Salt and Light

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Today’s devotions brought with it some pretty cool thoughts.

Jesus said that we are the salt of the earth, but if we lost our saltiness, we would be fit only for throwing out. There are two things I noticed here – one, is that we would not be fit for Christ’s Kingdom if we didn’t have His flavor in our life. The second one is that the world really does see as fit to be thrown out, because we are different from them.

Jesus continues to say that we are the light of the world, and that a city on a hill cannot be hidden. The world rejects us, but they cannot ignore us when we have Christ’s light shining in and through us.

Therefore, we are to shine this light, so that those around us will see and turn to glorify God.

One thing my family has been learning about both in real life and also through one of our homeschool curricula is loving our enemies. This light we have is like a torchlight. Picture yourself on a campground at night. It’s dark, but you have a torch and you turn it on to help both you and your companions to find your way. This is like God’s light in us- we are not the source of the light, but we can control how we shine the light. We shine it, and anyone can see it, whether friends or enemies, and that connects to loving our enemies too – we help them just the same way we would a friend. Through these, we can turn those around us to glorify God because, a) people wouldn’t say we are producing the light, but that we have a torch – we have Christ- and, b) when we love our friends and enemies the same way, that stands out and turns people to the One who gives us strength to love as He loves.


What has God been showing you through His Word recently? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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Thank You // US 2017

Dear friends,

It is with a heart full of gratitude and amazement at God’s goodness that I write to you. This past month, He has brought me on a wonderful adventure to the United States, and back. I would like to thank you ever so much for the part you played in helping me go on this journey, whether it be through prayer, supporting my fundraising efforts, providing advice, or hosting my family.

Most of you will know that the primary purpose of my trip was to attend the Institute for Cultural Communicators’ international convention, or iCon, participate in the Speak Freedom Forensics Championship, and train on a shift at the ICC Training Center.

The iCon week began with a bang as I met the larger part of the ICC community, amongst whom were seventy-eight Recommended Staff Assistants, divided into teams. I led a team with another student leader, and over the week, we learnt with our team about servant leadership, collaboration, teaching, communication, and approaching the world as a Communicator for Christ. We were privileged to share on the platform to the ICC families, college students, and workplace leaders present at the convention, as well as meet and interact with professors, and business and ministry leaders who taught us about different aspects of communication and leadership.

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​East Asian ICC members at iCon this year; Photo credits unknown

Training continued with the Summer Institute at the Training Centre, where I was part of a program called PREP. PREP stands for Pursuing Responsibility with Excellence Purposefully. Here I learnt about collaboration, creating cultures, peer mentoring, and stewardship through presentations I worked on with my team or helped critique, the chores we did, and by simply being immersed in an intergenerational culture and community that was conducive to development in each of these areas. I had opportunities in servant leadership studies, presentation coaching by mentors who had been there and done that, event coordination, preparation, and planning, as well as an unexpected chance to work with the media production team. During my hours down in the media room, I got to help create some of the pieces of media that ICC is producing, by learning to use a video editing software, as well as working with ICC’s Media Producer on an interview.

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My PREP team; Photo by Jessica Shepherd

This trip has far surpassed anything I expected to be able to experience. I have returned with a new understanding of community, leadership, and collaboration. The presentations I have watched and critiqued have helped me realize there is more to platform communication and teamwork than meets the eye.

During the trip home, my flight flew over Alaska, the Davis Strait, and Greenland. I didn’t know it, but halfway through a movie I decided to hit pause and peek outside. The contrast in lighting blinded me for a moment, but I was wowed by majestic peaks and crystalline rivers running through Alaska and rushing out to the Davis Strait. Enraptured, I kept watching, and as we approached Greenland, I saw little chunks in the sea, and upon looking closer, I realized they were icebergs. Still we flew on, and I saw my first snow, blanketing Greenland.

You helped me make this trip this summer, and God has used this to teach me so many things and show me so many wonders. Who would’ve thought I’d get to see my first snow during the summer months? The friends I’ve met and bonded with over this summer, and the leaders I’ve met, have made a deep impact on me that I know only God could have arranged.

And for that, I thank you. Thank you for praying, for contributing, and for being a part of this journey with me.

Blessings,

Charis Chen

Global Student Leader Council, Institute for Cultural Communicators

Note: I am in the midst of planning and preparing for my next step in ICC, which is to be a Student Instructor at 4:12, our first ever Malaysian event, to impact other students. If you would like to find out more, or if you desire to be part of this journey, whether through prayer or funding, please do drop me an email at charis.chen@iccinc.org.