Chris & JiaLing's update
BLESSED (CHINESE) NEW YEAR FAMILY AND FRIENDS!
<- a picture of us in a community carnival last Christmas, where our church served the local community; taken by our pastor, Uncle Chris.
Beloved friends and family, it is our great pleasure to announce our re-engagement!
I remember one of the first nights in Malaysia, before I had confided in anyone about my affection for Jia Ling, I was sitting down with my YWAM friends enjoying a casual night. I was thinking about my future and coming to terms with the possibility, that maybe I hadn’t been called to single life, and three distinct thoughts passed through my mind: "It’s not good to be alone, I need someone to share my life with, I really like Jia Ling." Right at the moment of thinking those thoughts, my friend Judy who was sitting next to me turned and said, "It’s not good for you to be alone, you need someone to share your life with, you should marry Jia Ling."
I was so shocked at what I had heard! I felt like I had just been violated, caught someone reading my mail. Quickly however, I realized this was a word and a promise from the Lord so I treasured it in my heart.
We kept in touch, and months after that December 2009 mission trip, Jia Ling and I began a committed relationship. From then until mid 2011, our relationship was mostly just email and Skype, between Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and China, and we saw one another in person for a total of approximately 40 days. Nevertheless, in that season our relationship grew, along with struggles and tests, for me my commitment was tested. However the daily voice of Holy Spirit and that strong prophetic word kept me in faith and we made it through that season.
Right after I left China in May 2011 I came to see Jia Ling, and asked her to be my wife. Our hearts and affection were close, despite mere 40 days, and we knew that we would spend the rest of our lives together. Little did we know that this engagement will bring us through another period of testing and strengthening until we get to tie the knot. July 20th 2011, Jia Ling gave me a surprise on my birthday appearing in Australia, and since then we have shared almost everyday together. I moved to Malaysia for the purpose of getting married, but with the readjustment of both our personal lives and work as well as ministry, we decided, with difficulty, to put off our engagement, as mentioned in our last newsletter.
Since that time, we received counsel from 'uncles and aunties' who really took us in as son and daughter. Many people have helped us along the way but want to specifically acknowledge; Uncle Chris, Uncle Hok Seng, Aunty Chooi Kuan and Aunty Selvi. Everyday they teach and inspire us to be like Christ, and to love others and to love each other. In preparing us for marriage, they had faith in us, they did not discourage us despite our weaknesses, but helped us through them with much love and honored our conviction to be together and nurtured us as a couple.
One week before Christmas 2012, I got on my knees and asked Jia Ling to marry me again, and in the sweet presence of the Lord, she said yes.
6th of July 2013, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!
We will be sending out invitation cards soon, Australian friends and family should think about coming for a short holiday here in lovely Malaysia.
A short update on what will happen next for us: I (Chris) will return to Curtin University next month to complete my degree (I left Bach. of Social Work in 2009) and am now in enrolled into BA Chinese Language. Jia Ling will also stay in Perth for a period of time after we are married until I finish my studies. We will save the ministry updates for later, keep us in prayer as we plan the next season!