4 Jan 2018
I want to share with you a big dream that God has placed in my heart. It has been a process and it is still just a little more than a dream and an idea. Please know that you receive this letter because I trust that you are willing to rejoice and believe with me through this journey that God is leading me into. You have made a handprint on my life and it would be my joy and honor if you could be a part of my crazy dream.
For this story to start, I would have to go back a bit. I loved to craft since I was little. My mum always had a tabletop covered with papers, glue, scissors, and paint. I would join her and we would create a little something for our home. I’ve never stopped crafting and art-ing around. It was my go-to activity for my free hours or school projects. I cannot imagine a world where I don’t craft.
Fast forward to high school. Having the bulk of my education in an International Christian school made me aware of many injustices around the world. There was also a special class called Missions exclusive to Juniors. I signed up and decided that I wanted to go to Japan—our team was going to be working with missionaries who were ministering at the spot of the big tsunami that happened 2011. Although I boldly signed up for the trip, it was also the most costly out of all the teams. Mum being the practical worrier complained and contacted all her ex-YWAM friends. Dad being the warrior dreamer cheered me on and called all of his contacts, too. I, on my part, crocheted beanies and weaved bracelets to sell to my friends and neighbors.
As I fundraised the crafting way, one of my friends, told me about this “super cool” NGO that helps women in Uganda by teaching them how to crochet. Then, these hand-crafted and signed apparels are sold all around the world. The best part? The money goes directly to the makers. This way, these women secure a job with a steady income that allows her to support her family. It wasn’t a I-will-feed-you organization but a let-creativity-empower-you movement. I was touched to hear about this wonderful organization and always remembered it in a corner of my heart.
Another fast forward to university days. I stayed in Taiwan while most of my friends headed off to study all around the globe. It was a bitter summer with some growing up to do. After a few months of searching to rid me of misery, I found a home at Bread of Life International, a church where I could be myself. After high school, I thought my mission trip days were over until I signed up for a trip to Hungary—our ministry involved building connections with a Roma community in Hungary. (Quick culture lesson: Gypsy is a racial slur, Roma or Romani is the proper word.) The Romas have been outcasts throughout history and are still segregated from the rest of Europe. I worked mostly with the children—playing games, teaching them Bible stories, and doing crafts. The way their eyes lit up every time they colored on paper, listened to a story, or won a game made my heart melt. I felt deep within that this community of brokenness would be soon redeemed by these children.
Here, is also where I meet my big brother, Danny. He works at the missions department of Bread of Life and pokes me every time there is an upcoming trip to Hungary. The second one took place two years after the first trip. Between this period, the Romani churches in Hungary has been seeing supernatural miracles one after the other. There was a Lazarus miracle of a baby coming back to life; a garden being filled with peppers, potatoes and tomatoes only a few days after being planted; and the government finally agreed to pave safe roads in the villages. The Roma communities have gone through many changes and I couldn’t wait to witness it.
The job descriptions for the second trip was very similar to the first one, however, Danny assigned me an extra task. He knew about my love for crafting and my little online shop, Koko’s Krafterie. He said he had an idea for me to develop—he wondered if I could start a little something by teaching crafts to the community in Hungary and have these products get sold in Taiwan (or anywhere for that matter) and have the money be a funding for them. My mind blew. I heard of organizations like this by for me to actually start one? What if this isn’t really my dream and I’m just piggybacking? Danny reassured me there was no need for me to decide right away and the second trip could just be a brainstorming session. With that comfort, we arrived to find a couple hundred children rushing into hug us. This time, we had more time to interact with the local pastors during meal times and home visitations. We even sat down to ask them if the crafting thing would ever be possible, they nodded a yes. It was a week of satisfying exhaustion and by the end I knew deep inside that I had to say yes to Danny’s wild plan.
It has been a year and a half since I’ve decided on a yes. There has not yet been much of a followback with me being a full-time student with two majors but I have been praying and researching whenever possible. Now, this will be my third time going and I am excited to say that I will get an opportunity to ask more questions to the local leaders about material research and to just build connections with them. To be honest, I feel overwhelmed with uncertainty but the Holy Spirit silences those lies and fears. I’ve also realized that God approves of things I love to do and has given me the freedom to be a crazy pioneer.
Saying yes to this trip would sound completely irrational to a normal person. I hear the world telling me things like: you should save money for years after university; what do you mean you don’t know what you’re going to do after university; you should just start small and get an office job; just go teach English—the list is pretty dull and long. The fact is, I know what I want to do after university, it’s just not an answer that I could explain to an Uber driver within five minutes.
Thank you for reading this far into this long letter, I promise I’m almost done. Writing this letter has taken a lot of vulnerability for me and I hope you can be a part of my dream building through a few practical acts.
First is through prayer. Please pray that God will connect me with the right resources and help me ask the right questions to the leaders in Hungary. Not only will I be searching for inspirations, but also be a part of the children’s ministry. We are expecting around 500 children and we just ask for the Holy Spirit to rain down on them as we play games, dance, and craft.
The second way is to just bombard me with connections. If you know anyone who works in NGOs like Krochet Kids International or any other empowerment type organizations, please hook me up. I need to be educated in every which way.
Lastly, is through financial support. This trip will cost 59,000NTD (2,000USD) which includes plane tickets, and the food and lodging while I’m there. The first installment of 36,200NTD is due January 17th, the rest is due February 28th. The trip will take place March 27th – April 6th. If there is anything I learned from being a missionary/pastor’s kid, is that God is always good and he is not afraid to ravish his love on me.
Finally, I want to appreciate you for taking time to chomp through this long letter and simply being a part of my life. I covet your prayers as I go on this trip and a season of transition.