Yes, Yu-lin has finally said goodbye! This is what sending someone off to the mission field looks like in Taiwan ~ here’s everyone at the airport last night saying goodbye!
I wasn’t there, I had to be in Taichung last night – if not, I would have gone to the airport too. Fortunately our rector, Rev. Lennon Y. R. Chang had hosted a dinner for us all just after Christmas at which we got to say goodbye to Yu-lin, and here we are ~ Yu-lin is the one in the middle…
For the last 6+ years at St. John’s University Chaplaincy and Advent Church, Yu-lin has been a wonderful colleague and great friend, an esteemed and much-loved counselor to all our student fellowship, as well as being our Advent Church Sunday School principal, member of our Advent Church Community English Class and SJU Chaplaincy English Bible Study Group, and so much more ~ someone who is always generous with her time, wisdom, knowledge, energy, enthusiasm and talents, of which she has many. The best of the best! So it’s only right that when she heard God’s call to the mission field, that Advent Church should respond with a big ‘YES!’ and send her out with many blessings and prayers.
But before she left, in December, the chaplaincy staff were asked to take a photo for the St. John’s University 50th anniversary celebrations this coming year. Just the 4 of us. For the main university staff photo, taken last week, we were all instructed to wear black ‘suits’ and white shirts. So Yu-lin kindly donated to me her black jacket, and we had a practice run for our chaplaincy photos, as follows ~ the 4 of us are in Advent Church, from left to right, Shu-Jing, Yu-lin, Rev. Wu Hsing-Hsiang and me…. Yep, I had to breathe in the whole time, that jacket is very tight!
So Yu-lin left yesterday for pastures new and far away. She’s gone to mainland Europe ~ which is in the middle of a big winter freeze! The mission organization she’s gone with works mostly among Chinese communities in Asia, and also in Europe. They have a training program which involves Bible classes, language learning, mission orientation and outreach, which she’ll be joining, initially for a year or two.
Yu-lin’s departure leaves a big gap at Advent Church, but is also a wonderful blessing. We’ve sent out our best, dedicated her to God’s service, and trust that she will be blessed, and be a blessing to others.
Advent Church has taken part in many mission trips overseas, but as far as we know, Yu-lin is the first to respond to God’s call to go on actual short-term overseas mission, meaning she has left her job, packed up her life and set off into the unknown for a year or more, following God’s leading and call!
Please pray for her, her family, her new ministry and training, and for us at Advent Church and SJU Chaplaincy. In Yu-lin’s place, we have a brand new colleague in the Chaplaincy, Ruo-Han, here she is on the far right of the photo, standing next to Yu-lin at our final student English Bible Study session last week.
And my final photo – me and Yu-lin!
Yu-lin shared that as she sat on the plane last night waiting to take off, she received the following Bible verse, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”. Romans 15:13
A great prayer for Yu-lin ~ and for us all, Amen!