Google Simply Katherine, a Christian on campus: June 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Great Searching of Today's Society

Observation on Today's Society

Recently one of my resourceful colleagues told us that he had been observing today's society and what it's searching for. Few of us are involved in an online outreach project, where we quickly realize that social media has taken over not just the worldwide web, but the world itself. 

There are many articles and reports out there signaling this trend that significantly impacts teens, college students, businesses, and many more. Just to give you an example, a recent blog post by The Washington Post was entitled, "Many Teens Tell Survey They're Addicted to Social Media, Texting." Or, you can check out the 2012 social media statistics.

Actually not only social media, the Internet in general has become a world in its own. The online realm is "The 21st century's New World." Sooner or later, everyone would migrate there and it would soon become the next superpower, having a major influence over the global population.

Okay, okay, maybe you think I'm too much, but guess what, since 2010, the number of Facebook users all over the world has reached more than 500 million people crowning Facebook as the third largest country in the world after China and India (source: The Economist). I even read that recently this number has almost doubled (source: Times of India).

the new world map
The New World, 16th Century map.
Credit: Library of Congress

The Great Searching of Today's Society: Satisfaction and Community

So back to my colleague's thoughtful observation, he basically said that today's society is longing after two things: satisfaction and community. These are "public secrets"- people desire to feel fulfilled and feel like they belong somewhere.

Apparently, social media and the Internet in general are the attempts of mankind to meet the aforementioned needs. If we're honest to ourselves, we will daily find the longing for satisfaction and community lingering in the depth of our being. That is why, people keep clicking to go to the next link on the webpage. They think that satisfaction and community are just a click away on Google search or Facebook.

The Enlightening Truth

the truth by simply katherine
Uncovering the not-so-shocking truth.

The truth is the questions remained regardless of this New World's novel mechanism/platform for searching: 

How and where can we get the answers?

Now would you all offer some thoughts on these questions? 
Maybe even some plausible answers as well?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer 2012 Puerto Rico Blending Trip: Being Found in Christ

Today I was reading an excerpt this morning (Conclusion of the New Testament- Messages 135-156, Chapter 8):
"To be found in Christ actually means to be observed, seen, or discovered in Christ by others... It is one thing to have a doctrinal understanding of being found in Christ; it is quite another thing to be found in Christ in our daily living. Where we are when others observe us indicates the realm in which we live. If we live in our culture or in our good behavior, we shall be found in culture or in our behavior by others. In whatever realm we live, that is where we shall be seen, observed, and discovered by others."
When I was in Puerto Rico, I stayed with a family who served the Lord full-time on a nearby college campus. My morning reading today reminded me of them because during my stay in Humacao, I had observed, seen, and discovered this family in Christ.

Puerto Rico Christians on Campus
Our crew in Humacao

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer 2012 Puerto Rico Blending Trip: The Fellowship

A while back I met a mature sister in the Lord (see my popular series: Conversations with Mrs. L). Yet I found myself clueless whenever I sat across face-to-face with her in her living room. I didn't know how to converse with her. I mean this sister was four times my age, how could I relate with her? 

Should I ask questions? What kind of questions? Should I wait until she asks me questions? What should I do?

Christians on Campus dinner
Dinner gathering in Humacao
So I went to her son-in-law and asked him what I should ask her. He just said, "Ask her anything, even questions that you think you know the answers. You'll be surprised." He was right! Every time I met this older sister, I would just ask her anything and her answers would help me both humanly and spiritually. 

Since then I have learned that in the fellowship with other Christians, especially more mature ones, I'm actually not seeking for answers. I'm seeking for persons who can minister Christ into me

Back to the Puerto Rico trip with Christians on Campus, I can't remember which night I met this older sister in a warm dinner gathering. It was my first time meeting her but I had heard about what a shepherd this sister had been to many others. Her husband had recently passed. I never got the privilege to meet him, a brother who was a pillar in the church.

I was eating dinner on the patio with my friend, a recent college graduate, when she joined us. We had a warm, normal conversation. She introduced herself and told us briefly about how her late husband had a big heart for the Lord's move in the island of Puerto Rico.

At that time, I knew that the best way to fellowship for my friend and I was simply to listen. So between the two of us, I took the lead to ask simple questions, such as how this older sister and her husband met the Lord and how they became involved with the church life.

To someone else, her story may seem to be quite ordinary. Yet there was something else about her that I couldn't really pinpoint at first until suddenly she asked about my siblings. Both of my siblings were on this same trip. She also asked about my friend's plan after college.

The content of this fellowship is quite personal so I can't write about it right now, but I can definitely testify that this sister ministered Christ to us. Her spiritual discernment truly showed what kind of person she was. 

Not only that, what impressed me the most about our fellowship was the fact that her consideration, care, and heart for all of us, my siblings included, were instantaneous and genuine at the same time

The Lord opened my eyes to recognize that these were the characteristics of the Body life. We may be strangers outwardly, of different nationalities and cultures, but the truth is we are members one of another in the Body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:26 says,
"And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it."
On that night, this sister's burden became truly ours and ours hers. It was a mutual fellowship.

At the end of that trip, she told me before I left the city, "Remember, mi casa es su casa." Little did I know that I would gain more family members in Puerto Rico. We are all part of the household of God indeed.

More fellowship to come...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer 2012 Puerto Rico Blending Trip: The People

Please read my previous post to find out more about the island of Puerto Rico.

Without a doubt, Puerto Rico has it all: nature and culture. Yet what I enjoyed the most was meeting Christians, young and old, and having a rich fellowship with them (despite the language barrier that we had since I don't really speak Spanish).

I also met a lot of college students who were affiliated with Christians on Campus. Their endeavor to reach the young people on campus, to bring the gospel to them, to fellowship, and to dive into the Word of God was too precious! 

Puerto Rico Blending Trip
From Puerto Rico with Love.

I realized that even though we were so far apart geographically, we all, in Texas and in Puerto Rico, had been endeavoring to do the same thing: gaining young people for God.

Furthermore, even though we didn't speak the same language and weren't brought up within the same culture, there was always a prevailing atmosphere of love and joy among us. At the end of every day, we were happily tired (due to a packed schedule).

Christians on Campus Puerto Rico
The group in Playa Sucia, Cabo Rojo.

So the crew from Texas was about 30 people. Obviously, it was not easy to arrange accommodations and transportation for all of us. On the first day, as we were walking out from the Arrival section of the Luis Munoz Airport in San Juan, some brothers had been waiting for us with vans. They were ready to help us with our luggage, provide us with snacks, and take us to the homes of Christians we'd be staying with.

Yes, there were Christians in the community, associated with Christians on Campus in Puerto Rico, who opened their homes for us to stay for the entire duration of our visit (8 days). The nights I spent with these different ones in the community were the moments when the Lord touched me concerning my heart for Him, my daily living, and my future.

I had heard before that Puerto Ricans were warm and hospitable people, but in this trip, the care of these Christians whom we just met for the first time exceeded cultural hospitality. It was a true exhibition of Hebrews 13:1, "Let brotherly love continue."

I would like to continue my story with each one whom I had the opportunity to fellowship in Puerto Rico in my next post, but I can tell you right now that it was truly a time of digging gold in the gold mine. These Christians were a storehouse of Christ. Their living exhibited what they were all about. They were all about Christ and the church.

Christians on Campus Activities

I'm not done yet, everyone. The next post is coming soon!