This is one of my favorite stories to tell… The twists and craziness of how it all happened still surprises me and it just tells me more and more about myself and God… each time!
Why tell it now… and withhold from you all of my facial expressions in telling you this story live and in person? Well, I recently received an e-mail with all the upcoming events of the team I’m a part of in Epic (The Southwest SoCal team) and it said: “6 weeks left as a staff team…” For those unfamiliar with the terminology, basically the end of the school year is less than two months away. And all I could selfishly think was: “I missed it… I missed the entire year… because of support raising…” Now this is simply not true as the Lord had things for me to experience and witness in this year, that I could not have seen/understood/felt had I not been in a support raising season. He has been outrageously, exceedingly good and beautiful and gracious to me and so many others in this remarkable and redemptive season. Yet… I still feel it…
So, I’m going to share some of how I started with Epic, because it is hilarious and so… so… like the Lord to call us to greater, yet crazier things! 🙂 And don’t worry, you won’t miss out on my facial expressions… you’ll see 😉
I attended UC Irvine for my undergraduate degree… aaaaand I loved it–so much so, I was a campus tour guide! And like a “good Christian,” I attended a fellowship regularly. Along with several other people, I got to serve in Asian American Christian Fellowship (AACF) while I attended college there. Loved it–some of my coolest and closest friends came from it.
AACF is also where I met Epic National Director, Tommy Dyo (then AACF staff at CSU Long Beach). He would often come to UCI and speak for us and offer to help us out in any way as we didn’t have any assigned staff to our campus. After a church retreat he spoke at, he gave mehis business card and said: “Call me when you decide to do campus ministry.” I joked, but I meant it, when I said, “I guess you’ll never be hearing from me then!”
Some time later, I attended a Passion conference where Francis Chan spoke and Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman led worship in Los Angeles, CA and it was great! I enjoyed it a lot. And then the last day, part of the session was group prayer. The guy leading it said, “Pray for your home nation.” The person sitting next to me and I prayed together for the U.S.. Then the leader said, “Pray for your state.” So, we prayed for California. “Pray for your city…” We prayed some more. “Pray for your campus.” He prayed for his high school. And I started to pray for UC Irvine… and began to bawl.
Poor high school student who sat next to me that day… Later during the prayer session, I straight-up asked God… “What was THAT all about?!” I heard the Lord say, “Campus Ministry.” I said, “Uh, no way! I have a job lined up after this… my parents will kill me… I’ll just… I’ll volunteer or something!!” I heard, “That will never be satisfying enough for you.” Still scared of what that might mean, I wept some more. Then I heard, “Whitney, do you trust me?” I replied, “Yeah, of course I trust You…” “Whitney, do you trust me?” “Yes, Lord… yes, I do.”
So many thoughts rushed through my mind… and I didn’t know what to do. So, naturally, I did nothing… for about a week. Then I started asking people questions–friends, people I know who are in campus ministry vocationally… and then I e-mailed Tommy.
… to be continued 😉