That picture you see is the picture of my padawan. (Dae, if you're reading this, I also would've linked this to your blog. But you rarely update it. *tsk tsk*)
Just kidding. As much as I want to take the credit for the person that Dae is becoming, I'm afraid that I'll also have to take the responsibility of the person he is becoming.
But Dae has been a special person to our family. He's visited very house we lived in since moving to SoCal in 2008. Tradition dictates that the next place we live, he has to come and visit.
He feels called to the ministry and I've been trying to recruit him to work for me and whatever church I'm serving at. Got him to intern at Valencia UMC for a summer and it was great. He could learn a lot from someone like me and I could learn a lot from him too. So, he should just pack up and move to Santa Barbara.
But, before that, at the end of this month, Dae and his friend, Josh, will be heading to Kazakhstan for a 9-month mission trip. 9 months. Kazakhstan.
I was their youth pastor for two years in Hawaii. And God was doing amazing things through our church and I knew that God would use these kids in many great ways. And these two have answered God's call to go and expand their borders and their horizons.
A part of me is envious of the journey that is ahead of them. A bigger part of me is in awe, because I don't know if I could leave the comforts of my home (and country) and be in a foreign land for 9 months.
But I know that God is going to do great things through them and in them. I know that they're going to bless people that they encounter in Kazahkstan. But I also know that the people that they will work with and serve will bless them and change their hearts.
So please keep them in your prayers as they prepare for this exciting journey.
May God's grace and love be unleashed through them that their lives and the lives of the people they serve will be forever changed by God's grace and love.