Letter II

Dear friends,

When I started out pursuing graduate school, I had hoped that I would never have to worry about finances again after paying for four years of college. Yet that goal has always been elusive, and while for the most part I didn’t really worry all that much (for God had granted me a peace that transcended my understanding), my lack of financial stability had a heavy emotional burden on my family and dulled my enthusiasm for graduate school.

It’s been a long road these past three years, living on a quarter- to-quarter basis through TAships and internships, with my bank account always just staying barely in the black. God has shown His grace in always keeping me out of debt, for which I am very thankful. For me personally, I looked to Malachi 3:10 and Matthew 6:25+ in hopes that God would be faithful, but always assumed that if He didn’t provide what I asked for, He would provide in some unseen way or at a later unspecified time.

But I have asked many of you to continue to pray for funding, that I would no longer have to be concerned about being provided for, and that my family wouldn’t have to bear the emotional burden of uncertainty and financial burden of supporting me. For those who prayed, I thank you for your prayers and for your care. In line with the sentiments of a wise man once, fellowship with you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ has been a tremendous blessing, more so than any kind of monetary provision. Indeed, thank you for your friendship these past years.

The school year is about to start again. In preparation, I sent an e-mail a few nights ago to my advisor, asking what the funding situation is like, and what I should do in case he didn’t have funding. I expected a negative reply, in which case I would have to take another leave of absence and find work, or trudge through another TAship. Last night, my advisor replied. I. Have. Funding.

A song of Xuan, otherwise known as Xuan-song.

Exalted is His Name alone
Whose words shall ever remain
Seated on the heavenly throne
The Lamb who had been slain

For the sinner He has brought reprieve
The Christ has died in his stead
His promise is for all who believe
The lame, the blind, the dead!

To the child who is near his heart
For his sins His blood atones
His gifts invisible not solely art
He gives him bread not stones

Praise the Lord who yesterday, today,
And forever is the same,
Whether He gives or takes away,
Blessed be His Name.

Xuan