Today was a delightful day at church. In addition to having one of my dear friends visiting from out of state, a total surprise (see 365 blog for photo), three young people who grew up in our church are home from the missions field in East Asia and shared their experiences with the church body who raised them up, sent them, supported them, and continues to pray for them.
Kim and Dylan are brother and sister; Dylan is home after his first year in East Asia, and Kim is home after her second year (one year there, one home, another year there). They've been home for about five or six weeks and are returning to East Asia within the next week. Kristen originally traveled to East Asia with Kim and has been ministering there for three years; she and Kim have been on the same team and have also been roommates, with Dylan ministering on a different team about two hours away. This year, Dylan and Kim will be on the same team with Kristen, when she returns in several months, on another team who will be ministering directly to Muslim East Asians. Her new location will mean learning another East Asian language. I do not envy her that task by any means!
It was such a blessing to watch these twenty-somethings give the message today, describing their experiences, telling stories, relating prayer requests. These young people were in the junior high youth group when we first started attending Lake Murray, and they made the point that the kids in the junior high class today (one of which is mine) are the future missionaries of our church. How we pray that will indeed be the case!
Also today I had time to chat with Bonnie, another twenty-something who used to be E and T's Sunday School teacher and also was one of my students at our home school ISP's Class Days (co-op classes). Bonnie has recently moved to Hollywood with another young woman from our church, and Bonnie has been working almost daily as an extra on several TV shows. We were astounded when she asked E and me, "Do you guys watch House? Hugh Laurie is totally cool." She talked about how he hangs around between takes, talking with the director and sitting with the extras. Bonnie also told us that extras aren't allowed to talk with the main actors unless the actors talk to them first -- which happened on the set of Weeds where Bonnie had a nice conversation about chocolate labs with Mary Kate Olsen. Bonnie has also played a tourist on Las Vegas and a background nurse on ER. Bonnie is another young woman whom we watched grow up and mature, and here she is, acting in Hollywood and fulfilling her dreams (she was a drama major in college after being homeschooled all the way through 12th grade). It's a nice change for her after being a behind-the-scenes person at a local theatre, Lamb's Players. Being in front of the camera, even as an extra who "crosses" behind the main actors, is a thrill, for all of us as well as for her. We'll definitely keep our eyes peeled for Bonnie when House starts airing in late September and throughout the season on several shows.
I pray that our own four kids will indeed "get" the vision of where God wants them to be and what God wants them to do as they grow older. Whether it's on the mission field of a closed country, or on the mission field of Hollywood, I pray that God will reveal to them where their personal mission field is, and that they'll be obedient in following where He leads as He has gifted them. I looked at our young twenty-somethings today with such awe (and not just because of Hugh Laurie), amazed at how God has worked in their lives and how He has enabled them to "go, therefore, and teach all nations," even if the "nation" is Hollywood....