Tag Archive | travel

His Name is Jesus

Those that have been following along on my journey know that I have been on a trip to Asia for the last three weeks. I first went to the Philippines, then to China, and now I am in Taiwan. The Lord has proven Himself faithful to me numerous times throughout this trip. He has opened my eyes to a new dimension in Him.

I have faced spiritual opposition while I’ve been here. I believe it is because the enemy knows the Lord has used this trip for the purpose of planting seeds and for the purpose of growing me. I believe the Lord is not done yet and He will be further magnified before this adventure concludes.

On this trip I have seen the incredible generosity of people who have nothing. I have seen that true happiness does not take a lot of material possessions. I have seen that Jesus Christ is the Light of the world and where He is absent there is spiritual darkness. I have seen that His burden is easy and His yoke is light and where other spirits are worshiped there is a spiritual heaviness. I have seen that He is mighty and powerful in all corners of this earth and that a moment spent crying out to Him can change everything. I have seen that worshipping with brothers and sisters in the Lord is a wonderful blessing even when you’ve never met before and don’t speak the same language or have the same culture.

There is amazing beauty in other cultures, histories, traditions, and even religions…but there is only One God. There is only One King who sits on the throne in heaven. There is only One Savior. His name is Jesus. His name is Jesus!

In His Love,

Rebekah L.

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Leaving Tomorrow!

travel-suitcaseI leave tomorrow for Asia. It’s hard to believe almost a year has gone by since I applied for this program. I’m still deciding on last minute things to pack. I should be done, but I keep changing my mind about things. I underestimated the amount of space all the gifts for my host families would take up in the suitcase.

Peoples’ reactions to this trip are interesting. Most assume it’s just a work trip, others assume it’s through my church somehow. Some have told me they can’t picture me traveling so far alone because I’m too timid and quiet. Others have told me they’re surprised I’ve never been. It’s amusing to see how people project things onto you.  People travel everyday, I don’t quite see what all the fuss is about. When I’ve told people I’m going to the Philippines, China, and Taiwan (in that order) for some reason most folks only seem to register China. I’ve been asked over and over again about my trip to China as if that’s the only place that matters. This bothers me. I get it; China’s huge. It’s also the economic powerhouse that people in the US have their eyes on these days. Out of the three, it is the one that Americans tend to know the most about. But still, it is not the only place I’m going to, stop acting as if it is. My other pet peeve? Taiwan is not Thailand! And it’s also not China. People, please go read a book. Oh, okay enough ranting. Moving on.

Things I’m looking forward to on this trip:

  1. Learning more about the places where we do business.
  2. The opportunity to interact with locals and share culture.
  3. Getting to know more about my co-workers.
  4. Most importantly, hopefully getting the chance to share my testimony and plant seeds for Christ.
  5. The food! 🙂

It’s sort of silly the things I’m worrying about. I should be concerned with safety, translation issues, getting along with my host families, the lessons I’m going to attempt to teach etc. Instead I’m thinking about being fat and coming home to a backlog of work.

Seriously though, I’m trying to gear myself up for the inevitable comments about my weight that I’m sure I’ll hear. It’s just not unusual for Asians to make comments about weight in a way that as Americans, we aren’t used to. It was that way when I first met my ex’s friends.  It was also that way when I was going to Chinese church. In addition, people assume you can’t understand what they are saying so that gives them even more liberty to make comments. There was one woman at Chinese church who made constant comments about my weight. Her and her daughter had numerous full on conversations about it while I was right in front of them. It was partially my fault because I never let on that I had a clue what they were talking about. That was somewhat unfair of me. Later when she found out that I understand a little Mandarin she was a bit upset that she hadn’t been told. But pretending not to understand was my only defense. What would I have said? So I said nothing.

Granted, I’ve lost quite a lot of weight since then, but compared to your average Asian, I’m still huge. Here in America, I’m thrilled to be overweight. You may wonder how anyone could be thrilled to be overweight. Well, when you’ve spent all of your adult life in the obese category, and most of it in the ‘super (morbidly) obese’ category, being merely overweight is a wonderful feeling! but that’s in America. Going to Asia basically means I’m going back to being super obese (in comparison) and I’m not looking forward to that part of it.

I know I’ll hear the comments and it will be the same as it was with my ex’s friends or with the folks at Chinese church; I’ll grin and bear it and act as if I don’t know what they’re saying. It will be partially true since my understanding of Mandarin is so limited. I’ll try to tell myself that I misunderstood, that they aren’t saying what I think they’re saying, that it’s just their culture, that it doesn’t matter…that it doesn’t affect me.

Ahh, but enough of that. I’m not going to waste too much energy thinking about those things. Good things are ahead! I’m going with a spirit of expectation and I can’t wait to see what the Lord is going to do! My prayer is that by the end of this journey I will have a new appreciation for my home country and all the things we so often take for granted. More importantly, I pray that somehow the people we meet will be forever changed because of God’s mercy and love for them.

Since Being Rebekah is a shared blog with a pretty specific focus, I have set up a second, semi-private blog to document my experiences on this trip. I will attempt to write every day and later upload the posts whenever I can find an internet connection. It will not necessarily have a spiritual focus the way this blog does, but will function more as a personal journal for me. Never the less, if you are interested in keeping up with my journey, send me an email at beingrebekahl@gmail.com and I will send you the link.

Next week on my regular day to post on this blog I’ll be in China. I am going to try to post from there, but I’m not really sure if I’ll be able to or not. WordPress is banned in China, but a fellow blogger that lives there has sent me instructions on how to get around that, so we’ll see. Also, my internet availability will be a bit spotty while I’m gone. I’ll have it in some places and not in others so I’m not completely sure if I’ll be able to post on my regularly scheduled day or not. To be sure, I’ll post again when I can. Say a prayer for me.

In His Love,

Rebekah L.

True Purpose

Lately, I have been feeling extremely frustrated. Almost irrationally so. It’s at the point where a few days ago I was convinced I’d be packing my bags, leaving NYC, and moving in with my parents before the spring was up. Sure, there are valid reasons for my frustration. Every employment opportunity that’s come up hasn’t worked out; tasks around the house take 3 times as long as they should, and no matter how hard I work there’s still a lot of TLC that the place needs. It’s been a constant grind for about 6 months, and I still don’t have many friends here to break up the day.

I found myself frustrated and angry with the situation, and also with God. I outright asked Him the other day, “I came here in faith. I thought you wanted me here. I trusted You to take care of me. I thought You wanted to use me here; what’s the point of my being here? Why’d You have me come? Where are You- was I wrong about You??”

God in return gave me the gentlest of reminders of what I have here, and what potential there is here. He reminded me of the constant stream of blessings He’s rained over me since my arrival, and how much stronger my walk with Him has gotten since I’ve moved here. Now I ask myself, how could I have forgotten these things? How could I doubt the one constant I’ve had since I got here?

In truth, I’d forgotten my true purpose. What’s my true purpose? To be God’s. Just to belong to Him. To be His delight. To bask in His presence. Anything He has me do in the meantime is just a bonus. First and foremost, I am here to be His and to worship my Heavenly Father.

I’m not the first one to lost sight of this. Adam and Eve had the same problem when, after eating the forbidden fruit, they realized they were naked and tried to cover up with fig leaves. Suddenly, the relationship with God went from one of simple fellowship and delight to one of fear, shame, and forgetting what we’re here for. Suddenly being ‘good’ meant being clothed, rather than just being God’s. The focus became external.

While it is of course the norm for us to wear clothes, and I don’t recommend that you stop, the same shift still takes place for us today. We focus on how we look to others, how we act, what we can do, how God can use us. These are good things – just like covering one’s exposed private parts with fig leaves would be considered a good thing. But they are external things, secondary to what we’re here first and foremost to do: simply to be God’s. To belong to God, to be the bride of Jesus Christ, to delight in Him and love Him the way He does us. To worship Him. To spend time with Him, just belonging to Him. Such a simple purpose, and yet so often forgotten.

So today, I invite you to take a breath with me. For a few moments, stop searching and striving. Enjoy the Lord, your Father, Husband, and Savior. Let yourself sit and be loved by Him. Just belong to Him. Yes He may tell you to move. Yes there will be busy seasons and slow, but that question of “why am I here?” should never be a concern. You may have various purposes in different seasons as God calls you, but your underlying purpose is just to belong to Him. So ground yourself in that, and find the peace that comes from knowing you have an inherent identity, just by existing as the Lord’s.

God bless!

~Rebekah A