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Disciple Note – May 2024

The Story of Two Decades

Time flies by in the blink of an eye. This week, my wife and I revisited Ann Arbor, Michigan, a place I hadn’t been to since I graduated from the Michigan business school twenty years ago.

We didn’t go back to celebrate our 20 years anniversary of graduation, nor the National Championship the Wolverine just won. Those are nice achievements but can’t compare to what God did. Our sole purpose for going back is to remember the day when our marriage was miraculously saved, and our new life had begun.

My wife and her parents came to celebrate my graduation and soon after, we were heading to Philadelphia to celebrate her graduation from the Wharton Business School. Ironically, despite the ceremonies and two decent job offers, our marriage was on the brink of collapse. In a desperate moment, we met with Brent on May 1, 2004. He introduced us to Jesus, and everything changed.

We returned to the gym on the north campus where Brent and I first crossed paths. At that time, he was involved in campus ministry, feeling disheartened by the lack of interest from Chinese students. Meanwhile, I was immersed in business school studies, feeling lost and lonely while my wife was hundreds of miles away. Our initial encounter may have seemed insignificant, but it set in motion a divine plan.

As we visited the business school, I was astounded by the changes after a $100million donation and extensive renovations. This place was once the center of my pursuit of success. Without divine intervention, I may have achieved my dreams at the cost of losing my wife and soul.

Before we left, Brent took us to a park to offer his blessings. His letter moved us deeply, and we were all in tears. He also arranged for some friends to write us affirmation letters. Leading someone to Christ is one thing, but maintaining that connection, nurturing, and equipping for twenty years is extraordinary. Brent embodies what it means to be a true disciple—loving God, loving others, and making disciples.

How many more twenty years do I have? One? Two? Lately, Psalm 90:12 has been on my mind, urging me to live purposefully, intentionally, and in authentic relationships for the glory of God.

While celebrating our twenty-year anniversary is nice, spending eternity with Jesus in heaven will be far better. Until then, I commit myself to be a disciple who makes disciples.

The Walking Disciples

When it comes to making disciples, many feel overwhelmed, not knowing where to begin. Here’s a simple way to start: invite someone to take a walk with you in a nearby park.

Just last week, I walked with four different brothers on different days. Our conversations ranged from family relationships to political aspirations to geopolitical conflicts. Regardless of the topics, we always return to Jesus, seeking His guidance through prayer. Our walks leave us filled with abundant joy and renewed energy.

But I’m not alone. My friend Lei has been doing this in San Antonio for a while now. You might call us “the walking disciples” because that’s what we love to do—walk, talk, and make disciples. Is it biblical? Just read Luke 24:13-15. Jesus walked, talked, and taught his disciples. He even promised us that in heaven we will walk with him in white garments (Revelation 3:4).

So, start making disciples by inviting them for a walk. Pray for them before extending the invitation. Just like when I invited Brent for dinner without knowing what would unfold, you’ll be surprised by what God does in both your lives. Rejection may happen, but believe me, there are plenty of people eager to walk with you toward Jesus.

Father & Son Campout

From April 5-7, we hosted the second annual father & son campout in Texas. Nearly ninety fathers and sons joined us, and it was a blast.

HIGHLIGHTS

One highlight was that four American brothers came, led worship and shared messages. All of us were blown away when we heard them singing songs in fluent mandarin! They had spent significant time in China, ministering to people on the street. Their lives and testimonies are a great blessing to our Chinese fathers and sons.

Another highlight was that we organized the campout ourselves, without Brent, who was away in Egypt. Although none of us were professionals or pastors, our strong bonds in disciple groups made the task seamless. When believers are filled with God’s love and equipped for His work, miracle happens, and lives changed. This, I believe, is what church should look like.

MULTIPLICATION

After we took initiatives to launch the first Father & Son campout a year ago, this tiny seed has started to grow. In June, our brother Qingtang Zhang will launch a Father & Son campout in Oregon for fathers & sons in the west coast. In July, I will be leading a Father & Son and Father & Daughter campout in China. Brent told us to get ready because in the global conference he attended, many ministry leaders asked to launch similar Father & Child campout in their regions. Yep, Trailhead is going global!

BUILD LIFE

At Trailhead Fellowship, we don’t want to create a bunch of programs. We want to make disciples, equipping them to do what God calls them to do. The Father & Child campout is a perfect example, and it shows us an organic, self-sustaining ministry model deeply rooted in Jesus’ way of making disciples.

If we really believe in Jesus, we ought to take his words seriously. And all he has asked us to do is extremely simple:

Be one (disciple), make many (disciples).

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