Orlando, Where the Big Adventure Started

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. —–Galatians 5:22-23

2.5 years ago, when I first stepped on this foreign land, Florida wasn’t even on my state-to-visit list, regardless its world famous attraction, Disney, but I didn’t know anyone from Florida, why even bother to visit?

But things began to change, the end of last year, when I was looking for things to do in Minnesota during winter break, Google led me to a page called Cru Winter Conference, which was named TCX 15. I registered and went to the conference. It was a blast.

Two staffs reached out to me at winter conference and invited me to visit Cru’s world HQ in Orlando during Preview Weekend. I submitted the online application after the conference and was accepted few weeks later. That was my first trip to Orlando, and I was already amazed by its natural beauty and the wildness of nature. I enjoyed my tour with FSG (Financial Service Group) and the vision dinner at Mr. & Mrs. Douglass’s house.

After returning from Orlando, I heard a clear voice from God that I should come back to Orlando for a summer.

While realizing I had to raise support for the summer mission/internship, I doubted if I should take this step, especially when me being an international student, my contacts are very limited. But I fully trust in the Lord that He will provide, as He always does. And praise the Lord, by the day before my flight to Orlando, I was fully supported. This was the most incredible pre-summer-mission journey I got to experience! It was such a blessing to see how God brings people together and re-connect with friends. I didn’t come to summer mission by accident, God has planned that before I could realize.

Looking back, I can’t be more grateful for the summer that I got to invest in Orlando.

Internship
Applying internship in America with F-1 visa is not easy, but I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to intern at Cru’s world headquarters this summer. I could never imagine that my first internship in America  could be at the headquarter of such a enormous non-profit organization. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was put under so many expectations and was able to do different tasks within such a limited amount of time. These trainings are so special and unique.
I’m also thankful for being able to work with FSG, it was such a fun team to work with, not mentioning the many fun people (Mr. Waffle Maker is one of the many). “Cru, Simpler, Smarter” was represented so well!

Mission
One of the biggest challenges I have faced during the summer was outreach, just imagine it, approach to a random student on campus and share faith with them, “that’s so crazy! How can that even be possible?” Plus my nature not wanting to talk with random strangers, this was so hard. But when I was really put in that situation, the only thing I could do is trust the Lord speak through me and gave me the wisdom while approaching people. The fact of having a partner also gave me the courage and the opportunity to learn. Pushing the Good News to people may not always be the best option, but try to listen and hear other people’s response, build relationship with them is usually more important than “preach the gospel” itself.
I was uncomfortable in the beginning, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to take this step of faith reach out to students at UCF campus.

Community
One thing stood out to me this summer was the word “community”, or “fellowship”. Either during on-site internship or weekly outreach, or other activities, community is the basic line. While being in college, roommates don’t always walk together, especially when there is a different class schedules, different personal plans and so on. But during the summer, when 21 of us lived in the same area, car pool to headquarters and other locations, it’s hard not to remember each person’s name, it’s hard not to do things together, even as a small group. These are some of the unique experiences during the summer, it was also hard for me at the end, when realizing the project was over and had to say goodbye to so many people all at once.

Top 6 Fun Memories
1. Went to Cocoa beach twice, during the first trip got to see SpaceX launch from the beach.
2. Never thought I would afford to go to Disney or hold a baby gator, but I did both in one summer
3. Ziplining at Central Florida Zoo was so much fun! Not the part going through obstacles though.
4. Staff scavenge hunt. Searching across the whole Disney Springs and still failed to find some of the staffs. “They are too good at dress themselves up!”
5. I stayed an extra week after the project officially ended, so I was able to meet with some staffs that didn’t get a chance to meet during the summer mission time period. “It takes so much effort to apply and raise support coming down to HQ, can’t let the opportunity just slide off my hand”
6. The kick-off game that express a deeper meaning of the relationship between “truth, grace and growth”.

2016 HQ Summer Mission is now over, but there were just so many things to digest and take away with!

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