I was asked to write briefly about how God is glorifying himself through my life and obedience since I have graduated from The University of Virginia. This write comes on the heels of my UVa campus pastor asking me to share for a few minutes in front of Chi Alpha (XA) at UVa several weeks ago. I’m always excited to push forward God’s kingdom and spur on others to take action for the name of Christ.
After departing from The University and moving to the Washington D.C. area, I quickly attempted to get involved in a church and small group. However, I wasn’t satisfied with the small group I found, and remembered what Pete told me before leaving – that I should “look to lead.” My good friend and I began a discussion group, which, at first, consisted of friends. I would choose a challenging and unconventional topic to discuss each week, and would present multiple perspectives, whether Christian, secular, or another religion. This went on for a little over a year. I had the opportunity to challenge the beliefs and values of those from whatever world view/religion. There, I had the opportunity to challenge the beliefs and values of people from varying religions and with myriad world views.
I was living out the driving principals of my life – seeking first God’s Kingdom and righteousness. Consequently, I next realized the need for a base where those perusing Christ could be encouraged, live freely, and know that they had a sanctuary to continue to fight the cause of Christ. The Embassy was born in July 2005. It is a house of guys striving to live out their individual call to be “ambassadors” (2 Cor 5:20; We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us…) for Christ to the Washington D.C., area and to the world. One of the guys , a banker, is actively working to bring relief to both Christian and non-Christian Burmese through missions work. He is also working on developing a Congressional Bill for economic sanctions on Burma to end the oppression. I’ve been humbled that God would allow me to watch the lives of my housemates change because of my obedience to follow His call on me to create a refuge for His children in this city. I strive to lead the house by fostering authentic friendship and by challenging the guys to change their world each day. Several of the guys have started up Bible-study-type meetings at their places of employment, and one of these places is known to be openly hostile to the Gospel. In addition to the guys in the house, I also challenge the guys in the small groups I lead to do the same. I have had the pleasure of watching these friends learn God’s truth intellectually and take it into their being, their identity. In only a few short months, one guy went from not caring about God at all to faithfully trusting in all God has for his life. He has also developed a heart for the homeless. I’ve known him to walk by a homeless person on the street on his way to a dinner party and leave mid-party so that he could buy the man clothes and food. He realizes God’s blessing on his life in such a way that he now gives money to a homeless shelter any time he neglects to thank God for each meal he is given. He explains this by saying “If I’m not grateful, I know somebody else will be.”
God has also blessed me with opportunities to live out the passions He has placed within me. I know God has blessed me with the ability to solve business problems with the use of technology – hence my current job of IT consulting. After going on several missions trips, I realized that I wanted to bless people in ways that align with my gifting. God soon gave me an opportunity to do just that. He led me to a lady who wanted to start a small internet café business in Uganda, to provide for the needs of local orphans. The café would serve as a source of revenue for the orphanage as well as a base in the nearby city for the orphans and the organization. The café would provide the children with clothes, food, an education, and hope in God and their future. Not knowing what I was getting myself into, I pursued the opportunity, and two months later I was in Uganda learning, meeting, teaching, developing, and overcoming difficulties.
I will continue to live out the truths of God that have brought me here and look to impact the part of the world that God has entrusted to me. I will remember that obedience is always better than sacrifice and that I’ll never know what is on the other side of obedience, which, I’ve learned, is God’s love language. When I see God and tell Him my life story, I know that it will not be boring, mundane, and comfortable (a.k.a. uninteresting), but will be filled with adventure, heroism, and God’s kingdom brought to this earth. I will “Chase the Lion” and be on the offensive against the principalities of this world (the Evil One). I will find my strength only in defining myself as one who only has value because of Jesus, and for no other reason. I will challenge, ask hard questions, confess, impact the world, live a life of integrity, and bring God’s kingdom to earth while living out my freedom from oppression from society, the church, my family, or anything that hinders me from passionately living out God’s call for my life, today.