The title for City Harvest Church Singapore Christmas production this year is “Home for Christmas”.
This is certainly true for my family and I. My husband is finally going home to the United States for good and he is bringing along our three kids and I. He has spent the last 18 years ministering in Asia and serving in the most exciting and vibrant church in Singapore. This departure is definitely bitter sweet for him as it meant leaving behind people that he loves and a church that means so much to the both of us.
It was in December 1995 that God spoke to him to come and serve alongside Pastor Kong Hee and his beautiful wife, Sun. And 16 years later in December 2011, who would have guessed that it is time to say goodbye. Nonetheless, having met and connected with this awesome couple – Pastor Kong and Sun, it has changed his life and that in turn mine.
Yes, I am going back to the United States with my husband; to his hometown where he grew up as a child. We have even arranged for our children to attend classes in Derek’s alma mater.
Yes, Derek is going home but am I?
I must say that this is a significant transition for me and while writing this I began to realize the dimension of this change in my life. I have lived my full 44 years in this beautiful place called Singapore. It has been my home regardless of its imperfection and lack of culture. This is the place where my loved ones live, where friends meet for afternoon tea, where colleagues work alongside together and where I found God and my spiritual family.
Standing at this crossroad, reminiscing the past and looking forward to what is ahead, I wondered how should I navigate through this transition from the East (Singapore) to the West (United States)?
Questions such as, “Will I fit in?”, “Will I find meaningful friendships?”, and even simple things like, “Will I be able to drive on the ’wrong’ side of the road?” or “Will I be able to survive without a helper at home?” went through my mind.
As these questions flashed through my mind, I was reminded of this verse in Genesis 2:24 which says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
I believe that in the same way that I leave my family to be one with Derek, it is now time for me to leave my country and adopt his country as my own, to learn its culture and to love its people. Most importantly, it is a season to birth forth new relationships and strengthen existing ones and that is of Derek’s family – no longer loving from a distance but coming close and building lives together.
Building relationships are never easy. It requires one to break out of their comfort zone, to lay aside one’s preference at times and even do things one may not actually enjoy so that you can connect with the people you want to build relationships with. And eventually for the joy of winning themselves to you and hence to the Lord, you endure the initial uneasiness and maybe even discomfort so that you can reap the reward and the pleasure of having that relationship.
Yes, indeed Christmas is a season of Thanksgiving. But what is the most valuable thing in life that we can be thankful for? It is none other than the RELATIONSHIPS in our lives – our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, our relationship with our spouse, our relationship with our children and our relationship with each other.
I have attended many exciting Christmas dramas in church over the years. I have wept and laughed along with them. But the most vivid Christmas memories were those when we had the opportunity to have our friends, families and colleagues gather around the table and have a Christmas dinner beside our authentic giant Christmas tree.
I remembered those times when we cuddled up with our kids and watched the blinking of the Christmas lights after spending the whole night decorating it. I treasured the times when I sat in the dark and watched the beautiful lights of the Christmas tree and had private conversations with the Lord, asking Him what is in His mind and asking Him to reveal His heart to me.
While we celebrate this Christmas, my prayer for you is for God to show you His heart so that you may know His love for you.
I pray that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what IS the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge and that you may be filled with the fullness of God.
It is when we have the revelation how much God loves us that we can have faith to believe. What are you believing for this Christmas? What is your wish for this season?
Is it a life-partner that you have been yearning for? Is it for your husband to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ? Are you praying to conceive a child? Are you interceding for your children to have a breakthrough in the circumstances they are in?
No matter what you are praying for, understanding this that He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Rom 8:32)
I pray that your wish will come through this Christmas but if not, delay is not denial. And if we continue to ask, we will receive; seek and we will find; knock and the doors of heaven will be opened.
Let’s pray and not lose heart.
Drop me a prayer request and I will intercede for you while I travel home for Christmas.
Yes I am going home for Christmas and I know it will be good…
Love, Susan Dunn