3 weeks here in Charlotte, North Carolina and it feels like 3 months! Starting life from scratch - things which we take for granted back home like home furnishings, utilities, stationeries, vehicle, business income, driver's license, etc - are now basically reset to start all over again. In fact, my wife and I feel like a newly married couple :-)

We are thankful for the many helps received from brothers and sisters at Uptown Church, we have now lived one week in our rented apartment which is about 6-7 minutes drive away from the seminary. Here is our address and contact:

5142 Strawberry Hill Drive, Apartment B
Charlotte NC 28211
Mobile : 980.337.0058 (Joseph) 
Mobile : 980.365.1615 (Debra)
We are still contactable via our usual WhatsApp numbers in Malaysia.

Major accomplishment this week - completed my GREEK 1 class!! This is an intense summer class which kicks off my 3-year M.Div program and I have never felt so helpless before in a class - learning all the basics of a new language (a huge "reset" for me!) - nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, grammar, transliteration, translation, etc...To keep us on our toes, there are the daily quizzes, weekly exams and research assignment - everyday of the week from July 29 to August 15. The official Fall term starts August 21.

On another note, we are extremely proud of Eunice who is making personal effort to settle into a new place, new environment, new friends ... and also with a new song which she wrote to capture here "feelings of transition" and "memories" as she moves from Kota Kemuning to Charlotte. Click her YouTube video below for an "open-mic" event that she herself signed up for and perform live in a public food market place.

Please pray for us
I need to stay strong for week-2 of GREEK 1 (yes, there is also GREEK 2 and GREEK Exegesis coming up later on). Pray that while there are the vocabularies, grammar, declensions, etc to memorize, I will keep the big picture in mind as to why I am doing what I am doing. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the details and forgetting the direction.

"Resetting" life again requires the careful management of finances (we are thankful for the used things that we have received from friends and also the availability of thrift stores). Please pray that we will be wise in terms of stewarding our expenses. Have yet to purchase a used car - thankful that we currently have a vehicle on loan to us from an elder at Uptown Church. Oh yes, praise God that I now finally have my official North Carolina driver's license yesterday (after some immigration paperwork problem).

Please pray also that we will settle into a life-routine soon (everyday, there seem to be something missing in the house that we need to buy, etc) and moving from a business to a student mindset is not as straightforward as I thought :-)

Thank you for partnering with us in this journey of joy. 

Joseph, Debra & Eunice.