I’m fully funded and in June I’m going to Colombia!
Wow, I’m so excited I couldn’t even write a proper introduction or greeting first. (Hi there!) Or maybe it’s your excitement that kept spurring me to write this announcement update because you couldn’t wait to find out how my progress has been. Many of you may already know from my unofficial announcement post from Instagram, but I wanted to write an official post to thank all my supporters and to take you through some milestones along my journey.
The original Instagram post
First, some FAQ’s: I will be leaving June 6 to Minnesota for two weeks of training, then flying out to Bogota, Columbia for one month of music missions work. This will include playing at prisons, schools, camps, or just places that need us to be in accordance with our partner YFC Columbia (Youth for Christ). I’ll be travelling with a group of 9 people including all the leaders, vocalists, and instrumentalists. Yes we will be learning and singing songs in Spanish, although there are also a few English songs. Please pray for me as I listen and practice for these songs. Although I won’t have to sing in Spanish, I do still have to learn the lyrics. I remember when I went to the Urbana Missions Conference in 2015 (where this all started) we sang songs in Arabic, Spanish, Korean, and more. It was where I first got my open mentality of being open to singing in different languages, even ones that I don’t understand. You don’t really have to understand lyrics fully to be able to feel the impact of presence if it speaks to your soul. Music is the universal language, and there’s a certain special beauty of singing and listening to words that you don’t understand. You can actually find more meaning behind the words of an unfamiliar language, even more so than when just singing repetitive, complacent, and hollow words in your native language. That’s why ultimately I need prayers for my state of mind and heart, because no matter how much I practice or train, I am still only building a frame so that God can give his breathe of life. Being in tune with God is the goal of all this practice. Yes, being in tune with each other would be nice too, but the true meaning is only really emanated when God is present in our hearts and in the songs.
The same applies to my fundraising process. When I first started the fundraising process, word had barely gotten out. I mean I thought I had tried to get the word out, but I was limiting myself to asking around my friends’ circle at school. That did yield support, don’t get me wrong, but it was the kind that still kept me hanging, worrying, and doubting. I believe that’s the way God works anyways; never giving you more than you can handle, but always pushing you to new limits in your faith. After some time, my home church, OCAC, played my fundraising video that I made in the service. The English service pastor also suggested playing my video out in the lobby if necessary just to keep sending awareness. The Mandarin service pastor also mentioned my trip plans in service and I received overwhelming support from the Mandarin, Cantonese, and English services.
I also sent out physical letters to some people by mail, which I didn’t have direct physical contact with. I was also really overwhelmed, grateful, and surprised because a lot of the people I didn’t even think they would remember me or know who I was. For many, it had been years since our family last had contact with them, and still the faithful amount they were willing to donate to me was extremely touching. I sent out the letters in March and even still just this past week I received a donation in response to the letter. I mean it could just be a really delayed mail, but I like to believe that it was because although they received the newsletter in March, they have been praying and thinking about me up until even now in May.
In the beginning I was weak. I cried talking to my parents about the support raising process. When I had gone months into the process but only collected a few supporters one of my family members tried to comfort me by saying its ok. They said that not everyone had a mission’s mindset and that you can’t expect everyone to be on board with this choice of a riské path. They said that if I didn’t get enough support that they would support me. Now, hearing that elicited two very contrasting feelings within me. Yes I understand that they were trying to be supportive by saying they're always here for me and will support me no matter what, so I will go on the missions. Very reassuring on one side, but on the other, it felt very demeaning. I know they have the best intents, but I didn’t believe that no one would support me. I fully believed that I would be fully funded. And I was right. Here we are! Missions is like the big fat check sitting on the table calling out to our inner Asian instincts to race to be the first to pay the bill. It’s an honor and a joy to be able to take up that responsibility.
I know it cost a personal sacrifice from every single person that donated to me. Once again, I had built only a structure by sending out all the awareness I thought I could but I had to wait for God to bring his breathe of life in. It wasn’t until I started to feel more desperate that God started to send his waves of blessings in. I had faith, not in the people, but in the impact I knew God was able to have in the people - to move them in a way where they are willing to contribute to my trip. Although the people around me are great and I love them dearly, I didn’t have faith in them that they would donate to me. I had faith in God, that he would lead me to achieve the full amount of support I needed - that he was an all-powerful God, worthy of all our praise, offerings, and worship.
I often feel like I have no idea how to pay back those who donated and impacted my fundraising journey so significantly, but then I remember that they didn’t donate to me. They donated to my mission. To God’s mission. Therefore I can only sing and make music with all my soul with all that is within me so that I can give the most and do the best that I can do for God.
I will train hard and strong remembering with every practice that this is not about me.
I will play loud and confidently knowing this is for the glory of God.
I will pray constantly and consistently because…
After all, who ever needed a reason to pray?
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18 NIV)
This is my story, This is HIS story,
Michelle Yin | JESUS | May 28, 2017 | 2:33 pm |
I have a story. You have a story. And while these stories need to be heard, in the end..we are all more than a story but still simple wayfarers of life.
A blog cannot contain the entire person I am, it is just a colorful collection of my stories.
P.S. Please ignore all preview blog posts due to it being written by my high school self for an English class project requiring the creation of this blog. I only keep it for amusement purposes.
Thanks for bearing