November was one of the busiest months I’ve experienced as an Ember ProtoGuide. Not just Ember activities, but finishing up college apps and keeping up with AP classes and turning 17 and getting my first speeding ticket and such. Basically, I’ve been realizing that I am in my senior year of high school and I’m almost an adult. That means that the stuff that I learn about with the Ember Cast–missions, being a global citizen, church planting, etc.–are actually going to pertain to me as an individual in less than a year. I’m starting to see all of the Ember curriculum as crucial information that I need to soak up so that I remember it, use it, and catalyze when I’m in college next year.
Anyways, we’ve had some awesome experiences this month and I regret not making time to blog about them earlier, because they were just that great. In this post, I’m going to discuss how Tony Sheng, the founder of Ember Cast, got the opportunity to teach a Perspectives class. If you don’t know, Perspectives is a 15 week class taught around the nation that focuses on “building global momentum to help complete the Great Commission.” This particular Perspectives has been held at Ekklesia Church in Reston, Virginia. So on a Wednesday after school, I drove straight to Tony’s house to meet up with Measu, the other ProtoGuide, and some more Ember folk. We climbed into the car and made a pit stop to talk to some “world class global leaders,” in the words of Tony Sheng, who had spent many years with their families overseas with the State Department. After grabbing a quick dinner, we went to the church. One cool thing about this particular class was its unique location. Reston is an extremely affluent area of Virginia, full of high class restaurants, expensive housing, and top notch shopping. In the center lies Ekklesia Church, which is actually a Spanish speaking church. I love visiting churches where other languages are spoken because it reminds me that the church is truly global and bigger than I can even imagine. Although there was some worship done in Spanish, and there were ESL students taking the class, there were also native English speakers who came to Ekklesia specifically for Perspectives on Wednesday nights. Tony’s talk was great. It focused on global and local poverty, and he also got to hit on the controversial subject of the potential toxicity of short term missions. The students all seemed eager to learn, and I even got to share a story from our trip to France and bring up the spiritual poverty that we can often be blind to.
This was only the beginning of an extremely busy month. Tomorrow, I’m going to write about a unique service trip to Baltimore, where we teamed up with Salisbury students. I just want to wrap up by saying, in the spirit of Thanksgiving which has recently passed, that I am so grateful for the Ember Cast and all that it has taught me. It has given me an entirely new outlook on what it means to be a Christian. It has made me excited, rather than afraid, to go to college. Whereas before, I thought that being a missionary was all about being separate from the world and skipping college and not getting a job, I know now that the whole world is a missions field and we need to be a part of it. We don’t need to submit to it, but we need to have skills and we can use those skills for His purpose and His Kingdom. We can be a missionary as teachers or as bankers or as doctors or as waitresses. The Great Commission says “go.” I know now that wherever I go, whether it be across the world or right down the street, there is work that He will give me to do. I am so thankful for this new knowledge and the way that it has transformed my life.