The Global Cohort Gathering was amazing. The Cohorts from Nairobi, Chicago and Jakarta were able to come together and learn from each other. Each Cohort shared on how they love on their cities as God has called us to do. There were many amazing speakers and teachers. Two speakers stood out to me personally, Eden Chen and Jessica Tjin. Both are married young adults that are living out loud for Jesus in the marketplace. It was just inspiring to meet peer speakers that are actively living out the gospel in their work and family life.
There are 5 lessons that I learned from listening to these peer speakers:
1. Taking Risks
Eden Chen’s life story embodies the concept of taking risks. He is a 30-year old entrepreneur who runs a few successful tech startups in San Francisco, CA.
Christians are often seen as people who play it safe and risk averse. The truth is that we possess a unique ability when handling risks, which can help us to be some of the best entrepreneurs/businessmen in the marketplace. We know and believe that God is sovereign. With that knowledge and mindset, there is no “risk” to be taken because we are in the center of God’s will. Therefore, as Christians, we should boldly take risks in every aspect of our life.
This has challenged me to be prayerful and sensitive to where the Spirit is leading and to boldly take a steps of faith. If God is with me, whom can be against me - Romans 8:31.
2. Missional Business
Even though Eden was already busy with running other tech startups and preparing for the arrival of his first child, he chose to start another venture. Eden had always had a heart for the inner city community. That heart led him to start a healthy ramen (instant noodle) company.
He started his ramen company to provide jobs to people of all education levels. Not only did he start a company, but he actually decided to move his new family and live in the inner city community. I was inspired by his heart and kingdom mindset.
How do we make decisions about where we want to work - what type of business we want to build?
How do we make decisions about where to live, which community to be a part of?
Eden has challenged me to evaluate each aspect of my life and ask myself if I am being intentional in every decision that I make. Am I presenting myself in a way that prompts others to ask me questions about why I live the way I do? Am I living out loud for Jesus?
3. Praying Circles around Jericho
Jessica Tjin is a 30-year old mother with a heart to reach out to women in Shanghai, China.
Her decision to move from San Francisco to Asia required much prayer for her and her boyfriend (at the time). In order to gain clarity and hear God’s leading, she had to separate herself from all distractions (including the relationship she was in).
Jessica shared about God’s direction to the Israelites in Joshua 6. There are strongholds in our life that may prevent us from doing God’s will, but we can pray circles around those very walls knowing that God is on our side and more powerful. Jessica’s talk reminded me of the importance and the power of prayer. I need to be intentional about praying circles around the areas of my life: workplace, family, community, ministries, that can be a stronghold and block us from having victory in God.
4. Stepping Out into the Unknown.
Stepping into the unknown can be scary. In Joshua 3, God leads the Israelites to cross the Jordan river. We tend to overlook the fact that the Israelites needed to take a step into the river first before God parted the waters for them to cross through. We too need to take a step of faith first in order to see God move.
Jessica shared that in her decision to move to China and build her women ministry, she never saw the “big picture.” Just like the Israelites stepping into the river, as she took steps of faith and moved with God, opportunities began to open up and give her clarity as to what God’s calling was for her and her family.
Jessica’s story challenged me to take steps into the river and make commitments to move when the Spirit calls.
5. Speak Out Your Story
Fear often times paralyzes me from sharing my story. But after hearing stories from peers, especially at this Cohort, I am inspired to share my story and learn how to effectively communicate better to others. These stories reminded me that God can use ANYTHING in your life to be a source of blessing to others.
Everyone has a story that is so unique and powerful. Therefore, I need to pray circles around the fears that prevent me from sharing my life story and giving the glory to God. We all just need to make the decision to boldly listen and obey His calling in each phase of our lives.