Monday, January 14, 2013

My Semester Abroad

The last four months have passed with such a swoosh, it almost feels like a dream. I've been trying to write this blog for a really long time, but it's been really hard touching pen to paper. To wrap four months of experience into a single post, that's pretty hard. Of course, this could have been solved by blogging more when I was abroad, but I'll try my best...

What a wonderful experience it has been! I will never forget these last four months. They have gained a special place in my heart, and I hope that these seeds would eventually grow and come to fruition. This trip has really made me treasure the saints. All of them. However different they may be from you in race, in age, in nature, in manner, etc... I really pray that the Lord will keep every one of us till the end--that we would not leave this unique flow and that the unique flow would not leave us. May this unique flow lead us to the consummation of the age!

One thing that I would just like to add is that I never felt like I was away from home. And maybe this is a cliche statement in the church life, but the saints are really your family. There is an eternal bond you create when you meet another person with the life of God. You fellowship for a bit, whether it's by uttering a bit of broken Spanish or trying to decode a bit of broken English, you sense and touch a flow of life. It really feels like you've known that saint for a long time, and they become eternally rooted in your heart. I've heard of many others say this, but I have to admit that this was the first time I really felt like this. 

I got to visit a number of places besides London. Scotland, Italy, Spain, Holland, Poland, Ireland, and Wales. Each place was very unique in its own and boasted of its particular characteristic. I really enjoyed the well-preserved buildings in Edinburgh, the sights in Rome, the weather in Spain, the bike-rides in Holland, the forest in Warsaw, the guides in Dublin, and the bay in Cardiff. And of course, you can't forget about the delicious food each place has in store for you. But the best attraction in every city and every country were the saints. Maybe my sophomoric eye needs more training and enlightening. But I just feel that I get easily bored after an awesome sight. We travel to see some extraordinary attraction, and they are jaw-opening at first. But you let a few moments pass by and you just realize that nothing has changed. It's the same building that I saw a few seconds ago. What more is there to see? Is that really it? However, the building of God, though invisible, never ceases to amaze me.

I really hope that this would not be my last encounter with Europe. It's so encouraging to see how the Lord has some -- maybe not many in numbers, but at least one or two -- who are absolutely consecrated lovers at every country. They have kindled my spirit. I feel very privileged to have been able to visit Europe. I like to encourage those who are still in college/high school to consider about studying abroad in Europe. At least mention it to the Lord.

Sorry for the long text! I promise you a blog post with only pictures in the future :)

Read about other students' experience studying abroad:


What were some takeaways from this experience?

(1) I am a vessel of life. I'm a vessel, in contrast to a tool, or a mere instrument to be used by God. There was a lot of "work" that was required to be done this past semester. Whether it was going out to many campuses to pass out bibles and preach the gospel, organize events, visit people, hold bible studies, practical service, etc... there were just so many needs and it was easy to be caught in "work" mode. However, that's not how and why we were made. We were made as vessels to contain God Himself as life, life supply, and everything. Have you ever experienced God being your everything? I don't think I have fully yet, but I definitely feel like I touched a little bit this past semester. So, whatever we do, we should first be open to be filled. Then, we should open wider, so that we can be filled even more. We should allow the Lord to overflow us. This overflow will be our reaching others.

(2) Whatever work we do, we need to expect the Lord's blessing. "Impossible" is what first came into mind in whatever we did. We didn't have the manpower nor were we experts at anything. I don't say this to downplay our capacity. It's just a fact. But so did the little boy with the five loaves and two fishes. We should just offer what little we have to the Lord and expect that He will break it, bless it, and give it back to us to feed the thousands.

(3) The Lord needs to revive us. We need to pray for the last revival, a revival which has never been recorded in the history of mankind, that will end this age. Habbakuk 3:2 and Hosea 6:2 reveal the key relationship between this kind of a revival and the Lord's coming back. No revival, no way for the Lord to return. This revival starts from our personal relationship with the Lord. From our being lovers and vessels. May we wake up every morning to meet our dearest Beloved! (Matt. 3:17; 1 Pet. 1:8; 1 Cor. 2:9)


  1. Felt the exact same way as you about sightseeing. Tourism becomes really underwhelming. Hallelujah for the building of God. Wish I had blogged more too, but I think we were too busy enjoying the church life... :)

  2. This post, brother, encouraged me to the uttermost! I believe as more and more US students see a vision of Europe and the last days, you, Diana, and I will not be the only bloggers :) May the Lord gain His shining testimony of Jesus in lampstands all across the world!