Flight supports collegiate students in their faith journey in God. It’s here to assist collegians fix their faith in Christ, grow in Christian community, and influence the world as Jesus did.

Contact Us

Email: flight@fcbc.org
Phone: (213) 687-0814
Address: 942 Yale Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90012
College Minister: Darren Lo, darrenlo@fcbc.org
Facebook Group:

The Flight Crew

Darren Lo, Spencer Sun, Kevin Chan, Danny Orh, Kylie Liu, Whitney Hung, Nikki Leon, and Bryan Guan

Communicate to a Flight Crew member if there are Flight-related issues or concerns you wish to express.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

August Flight Itinerary


It's been a while! We hope your summer has been productive, fruitful, and challenging. Whether you went on missions, served at summer camp, started a new job, or just sat/slept/watched--ya...we hope it has been an enjoyable summer! As it comes to a close, there are a number of things to look out for before school begins! Mark your calendars for these events:

Backpack Drive
August 18 | FCBC Gym (12pm)
In our commitment to bless our community, FCBCLA will be donating 500 backpacks to Griffin Ave Elementary School and will need your help to fill every single one! We will be assembling those backpacks on Sunday, Aug 18, in the Gym (MPB) in between and after service. Come help us out!

New Church Year!
Sunday, August 25 (Promotion Sunday)
We're moving up the start of the church year! Don't forget to move up (seniors!) and be ready for the incoming freshmen. Join us on Sunday at our Kick Off Meeting (LC 302-303, 8:45am) for a great start to the new year! We'll kick-off the new year with breakfast, Flight Ministry info, and fellowship.

Summer Lunch/Volleyball Tournament 
Sun 8/25 | 12:15pm lunch | 1:00pm Tournament
The In-N-Out truck comes to church! Ticket sales available after services in the Worship Center courtyard. If you want to compete in the volleyball tournament, please submit your FCBCLA team to Ada Lew Ho at adaylew (at) gmail (dot) com. Limited space. Deadline for submission: 8/18.

Annex schedule
Annex is coming soon (September)! Check out the schedule on the right side of this page and mark your calendars to see us at your campus soon. Let us know if you know of any conflicts!

November Baptism (in December)
Take a step of faith! Baptism is a great step of obedience in your walk with Christ and a chance to commit to our church. We have a baptism service coming up on Sunday, December 1 (in our morning service!), so that means applications are due October 20, and membership class will be in November. Look to see if you're free to come back for these important dates. Let Darren know if you have interest or any questions: darrenlo[at]fcbc[dot]org


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

2019 Arizona Missions - Jason Ng


1. Why and/or how did God lead you to Arizona as a collegian?
A few months prior to going to Arizona, I was talking with Nathan Pun about basically the future. The thought of going back to Arizona was kind of random and came out of nowhere. I had not really thought much about it after starting college, but it was at the moment when it hit me that I really missed the students I had met the previous year. Nathan was talking about how I should go back and reconnect with those I had met and pretty much convinced me to go this year. I told him how I would pray and think about it. However, in the back of my mind, I was thinking I’m not really going to go because of what I experienced the previous year. A few weeks past and one of the Navajos texted me asking how I was doing and how much they missed me. This touched my heart as I felt like my impact wasn’t even that much, but seeing how this Navajo followed up after all this time made me realize I did make an impact to them during my time in Arizona. I think a month before Arizona, Darren had reached out to me about the Thailand missions trip and was trying to get me to go. At first, I was super interested and it seemed like I was going, but that wasn’t the path God wanted to go towards. Instead, it was Arizona. As Arizona was approaching, many of the students I had befriended started texting me and saying, “See you in Arizona!” This was the last motivation I needed to hear as I felt like I could not let them down.

2. How is it different going as a collegian to Arizona?
I think going to Arizona as a collegian is not as scary or difficult as some may say. Sure most of my friends were not going to be with me, but that should not be the reason why people go to Arizona. Though I am super thankful and blessed that Matt Wong and Courtney Quan were there as well. However, the connections you make in Arizona makes you feel at home with the Navajo and they are your friends as well. So you are not as distracted and can spend more time with the Navajo. Being an introvert, this experience should have been a really tough and awkward place for me, but I felt right at home with the Navajo. It was like I never left and it was just another day being with the Navajo. Though the experience as a collegian was not super different than it was in high school. You still get yelled at by Frank and have the same responsibilities as any other high schooler. One thing I will say, though, is the alpha Kevin would not let me drive and that was pretty disappointing. So go to Arizona when you are 25, then that will be the experience.

3. What did God teach/show you this year?
One thing God really showed me this year was how comical He really is. I never thought I would ever say God is comical, but after this trip I will never doubt who and what He is to me. I was dropping some of the students back to their homes with Alpha Kevin, when one of the kids started to cough. The Alpha Kevin started to get worried as he did not want to get sick and I was joshing around with him saying, “ You are going to get sick and when you are unable to drive, I shall take over.” Kevin responded, “ God is going to punish you for saying something like that.” The very next day, I started coughing. At first I did not really think much about it, but looking back, God did indeed punish me and I am humbled by that experience and will never say anything mean to Kevin ever again. Something God taught me was how in control He is. At the beginning of the week, Curtis was dealing with some family issues and needed to be with them. So the teens class took a big hit by losing him, especially me since we were partners. However, I did not really feel anxious about the upcoming VBS. I trusted God and His plan for me. Sure enough, throughout the week, each day was presented with its own task, but I would not worry about the next day and solely focused on that day. As said in Isaiah 41: 10, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God…”


Monday, July 15, 2019

2019 Arizona Missions - Courtney Quan


To preface this, worrying and overthinking are practically second nature to me, which is important to know because as a result, I love being prepared plenty of time in advance. Yet my decision to go to Arizona this year was anything but that; it was uncharacteristically spontaneous, not at all part of the original plan, and very, very last-minute - which I now realize was concrete evidence that it was God at work after all. 

1. Why and/or how did God lead you to Arizona as a collegian?
The actual chain of events behind how God led me back to Arizona actually started just as soon as I had left the Reservation last year. There were two particular girls in my small group that year whom God had broken my heart for, but it was also those same two girls that kept taking the initiative and reaching out to me individually when I came back home. Somewhere along the line, despite us being hundreds of miles away and having untimely conversations in the early hours of the morning, I began considering them "friends" instead of just "girls who were in my small group". From something as big as attending a graduation ceremony in Tuba City during the middle of midterms season spring quarter to something as simple as messaging during class because the day wasn't going so well, it was through the two of them that God worked most prominently in leading me back to Arizona as a collegian.

2. How is it different going as a collegian to Arizona?
I initially had a lot of reservations about returning to Arizona. Returning as a collegian had never particularly interested me nor been something that I had planned to do, always assuming that my senior year would be my last. Sometimes I really did feel that going for those two girls and my small group was too simpleminded and too short of a reason, and besides, it's not like any of the girls in my grade were coming with. But one of the better things about going out to Arizona as a collegian is that it more clearly puts into perspective the integrity of your motive for going. Because to go as a collegian usually means that it isn’t because it’s your last chance to go as a senior, isn’t because all your friends are going. As very much was the case for me, the only reason I had to go was to see those two girls and how God had worked in their lives since, and that proved reason enough for me to suddenly change my mind and commit to returning to Arizona just a month before the actual trip.

3. What did God teach/show you this year?
In my eyes, going on missions involves flipping a “switch” for more energy, more enthusiasm, more willingness to put myself out there and be so very uncomfortable and make the most of the limited amount of time we have with the people we are ministering to. But the relationships you form during that time are not temporary in the slightest. They aren’t something that you can build up during the week you’re physically there and then walk away from to never touch again the remaining fifty-one weeks of the year.

4. What did God place on your heart for the Navajo?
As much as we go on mission trips intending to pour out to the community around us, we are just as prone to being poured back into by those very same people. The blessings God showed me that week all served to paint a bigger picture of His face by reminders of His faithfulness, goodness, beauty, and sovereignty through the Navajo, in seeing how the girls I had met last year were now happier and carried themselves with more confidence, in witnessing how transparent and vulnerable my small group was willing to be with me in their journals, in being able to actually pray with those same girls and be reminded that our God transcends cultures and distance and language. And looking back at this trip in its entirety, the biggest thing God has shown me this past week is to not hesitate when you hear the voice of the Lord telling you to go. I’m reminded now of Isaiah 6:8, which says, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord asking: Who should I send? Who will go for us? I said: Here I am. Send me.” And that is my encouragement to you who is reading this now. The conclusion of the matter God has shown me so abundantly as of late is to simply go with no questions asked, for a reason only He knows but for a plan we understand in full is truly for our own good.



Sunday, July 14, 2019

2019 Arizona Missions - Matthew Wong


1. Why and/or how did God lead you to Arizona as a collegian?
God opened the door for me to go to Arizona by saying no to my selfish summer plan. Back in December/January I intended to get a paid internship for the summer so I could make money and also boost my resume as a business student. Throughout spring, I found out that these internships don’t want first year students and I didn’t know what to do for summer. As this was happening, some of the teens that I’ve spent time with during my previous Arizona trips were consistently messaging me and asking how I was. I began wondering if Arizona was an option for me and started to pray about it. Soon after, Frank texted me “Arizona?” And at that point I knew that was God working. I was reminded of all that I had learned from previous trips and from being in HSMT and I felt God’s heart and love for the Navajo.
2. How is it different going as a collegian to Arizona?
I think this year was the first time that I had felt God calling me to Arizona because of His love for the Navajo.  As a high schooler, I think I treated it as a sort of “I get to/want to go to Arizona” and this year was “God wants me to go to Arizona.” 

It was also different having less people from my grade there and I didn’t spend any time with the HSMT’ers during the year so I felt a little out of place.

3. What did God teach/show you this year?
God showed me that He is sovereign.  I was there for a specific reason and He brought specific people to my small group. 

He also showed me more of the brokenness and struggle on the reservation and why they need the gospel.  I knew this before going on this years trip but God opened my eyes even further to all that’s going on. 

He also showed me how He is powerful and mighty.  This year I was more aware that small things going on, like discomfort or stress, were spiritual attacks.  As I prayed through all the little things and the big things, I saw that God was watching over me.



Friday, July 12, 2019

2019 Thailand Missions - Seeing Sleeping Beauty


Hi all! Thank you so much for partnering with us on this trip to Thailand. Putting so much effort into following the Spirit is tiring, but your support allow with God's sustenance allowed us to push through to the end. Now, as we're flying back to the US today, we trust that the Lord will use our team's work, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant, in the ministries we supported.

As Whitney's last post explained, we are a little behind on our blog posts, as the past week has been chock full of traveling, planning, and teaching. I get to post about July 5, our travel day from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai with Lillian!

The night before, a few of us stayed up late to pack as much as we could before the morning. We had planned to get breakfast with some of The Centre staff, and we didn't want to accidentally forget any belongings while rushing out to eat. Because the staff we were meeting had some responsibilities to attend to that morning, we went off in pairs to buy breakfast and bring it back to the AirBnB. Mel and I went to buy skewers and coffee while Whitney and Nikki grabbed some milk teas. Most importantly, Darren bought 3 slices of homemade pie! Soon after we returned, the most excellent, exciting, extraordinary, enlightening, Elisabeth, Michelle, and Daniel came to say good bye. After taking many pictures, we headed out to Chiang Rai with Lillian. 

To be completely honest, I was asleep for most of the journey, but I was told the scenery passing by was beautiful. We made 2 stops on the way to BBI, the seminary we stayed in for our time in Chiang Rai. For lunch, we stopped at some natural hot springs which were hot enough to even cook eggs in! The second stop we made was for gas and a bathroom break. Along the way, somehow, I'm still not even sure how, my glasses lens popped out, because a screw was mysteriously missing. Luckily, when we arrived in Mae Sai, the district in Chiang Rai we worked in, Lillian was able to find an optometrist to repair my frames. After a hearty dinner, we went straight to BBI, and planned for our classes the next day for the rest of the night.

Even as we've returned from the trip, please continue to pray for us!

PRAYER REQUESTS
1. Pray that God would continually bring moments where He showed Himself to mind, so that we wouldn't forget His goodness.

2. Pray that we would have many opportunities to share what we experienced with others, and not give half-hearted or tired explanations.

3. Pray for return to normalcy as some of us prepare for camp or work or study or anything else. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

2019 Arizona Missions - Austin Quon


Hi Peeps! I can't believe I’ve gotten through a week of HSMT.

The weekend was pretty hectic on Saturday evening as I passed out from dehydration! I was with Uncle Radley (the medic) while cleaning the outhouses when all of a sudden I felt very light headed and had a stomach ache. I told him I’d be right back to get some water. Half way back I started to get a headache and dizziness kicked into over drive. I wobbly made my way to the cargo van to sit down in the passenger seat and passed out. Head on the dashboard and was out like a light, dreaming that I was dying. About five minutes later I woke up sweating like a waterfall and then chugged a lot of water. After that I got back up and went straight back to work. (Work doesn’t get itself done am I right?)

Sunday was the most labor intensive day for me needing to set up canopies for the kitchen. That area gets pretty hot from all the cooking and the sun beating down into the garage. The work didn't sound that bad up until I had six high schoolers to help me set up the showers in a wind storm (I knew the tarps weren’t taut, but it’s all we were able to do). Those kids struggled as we tried to wrap the tarps around but the wind kept picking up. Eventually after awhile of struggling we slowly put it together. As night fell the lanterns need to be set up since I didn’t do it Saturday night. At the end of the day I was so exhausted I couldn’t lift a cement pole that weighed around 50 pounds. I needed this pole for the tents so I could hang a lantern in the middle. Luckily I found a wheel barrel and used that to transport the pole. It doesn’t sound that labor intensive which you’re right, but when you’re in the sun while trying to keep dust of your eyes it gets exhausting.

Monday morning I noticed Kevin’s pickup truck had a flat tire. This was the same time Spencer wanted to take my mug shot for this blog--haha. The tire was low on air as in it was on the rim on the ground flat. Funny thing was the puncture was so small it was like someone stuck a needle into it. But I ended up changing a tire three times. First time was taking it off and replacing with the spare. Then later on, taking off the spare and placing back on the original tire. I also decided to take a shower during a wind storm. It was nice hot shower because the hose was sitting in the mid day sun, but also cold because the winds were pretty strong.

Tuesday was very relaxing except checking a tire that had a nail in it. I thought the tire was puncture and was slowly leaking air. So I changed the tire for the spare. But when Pete (driver/cook) checked the nail and he yanked it out and nothing happened. It went into the thread but didn’t puncture the tire, thankfully.

Wednesday morning we got to watch a slaughtering of a lamb (culture exchange day) then skinned, and its intestines removed. We also got to teach the Navajo how to make Chinese dumplings...like 800 of them. Afterwards, Celia, Jocelyn, and Katrina seasoned the legs of the lamb for Kevin's smoker (its a file cabinet where insides been gutted out with metal rack, built two years ago). Fire was so inconsistent it was either 1000 or 200 degrees. Then a grease fire broke out now the thermometers couldn't read the heat anymore. We then started a second fire to sear the head of the lamb. More like I threw it in a fire pit and all the hair burned. It was my first time doing this, so you gotta give me some props--at least I didn’t burn the campsite to the ground.

Overall the weather has been very pleasant--probably best out of the 7 years I’ve been going. I’ve noticed the lands are very green as Dinker (mother of Stewie, who owns the house next to the shade house) mentioned it’s been raining quite a a lot this year. Because of the rain there are too many weeds with spiked balls that have littered the camp ground. I nicknamed them "hitchhikers" because they stowaway on your shoes or socks.

Prayer Requests

  • Some of the high schoolers been getting nose bleeds and they need to drink more water
  • High schoolers would maximize their time with Navajo kids and be able to plant seeds
  • Pray for Friday potluck day as our chefs have lots of cooking
  • I continue to have the energy to push through the rest of the week



Wednesday, July 10, 2019

2019 Thailand Missions - Dreams Do Come True!


Good morning! It is currently 6:00 AM here in the United States (jet lag isn't treating me too well). Although we had 2 delays and had to change flights extremely last minute, we were able to make it back safely and actually early?? I don't know, but PRAISE THE LORD. It feels a lil' strange not waking up to Nikki shaking her sunscreen bottle, rushing to get ready for the day, and doing team devotions in the morning.

Speaking of devotions, Nikki was able to lead us in devotions this past Saturday and reminded us of God's deliverance and sovereignty. He lifts up the needy and His deeds are loving (Psalm 107:33-43). Following devotions, Lillian brought us to the church where Darren would preach and Whitney would give her testimony on Sunday. It was interesting to see a church "without walls" and filled with students who go there to learn English and Chinese. Afterwards, we went to JianHua (similar to a high school here in the U.S.) to eat lunch at the canteen and get familiar with the campus before teaching classes. We enjoyed a lovely lunch at the "teachers' table" as Darren persistently told us to eat our vegetables. Since we had a little over half an hour until class, Lillian decided to take us to a bridge to enjoy a nice view of Chiang Rai's beautiful nature while feeding fish!

It was finally time to teach our very first English class and be real teachers! It felt like a dream come true for me especially because my 2nd dream job after a nurse is a teacher! Our team was split into group 1 (Darren, Nikki, and I) and group 2 (Alisa, Whitney, and Jonny). We went to our designated classrooms and were scheduled to teach for 1.5 hours. We had both classes work on their verbal introduction skills by asking and answering simple questions such as "What is your name? My name is _____. What is your favorite food? My favorite food is ____. What do you like to do in your free time? In my free time, I like to _____." Then, our class played a simplified version of scrabble to help the students with spelling in a fun interactive way! We then ended our class with the Cha Cha Slide. The other class played another version of telephone charades and also did the Cha Cha Slide! Overall, our classes went rather smoothly and we were able to observe how we could improve for the upcoming Monday classes.

From what I observed, the school culture in Thailand was pretty different from the school culture here in America. In Thailand, they are required to stand and greet the teacher and are only allowed to sit down when the teacher says so. One of the students spilled her drink and went to get a broom and mop to clean, but stopped with a confused look on her face as Darren helped her clean up. Many of the students were polite (there were of course a few rowdy ones) and greeted us even as we walked through the halls of the school. It was an exhausting 1.5 hours, but it was rewarding to pour God's love on these students through our teaching.

Lastly, we visited the Golden Triangle, an area where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong rivers. It was amazing to see three nations meet at one spot. It made me think what Heaven would look like as every nation worships and praises God together as one family.



Prayer requests:
Recovery: Pray that we would recover from jet lag and be able to have the energy to accomplish various things such as preparing for camp, waking up on time for Sunday School, work, etc. Also, pray that Whitney would recover from her sickness!
Debrief: Pray that we wouldn't forget our work in Thailand and especially how we have seen God work in Thailand. Pray that we may tell the people around us of what happened in Thailand.
Darren: Pray for Darren's safety as he travels alone in Hong Kong.

Monday, July 8, 2019

2019 Thailand Missions - Warm and Fuzzy Before Chiang Rai



Time to say goodbye~. Sadly, today was our last full day in Thailand and we’ll be flying back to America tomorrow. This trip has been quite a wild ride and we all learned a lot about ourselves, one another, missions, and God. If you already haven’t noticed yet, we’re a little behind on our blog post updates... Posts about how we spent our time leading up to today will slowly continue to roll in even when we get back, so please be patient with us!

Let me tell you about last Thursday, our last full day in Chiang Mai before leaving for Chiang Rai on Friday~.

As I was in the process of recovering from my fever, I woke up with a migraine that early morning. Momma Alisa advised me to stay in and rest a bit more before going back to The Centre to say our last goodbyes. It was supposed to be a chill day anyways as we had to recover from the 4th of July party and prepare for the long weekend of teaching in Chiang Rai. While stubbornly pouting like a kid not wanting to miss out on the fun, I decided to listen to her and slept for a couple more hours. This ended up being a good idea as the extra rest helped with my headache, providing me the extra strength to get through the rest of the day. DON’T FORGET TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST!

While I was resting, my fellow team members went to get some Thai-Chinese dim sum with some of The Centre staff members and visited Wat Phra Singh (Buddhist temple).




After graciously grabbing me some skewers from lunch, the team picked me up and we headed to The Centre. Here’s a summary of what went down for the rest of the day:

Devotions.
I was in charge of doing devotions that day, but the lovely Alisa helped take over as I was still sick. We ended up doing four rounds of prayer, praising God for what He has done throughout the week!

Painting a room at The Centre. SUCCESS!

We made our finishing touches with the room we painted and left our marks on the side of the room by writing our names.
San Francisco on the left with LA on the right~. 
Pro artists Darren and Nikki finishing up painting the verse! (Revelation 21:23) 

Team star to celebrate our successful teamwork and team effort! 

"FCBC LA Team waz here" 
Bonding with The Centre staff one last time.
While cleaning up, Jonny and I got the opportunity to sit down with the Kind Centre Teacher Joanna and hear about her 9-month teaching experience along with stories about memorable students. We got to ask about her plans for the future as she will be returning home to the States in a few months. Although she was unsure of what the future held, she still didn't worry too much and trusted in God's sovereignty.
After cleaning up, David, one of The Centre’s teachers had to take his wife to the hospital to get her appendix checked. Since we were sitting around, we helped Elisabeth look after their kids.

Alisa watching "Veggie Tales: Noah's Ark" with the kids. 

At the very end of the day, after dinner, we yolo'ed went to watch a movie with our Centre staff friends (Elisabeth, Joanna, Daniel and his visiting girlfriend Michelle)! Curious about how the movie theater culture is different in Thailand, we eagerly hurried over to catch the showtime. Since we were far from home, we watched Spider-Man: Far From Home. After the trailer previews, a video montage played on the screen, giving tribute to the current Thailand king. Everyone had to stand up out of respect while it played. This was quite interesting to see first-hand how the king is “enthroned in a position of revered worship” (Thai Constitution).


Last hangout with an old friend. 
Bow (as in "bow and arrow"), one of the students we met last year that I became close to, came to The Centre to hang out one last time with us. Nikki, Jonny, Melody, and I bonded with her and her boyfriend with an intense game of SPLENDOR! *Note for Darren: buy Splendor for Flight Ministry*
Nikki is still Game Master! 
For dinner, we headed to the night market nearby with Bow and a few other Thai students. I got to catch up with her by asking her how she has been in the past year, if she has been attending The Centre’s staff’s house church, and even finding out what her full Thai name means ("A girl without worry")!
After eating, I asked her to pick out something from the night market for me so that I could own something that would always remind me of her. She picked out this pretty white floral top for me and even helped me get a discount!
I felt really sad when we had to go our separate ways as we only met up 3 times during our time in Chiang Mai due to her busy work schedule. Miss her already!



Overall, the day was very restful but also eventful and warm and fuzzy meaningful~.

Prayer Requests
  • Pray for a safe and smooth flight back home for the team as we will be heading back very soon! Melody and I are still in the last stages of recovering from our sickness, so hopefully there won’t be too much turbulence that might make us feel even more nauseous.
  • Pray for David’s wife’s recovery and health. The doctors found out that there was something wrong with her appendix so she had to get surgery to remove it. Although she seems to be doing okay, pray that she will be restored back to full health soon and won’t have any more health issues in the future.
  • Pray for The Centre’s staff that are currently getting ready to transition in their lives and return back home. Pray that they will continue to remember God’s goodness and trust in His future plans for them.
  • Pray for the Thai people that God will continue to provide workers to help learn about the One that should be the king of their lives and heart!


Sunday, July 7, 2019

2019 Thailand Missions - Happy July 4!


Ni Hao! We have safely arrived at Chiang Rai and had just finished our first day of teaching at a local school in Mae Sai. As chaotic (in a good way) as our trip has been, we can't help but think that our time is almost up in Thailand. Our team has been experiencing how Jesus' love can overcome every generation and cultural difference. While at the same time bringing to light just how many are still lost. A verse that came to mind recently is Psalms 77:11-12 which reads, "I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds." As we come closer to actually leaving, a part of me feels as if I hadn't done enough. but I want to keep in mind this work is not for me to do alone, it has all been possible because of God who strengthens and guides me.

Wednesday Happenings:

 - We were able to get a little more shut eye in the morning since we had finished debrief well into the night before hand after a long day of food prep and shopping the day before.
- We visited a new noodle place for lunch with Elisabeth before heading over to the Centre to begin our July 4th event preparations. 
- While all huddled into the kitchen downstairs, we had some fun laughs over conversation while cutting and washing ingredients to make the entrees of the night.
- Our menu consisted of starters with corn dogs and potato salad, entrees of your choice of bbq ribs, chicken drumstick, or wings, hotdogs, and baked mac & cheese. It ended with dessert of watermelon, homemade from scratch dark chocolate chip sea salt cookies, apple and mango cobbler á la mode.
- I stayed behind to help Elisabeth with cooking while the rest of the team went upstairs to decorate and finish planning the activities for the night.


- The team was able to interact with the students in the middle of the day before the event started. (Praise the Lord for answered prayers! We had been praying for the possibility for having more students come and hopefully for the the event especially.)
- Lastly, and probably most importantly, Jonny got to share his testimony after dinner to those who attended.


As busy as the day was, I had the chance to really get to know Elisabeth better along with Michelle while assisting mainly in the kitchen. As we were being both awkward and serious at the same time, I can't seem to get over how much I really enjoyed this time together. They were both so willing to share, and they demonstrated the love of Christ so extravagantly, it has me lost for words.  I was able to learn more about how marvelous our God is and how He has been--and is currently--working in their lives. It was a great time to learn some life tips and hear wise words/feedback on what I had experiencing in Thailand. I appreciated the way they simply listen to me beyond what I could describe and could even read between the lines of my simple observations as I shared.

Prayer requests:

  • Pray that the team can continue to press in with the Lord in moments of challenge, especially since we lack good rest. 
  • Please also pray that we will be dependent on the Lord and for the Gospel and love of Christ to be known as we minister in Chiang Rai.



Friday, July 5, 2019

2019 Thailand Missions - Melody, Maya Mall, Macro, Mosquitos


We heard about the earthquake back home and hope everyone is ok! 😱 It was a reminder to our team of God's great power that can shake the hearts of those around us. We may not know how God is moving and transforming, but He is definitely at work and could change hardened hearts at any moment! Will we be ready for His moving?

I get the chance to write to you all as we travel from Chiang Mai to Chaing Rai--about a 5 hour journey by car. Lillian, our contact and long-term missionary in Thailand, met us in Chiang Mai and got us a large van for the trek up north. It's a little nice to get some rest in comfy 10-passenger van and we're grateful to relax for a bit.

This past Tuesday, we continued our work at The Centre with painting and food prep for the July 4th event. Why start preparing so early? Well, we celebrated July 4 on July 3, but it was July 2 in your time zone...we were as confused as you are now, don't worry! But The Centre generally has events on Wednesdays and Fridays, so they wanted to keep the event days similar even though it wasn't quite the 4th yet. Not to worry, we did America proud by preparing all-American sides and marinating ribs and chicken. Elisabeth helped us created amazing side dishes after some intense shopping at their version of Costco called 'Macro' (get it?).

After some painting in the late morning, we prepared coleslaw, potato salad, and put some homemade marinades onto 100 pieces of chicken and 8 racks of ribs. We then took the opportunity to hang out with some students through board games and attend classes. Some of them even remember our names! All in all, we're making some good connections so far and can't wait to celebrate the 4th with them over some tasty food.


Melody reminded us during Tuesday's devotional that God is worthy to be praised and His name is to be made known as He leads and guides our steps. Psalm 111:4 says,
[God] has caused his wondrous works to be remembered.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate.
We have seen God moving through our interactions with students and staff and we can't help but praise Him for even the small things. Our conversations and connections are growing and we're excited with how God is using us to bring attention to The Centre and ultimately to Himself.

Pray requests:

  • Please continue to pray for Melody and Whitney as they recover from their sicknesses. Especially as we have transitioned to a new location that's much more rural.
  • Pray for our work in Chiang Rai--we will be teaching English to classes later today (Saturday).
  • Pray that God would continue to work in Chiang Mai and The Centre. Even though our time is done, we can't help but remember their needs as we already miss our time there.

Praises:
  • Praise God for his continual strength. The nights have gotten later and the work more rigorous throughout the day, yet God continues to renew us in His strength.
  • Praise God for safety throughout our trip so far. Even with traveling to a new city, everything has been smooth.
  • Praise God for new insights each day, we're seeing a particular theme throughout our devotions together and that is to seek God's will, purpose, and praise no matter the circumstances. We are thankful that this truth renews our sense of mission here in Thailand.
Thanks for your dedication, commitment, and support!
-Darren




Wednesday, July 3, 2019

2019 Thailand Missions - Sunny Sheepy Sweet Days


Today is Friday but I'm blogging about Monday. 😑 This week literally flew by. Now we're departing to drive 5 hours north to Chiang Rai with our missionary Lillian. If you've been following along with our blog, kup koon kaa - we'll slowly recap the days on the drive and this weekend.

After Sabbath and fellowshipping with Centre staff Sunday night at Walking Street (the weekly night market in the Old City), our Monday started off with a late start (10am). We had our usual chicken skewer-fried chicken-coffee breakfast - delivered by Darren and Jonny - and got picked up by Elisabeth - our trusty Centre teacher-graphic designer extraordinaire. We headed straight to the Centre to paint the California room and work on our stories for July 4th Cooking Night.

Monday was my first time focusing my time more on painting while at the Centre. I got to paint my beloved sun and its three shades: salmon, light salmon yellow, and light flat yellow! Yellow is my favorite color. The sun is also major inspo from the Golden Coast (aka West Coast, Best Coast!), as well as a change in the verse for the room to Revelation 21:23, which is also one of my favorite verses. When Christ returns to reign on a New Heaven and Earth, the darkness and hopelessness of this world will be no more, and we will no longer need the light of the sun because God will be our everlasting light *starry-eyes emoji*

I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away..." The city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. -Revelation 21:3-4, 23 (NLT)
Sweet Monday Moments (Praises):
  • my roommate Whitney waking me up - I felt like I was her jr. high school camper and she was my counselor
  • drives with the team and Elisabeth and hearing her gently or not-so-gently ask what the driver in front of us is doing
  • proofreading Whitney's testimony on the office sofa with Whitney sitting close on my left and Jonny on my right, watching and helping edit
  • looking up "cast down sheep" (Matthew 9:36) during Nikki's devotion time and learning that sheep flipped over and without help are just like people without Christ - helpless and cause for death
  • Whitney telling me to watch a Bible Project video with her before we go to sleep every night (starting with Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes)
  • art therapy: God meeting me while painting the California room with the team, in silent concentration, but in worship, with worship music playing in the background - for like a solid 20 min. The day before flying to Thailand, which was also Hi Koi's Senior Honor Night + my last night of serving as a counselor for the church year, Denise (one of our Centre team leaders last year) met up with me. She asked what I look forward to on this trip and, reflecting on the past year of ministry and grad school, I said painting. I knew I needed a time of rest and creative outlets have been my best moments of retreat and reflection. Being here in Chiang Mai so far has been a dream of what it's like to focus on one ministry, rather than in the busyness and pull of directions I got myself into back at home
  • painting with Centre friends (Elisabeth and Michelle, a friend from Elisabeth and Daniel's Lone Star State) has also been a refreshing blessing while the "kids" (the collegians) went to help out with some English classes, as well as good company hanging out after dinner
  • God's renewal and encouragement through teammates and Centre staff despite low energy and introverted-ness


Prayer Requests:
  • pray for safe travels as we drive up with Lillian to Chiang Rai 
  • pray for good adjustment as a team as there will be a change of pace, environment, and open-ended direction for this second phase of our trip
  • pray for new students to enroll at the Centre & for good long-term teachers - they are currently in need. Now that the California classroom is painted, it'll need students and teachers to actually fill it!


Matthew 9:35-38
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”


Image result for cast down sheep


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

2019 Thailand Missions - Church ≠ Building


Hi everyone! We have one week left here in Thailand, and I can't believe we're leaving Chiang Mai in just a few days. It has been such an awe-inspiring, eye-opening experience for all of us. Praise God for how He has already worked in us and through us! Praise God for our interactions with the Centre staff!! Praise God for old and new relationships with students!!! Praise God for giving me the confidence to share my testimony in front of unbelievers.

This past Sunday, we got to experience what it is like going to church for the long term missionaries at the Centre as well as the students. Rather than going to a traditional church, we had the opportunity to go to a house church! David, one of the Centre staff, generously opens up his residence for house church on Sundays as well as Fridays. The service is similar to the service back at FCBC where we start off with greetings then go on to worship through songs of praise, offering, a message, prayer, a reflection song, and benediction. We sang pretty familiar songs: Great are You Lord, God I Look to You, and Sinking Deep. It was refreshing to hear everyone's voices along with the guitar and cajon. Even the two kids were singing! The message, which was given by David, was on 1 Corinthians 5. David gave important application points regarding the detrimental effects of sin on our lives and the church body. However, he also reminded us of God's grace and Jesus' sacrifice through verses 7 and 8: "Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new unleavened batch, as indeed you are. For Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us observe the feast, not with old leaven or with the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (CSB). Following the message, we were given time to reflect on what we had just heard and to confess our sins to the Lord. We then closed with one more song and the benediction. Afterwards, we ate lunch provided by our hosts and had wonderful fellowship together.



Post-church, our team went back home to get some rest, debrief, and do devotions. We had an hour of free time so some of us decided to take naps, and some of us decided to go out and get some caffeine! We regrouped to have devotions led by Whitney. She creatively reminded us of how we should trust in God's vision when things don't go how we expected as well as how our epic failures in life are all part of God's plan for us and our growth. We then debriefed by sharing how God has blessed or challenged us personally, communally, and missionally. For instance, I shared how God has blessed me personally by helping me understand that I have limits to my "extrovertedness" and need to rest to regain energy. At night, our team and the Centre staff got to further enjoy the Thai culture through the Sunday Night Market! We walked past delicious food, many diverse and traditional performers, and a multitude of shop stands. We were also able to buy gifts for our supporters back at home.
Sunday Night Market!


Prayer requests:

  • The chills: Whitney and I both have the cold! We suffer from a runny nose, sore throat, and mild headaches. Pray for healing and energy for our big July 4th event tomorrow. 
  • More bites: These mosquito bites are extremely irritating and distracting. We have tried many things including spray repellant, aiming our AC, and anti-itch cream. Please pray that we won't get any more bites so that they won't distract us while we serve. 
  • July 4th event: Pray that more students would attend this event that we are hosting and that they would experience God's love through us and our testimonies! Pray that everything would go smoothly and that there won't be rain since we're having BBQ. 
Just a glimpse of last year's July 4th event!