My name is Timothy Choi, I am currently a sophomore studying English and Education at UCI, and this summer I will be going to North India through KCM’s STSM program. I went to India last year through STSM, and it was an incredible experience that God used to really challenge me and deepen my relationship with him. I grew a heart for the Indian people while I was there, and I decided I eventually wanted to return.
However, after considering my financial situation (I received $0 in federal and state aid this past year), I decided that it was unwise to go again. Instead, I planned on accepting an offer from my aunt to work full time during the summer. I reasoned that I would serve as a sender this time around, and that I would also be able to pay off some of my piling loans.
About two months ago, though, while I was praying over the cities that I had visited in India the past summer, I became convicted to return to the country. Essentially, I felt that God was asking me to consider long term missions in India. I was and still am afraid and doubtful. And I am still struggling with an obedient heart.
However, as I began to pray about returning to India this summer, and as I prayed for confirmation, everything fell into place. Prayer after prayer was answered, and even my parents told me to go. So I filled out and submitted the STSM application, with my final remaining prayer request being that God would provide for me financially.
As of three weeks ago, UCI accepted my special circumstances form and gave me a total of over $13,000 in gift aid. Our God is a faithful and perfectly sovereign God, and by his grace I am training again to return to India.
The Training Process:
One quote that has continued to stand out to me from the STSM training readings is this: “If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?” – John Piper
As I read this, I realized that I couldn’t answer definitively that I wouldn’t be satisfied without Christ. And that realization really made me question how much I value my relationship with Jesus. I claim it’s the most precious thing in my life, and yet how quickly I compromise it for lesser things. Even if those other things are good, my valuing them to that extent is idolatry. I was convicted to strive to be like Paul in Philippians 3:8-11, counting everything as rubbish in order to gain Christ. To count everything as loss simply to know Him.
As I’ve been praying and struggling with this, a song that has been constantly on my heart is “Only Jesus” by Bethel. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9DQDKsHwQo)
“Let my heart want for nothing
But You, just You
Let my heart want for nothing
But You, just You
The riches of this world
Could never satisfy
Let my heart want for only You”
Jesus, be my only desire. Forgive me for being so easily distracted and satisfied with other things. Become more precious to me than anything else, that I would say, “for me, only Jesus.”
1. For my own heart. That as God leads me again to India, I would follow faithfully with a desire to cherish and glorify only him. For wisdom and an obedient heart as I consider long term missions.
2. For my team. That we would exemplify Christlikeness by our love for one another and for the people of India, and that we would do it joyfully to the glory of God.
3. For the country of India. For those trapped in lies, idolatry, and brokenness. That God would break their chains, soften their hearts, and send revival into the country as only he can.