Sunday evening last week, I arrived in Michigan, met by humidity, and a very great group of student missionaries. I was a few hours too late for the durian everyone else got to try (a notoriously smelly Asian fruit), but I was greeted warmly anyway. Monday began the first week of classes, which was intense but awesome. We learned about dealing with other cultures and world views, and filled out paperwork. My favorite part has been the discipleship lessons, though: we’ve evaluated Bible stories as I never have before. And all the while, we’re learning more about Jesus’ method of discipleship.

Perhaps my favorite lesson was when we compared the gospel commission in Matthew with the creation commission in Genesis: to “be fruitful, and multiply.” God made us in His own image and likeness, Moses says in Genesis. Did you ever stop to think about that though? Image refers to our appearance. So yeah—we knew that. Likeness though, in the context, refers to something far more than appearance: we were specifically created, not only to have God’s appearance, but also his likeness. His character. We are then to share His character and message with the world. The gospel commission simply reiterated that.

It was a great week, and lots of fun. On the weekend, we were challenged to re-imagine church, and I was in charge of organizing the service. I chose a theme of Commitment. After an exceptional Bible study including everyone’s thoughts which went twice as long as it was supposed to, we had a five-person sermon for church. Everyone played at least one part. We reimagined prayer, too: we had a popcorn prayer during Sabbath School, where anyone can jump in with sentence-long praises, confessions, requests or thanks. For church, instead of a congregational prayer, we prayed together in groups of two or three.

We’ve all been blessed, so far. I certainly have. And I can’t wait for another week of learning and working and worshiping our God together. Most of all, though? I can’t wait to make friends in Asia. I know God is leading, and I can’t wait to see where he leads next.


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