Los Angeles report

Myra Leung on October 2, 2007

Proverbs 3:5 ?Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.?

If I were to sum up my whole summer in one word, I can only say ?Grace.? I went to LA a bit clueless with a lot of worries, yet the Lord had provided and kept pouring out his blessings on to not only me, but my family as well. To be honest, I did not even expect myself to grow much this summer because I would be away from UBF and in the liberal exciting and distracting entertainment capital of LA. Yet I was reminded that the Lord has his own plan and that His glory would be revealed no matter what.

Unfortunately, I could not think of any bible verse that stood out for the entire stay, but two songs were constantly repeated in my mind. The first song is Blessed be his name. The second is Amazing Love. The second stanza of the first song goes, ?Blessed be your name, when the suns? shining down on me, when the worlds all as it should be, Blessed be Your name. And blessed be your name on the road marked with suffering, though there?s pain in the offering blessed be Your name.? I learned that whether we are happy or sad, the Lord reveals Himself as our Savior and His Glory remains- with that in mind I saw the Lord carry my burdens and he gave me a thankful heart. The second song came to me out of the blue a few months into LA as it described how amazing God?s love is for us. Oddly enough, I emailed S.Bonnie when she was in Astana asking her who sang this song, and it turned out that this song was stuck in her head too.

To go more into detail about my trip, I started with a goal to be independent. My plan was to stay in the hostel for two weeks, and move into a place I found on craigslist on July 1st. It sounded simple but I later learned that nothing is in my control. Before leaving for the States, Customs would not let me through because I had forgotten a visa form in Cincinnati. I really did not like customs officers because they were intimidating and mean, but by God?s grace, they let me through despite this missing yet crucial form. I did not miss my flight and arrived in LA safely. I was greeted by my parent?s friends whom I called Auntie Nancy and Uncle Winston. They knew each other through church in Hong Kong and then later in Toronto, but haven?t kept in touch in 18 years. They lived very far from the airport and I felt a bit of guilt for having them drive all the way to LA to pick me up. I felt even worse when my bags did not arrive but they offered to help get some clothes and other supplies. It was a very humbling experience. Also, Auntie Nancy did not feel satisfied bringing me to the Hostel because a friend of hers got her passport and wallet stolen in a night, but I insisted on staying since it was so close to work. 3 days later however, I repented when I found myself with my head in the toilet with the stomach flu. This was also on the first day of work. Somehow, the news got to Auntie Nancy?s family and they picked me up to stay at their place to recuperate. I had never felt such hospitality from a stranger and could only thank God for shining his love on this family. I took a day off of work and their whole family helped me look for a new place to live. By God?s grace yet again, a lady from their church offered her retirement condo in Monterey Park. It was about an hour and a half away from work but I was thankful for taking it. Despite the distance, I was happy to live there and so thankful to God who was watching over me. After two weeks of living in Monterey Park, I moved into my new place in Hollywood. It was a 20 minute walk from work, and right in the middle of the entertainment district with the Kodak Theatre, Chinese Theatre, Disney Theatre, and most important of all, the dessert and food stands. It was really a blessing to live there.

M. John Kwon from Downey UBF offered to drive me to worship service every week, but I was stubborn and thought it would be a burden since it was so far away. If I went I would go there on my own but it took 3 trains and I still needed somebody to pick me up from the station. However, I attended a few times and enjoyed their service. I had one to one with M. Lydia Hopeman and learned much from our bible studies and talks. The center has about 150 people, and about 80 kids. I was also surprised to see that the worship team was all men, where Cincinnati UBF is all women. They had an orchestra and choir that played and sang new songs every week, and Missionary Isaac gave the messages the times I was there. He is a very funny man who liked to mention his two cats in his messages from time to time. Bible studies happened all around- literally- it was difficult finding an empty room and even the benches outside were being used for bible study. I also attended their summer bible conference and took John 4:24 as my key verse. ?God is spirit and his worshippers must worship in spirit and truth.? I learned that no matter where I am, the Lord is with me in spirit, so I must worship in spirit and in truth.

For most of the Sundays, I attended Auntie Nancy?s church, which was in Monterey Park. They are about the same in size as Downey UBF with a mix of Chinese and Fillipino people. Similar to UBF, brothers and sisters would speak messages each week and breaking of bread consisted of community prayer and singspiration.

On weekends, I was invited to Aunty Nancy?s house in Glendora, but their children and I hit the beaches most of the time. Oddly enough, their family has a son a year older than my sister. His name is Wilbert, but we call him Tim and he is in his first year of residency. My sister had just moved back to Toronto to start work as a physical therapist. Before, both families had been praying for their marriages, but now we have been praying for them to marry each other. Again, I see God?s plan unfold because if I had not gone to California, our two families would not have met. My family came to visit me and both families spent about two days together to catch up. We all think Tim likes my sister and she is showing some interest as well. However, with all the exciting news, I pray that their relationship be centered in Jesus and that my sister be satisfied in the Lord and not in a humanistic relationship.

I?m so thankful to go to California. I went trying to be independent but the Lord showed me that he has his own plans for me. The Lord provided and blessed me more than I could have imagined with an exciting job, a good place to sleep, a lot of food, a family that loves the Lord and His Word. I pray that with school starting and the stress building up, the Lord can fill me with His grace so I can say Blessed be Your Name. Thank you Jesus for loving me and for forgiving this sinner, I pray I can lift my praises to You at all times, In Jesus? Name, Amen.

One word: trust in the Lord
PT: Naomi?s marriage, Tim, Keith- moving down to Alabama, study the bible consistently and trust in the Lord