Andrew Got Baptized!

Do you remember this past summer when Justin and I managed the Aroma Ximen cafe? We got to work with some pretty great people, and one of them is Andrew. If you don’t remember him, read this post first!

Andrew gave his life to Jesus almost one year ago; last April. He’s growing and learning a lot! In fact, Justin and I have the privilege of having Andrew in our weekly microgroup; a small discipleship group Justin leads. Also, Andrew is our new church intern! What this means is that he helps us with projects and events, serves in the church in many capacities, and will eventually begin shadowing Justin more as time goes on.

Andrew has quickly become a huge part of our community. It’s hard to imagine him NOT in it!

We’ve watched Andrew overcome much. One example of this is his struggle to follow Christ while also honoring his family. Honor is deeply rooted in Taiwanese culture and so you can understand his dilemma. He had desired to be baptized several months before, but when his family found out they threatened to kick him out of his home. With Holy Spirit guiding, we spent time with Andrew, trying to wrestle with what the Lord wanted him to do and how he could respect his parents. This struggle finally came to an end one week when God met Andrew in his kitchen. It was there that he heard a clear call to take a leap of faith and trust that God would work on his parents hearts.

Last Sunday, Andrew made a public declaration for his faith in front of our church community (and many new friends!) and was baptized. And so we rejoice!

It’s always a good thing when someone new joins God’s family, but it is so, so special when you get to walk along side that person in so many aspects of life and experience the journey with them!

We aren’t sure what God’s plans are for the rest of Andrew’s family… but we have confidence that God has good plans, and we wait in anticipation, ready to be used by Him.

Congratulations, Andrew!

Pizza and Jesus

My family loves pizza. My family loves Jesus. So when the occasion arises to spend time teaching our friends about Jesus AND pizza, we spring into action.

Some of you might know that Brittany and I are really into huddles. We’ve talked about them before, but to summarize quickly… A guy named Mike Breen wrote a book called Building a Discipleship Culture. In Breen’s book, he talks about building disciples in micro groups and he uses shapes to describe the Christian life as modeled by Jesus. Together, with Holy Spirit’s guidance, we’ve been doing life with our huddles ever since we read the book.

Most recently our huddle learned about the half circle.

We used this shape to learn what the Bible teaches in Genesis 1 as God shows his creation how to work from rest, not rest from our work. Also what natural rhythms look like as seen in John 15 as Jesus describes seasons of fruit and seasons of pruning.

God calls us to seek him in these natural rhythms. He has made both work and rest good, and so we must make sure not to sway too far to one side of the pendulum for too long. After all, too much rest leads to laziness and too much work leads to burn out; something that I’ve experienced first hand.

Together as a huddle, we practiced resting. We heeded God’s command to keep a Sabbath and refrain from work. We took time to listen and let God show us what gifts he’d given us to enjoy and relish while we rest and receive energy. Enter pizza, stage left.

When we rest and work well, this is a testament to our trust in God. We wanted to live this out with others… and so we had a pizza party. Our huddle of five invited a couple of friends and we went out and enjoyed some of our favorite pizza in the city. (Shout out to Little New York!) Why? Because God loves us and wants us to work hard, and play hard, too.

The group, minus one. Photo credit goes to Andrew Chen