by Karen Chung
By the grace of God, Karen will be starting her first year at UofT for plastic and reconstructive surgery. She asks for your prayers, that she may abide in God daily
I had the privilege of watching the beautiful Janessa Se Lan marry Timothy Gee on June 11, 2016 at the Elk Ridge Resort in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. All names have been granted with permission.
God used this wedding to share five lessons about Christ, and I write them now. I write to remember, to understand, and to testify. I pray that this will be a blessing for you.
"How do you know Janessa?"
"Well, we met in our first year at the CMDS leadership conference, and we clicked. We shared personal stories, we laughed together and we stayed in touch through Facebook. I happened to meet her again on elective in Ottawa and spent time with her and her friends from Saskatchewan, It was so refreshing to see her Christ-like perspective and I'm thankful to have gotten to see her again... "
... You see why I went to her wedding, I was not quite sure. I supported her wedding entirely, knew the important parts of her story with Tim, was very impressed and appreciative of her great love for others, her beautiful compassion and her quickness to empathy.
However, to fly from Ontario to Saskatoon was not inexpensive (check out that double negative). Yet, I felt compelled to go. It sounded foolish to my parents and surprising to my friends. So, when I couldn't truly reconcile it in my mind, I committed to praying for her wedding, that it would be glorifying to Him.
God gave me so much more. It was the best weekend of my entire summer. This was the summer after my fourth year, when I had travelled to Hawaii, Iceland and France with the best company I could have asked for, eaten the best desserts, and seen awesome sights. Yet, what I gained during this wedding weekend was worth so much more.
Peter Hong, a fellow CMDS 2016 graduate whom I met at the wedding shared this piece by CS Lewis. It perfectly sets the tone for this lesson.
“But in Friendship, being free of all that, we think we have chosen our peers. In reality, a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another, posting to different regiments, the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting—any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of the Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends "You have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." The Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others. They are no greater than the beauties of a thousand other men; by Friendship God opens our eyes to them. They are, like all beauties, derived from Him, and then, in a good Friendship, increased by Him through the Friendship itself, so that it is His instrument for creating as well as for revealing.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Janessa (may God bless her and keep her), went out of her way and coordinated my ride from Saskatoon to Elk Ridge Resort, the room that I would be staying in, my table, and my ride back to the Saskatoon airport.
God used each person that I met, to teach me something, and the lessons He wants me to share are from: Jennifer, Jessica, Gloria, Roshini, Carrie, Preston and Sunny.
Janessa placed me in a room with Peter, John (another fellow CMDS 2016 grad), and his fiancee Jessica. Jessica and I clicked almost instantly, our friendship secured when we discovered:
1. Our parents were both from Mauritius (a beautiful island off the coast of Madagascar). She was born in Mauritius and had moved to Canada when she was 16.
2. We were the same age.
3. Her mother went to the same school as my mother and they were in the same class!
So to summarize, God placed me in a room with another Mauritian Chinese Canadian Christian sister, whose mother knows my mother.
Oh, His love.
The next friendships were formed quickly as well. When Christians come together, it is remarkable how quickly we connect, having barely known each other. Ephesians 2:14-22 summarizes it quite nicely:
"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord."
In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.