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Seattle

Asian American InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (AAIV) is a fellowship at the University of Washington. We look to empower Asian Americans to transform the campus.

#peopleofaaiv

Filtering by Tag: seniorsofaaiv

MEET VIVIAN

AAIV UW

I think the biggest thing that God has taught me throughout college is about His genuine and pure love.

Coming into college, my idea of love was very self-centered, conditional, and expectant. I thought it was easy to love people, but only because I would receive something in return. I have always placed my value in peoples’ opinions about me and cared about being well liked. So I think I loved only because I wanted to be loved in return. However, throughout college, God has shown me that there is so much brokenness in this idea of love. We get hurt and disappointed when we expect people to be able to fill that gap in our heart.

Instead, God offers a love that is steadfast, fulfilling, and whole. God freely loves us without expectations that we love Him back. He constantly pursues us no matter how many times we hurt Him or reject Him. He draws in closer when we pull away more. This Godly love is so much more beautiful and sustainable than my ideas of earthly love.

Through this, God has really challenged me to love with this kind of pure and selfless love. He has shown me that maybe love shouldn’t be easy or comfortable all the time. I am still learning every single day how to actively choose to love people. When I get tired and burnt out, I know that I haven’t been turning to God as my source. So He reminds me to come back to Him and He renews my heart for people. The more I understand God’s love, the more I want to show it so that others would know His love too. We have so much to offer the world when we seek to reflect God’s unconditional love. I hope that as a community, we can encourage each other to love freely & genuinely!

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power… to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” — Ephesians 3:17-18

MEET VICTOR

AAIV UW

Fear regret more than failure.

As the school year has been coming to a close, the one question I’ve been constantly asked is “what has been your biggest regret in college?” When I was first asked this question, a lot of different thoughts started popping up in my head like “why didn’t I study more for that last test?” or “I should not have stayed up so late last night,” but honestly, it was pretty hard for me to think of something over these last four years that stuck out to me as my “biggest regret.” Everything that I thought of resulted in a short-term disappointment and was ultimately pretty inconsequential when I think about my entire time here at UW.

Regret is a feeling of sadness or disappointment over something that has happened or been done. I think that it has been difficult for me to come up with a response to the question because I truly believe that without all of the experiences I have been through—the successes and the failures—I would not have learned the things that I have, grown in the ways that I have, and be at this stage of my life that God has led me to. Personally, I believe that the feeling of regret stems from two different but interconnected situations: the failure to do something and the unwillingness to learn from failure.

I definitely don’t even have all of this figured out for myself yet, but I guess here is the advice I have for you all: Don’t live in fear of failure and seek discomfort. In your faith, Jesus never said that following Him would be easy. God places us through times of hardship so that we would trust in Him and press into Him more (check out James 1:1-13!!). In your community, seek to love on one another and build genuine relationships. Be real with each other and have the hard conversations. And in your current position as a college student/soon to be graduate, do not constrain yourself to society’s timetable for “success” and trust in God’s timetable. Take the time to figure out the things you are truly passionate about and GO FOR IT.

MEET JULIE

AAIV UW

As the year comes to an end, something God’s teaching me is how all good things are entirely FROM and IN God. It’s so funny how simple truths about God are sometimes not a blast to learn in the moment because it can take seeing and uprooting our inside ISH!! While I was exposed to some really ugly parts of myself this year—how I’m so judgmental, fearful, selfish but also self-hating, controlling, prideful (to cover up my insecurities), and desperate for others to like me—God was working in the lives of those I was trying but failing to love, and was loving them way better (surprise haha). My brokenness couldn't even try to produce God-level goodness because it’s PERFECT and GOD’S!! And instead of demanding more from me, that I get rid of the ugly stuff and get more holy, God’s been asking me to just be with Him, because He just wants to be with me? It makes no sense… but it does... because apart from God we can do nothing, and He loves us no matter what!!

I feel like that's how God’s been answering my questions—“Just be with me.” If I wanna see AAIV change? Have peace about the future? Overcome sin? Step out of comfort? Be part of His justice and restoration? Hear His voice? First prioritize being with God, then LISTEN and OBEY. It’s simple but even as I’m writing this I know I'm occupied by other things. Dedicating actual time to Jesus each day, time that no one else knows about or recognizes you for, is a radical way to live. And doesn’t make things easier—God still asks us to do hard and uncomfortable things as we chase after him and take up our cross. But where I’m distracted, empty, or blind, God’s love and goodness are overflowing. I’ve spent so much time trying to escape the “AAIV bubble” and sulking in the shortcomings of community, I haven’t been celebrating how this community has produced good fruit and ultimately brought me closer to God. There’s so much goodness to thank God for!! My hope is that resting in God and being secure in this goodness will bring us out of our comfort zones and into places of challenge, growth, and deeper love. TRULY our God gives GOOD gifts. If you’re reading this YOU ARE A GOOD GIFT FROM GOD!! ILY AAIV <3

MEET RYAN

AAIV UW

One of the biggest things I consistently struggle with in my faith is the lack of being constantly in awe of God. I think growing up in church and being a “Christian” for so much of my life has made so much of my spiritual life feel very normal or mundane, even though nothing about being a follower of Christ is normal.

Take prayer for example; prayer is literally the act of speaking and listening to God. Being in the presence of, and being able to communicate with, the creator of the universe anywhere, at any time. Through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, I, a sinful human being, have direct access to the Holiest and most Powerful Being ever and when I pray, I usually just casually ask him for help in school and thank Him for food (lol) without even thinking twice about it.

Back in the Old Testament, Moses used to meet with God in a tent and the ENTIRE NATION would rise and worship every single time while they spoke (Exodus 33:7). When Isaiah sees the Lord in Chapter 6, he is in such awe of the holiness of the Lord that he thinks he is going to die for being a sinful man in a sinful nation. During the transfiguration in Matthew certain disciples got to see the Father talk to Jesus and it says that they were TERRIFIED.

In all three situations, these people understood God’s glory and what a privilege it was to witness and communicate with the living God. That is something I always need to be reminded of because it’s so easy for me to get too comfortable in my spiritual walk. So I guess the advice I have for people, and myself, is to never stop being amazed by God, by His Power, by His Holiness, and by His Love. The Christian life isn’t meant to be mundane, it should be the most exhilarating, amazing, and challenging life anyone could ever live.

MEET LENA

AAIV UW

TBH I joined AAIV because I heard of the good community it had from my older sister, who was very involved (aka a leader). Then when I joined AAIV I met a lot of people who knew my sister and I was afraid that they might be disappointed because I was different. But even if people didn’t compare me, I would do it to myself.

Growing up, I would compare myself to my friends, my siblings, and to everyone around me. It was an insecurity that I had, and I felt like this insecurity made me unsure of who I was as an individual. The world would always whisper lies—telling me that I was not good enough, kind enough, funny enough, smart enough, and etc. And I didn’t know what it meant to really be 'me,' because I was so busy trying to fit the standards and molds of others. I saw the “good traits” of others and I would try to make them mine. But in actuality, it just hurt me as I felt like no one would like me for who I really was because I didn’t even know who 'I' was.

Today, I am a much more different individual. I can confidently say that I know my identity as not only a child of God, but also as someone who generally isn't seeking to fit an image. I wouldn’t say that I am 100% invulnerable to this image-seeking because I am imperfect like everyone, but I definitely don’t allow it to hold its power over me and that is partly because of the community that I found within AAIV, and also the space AAIV provided to learn more about God and my identity through Him.

Although the AAIV community is imperfect, there are still people within who will be vulnerable to you, compassionate, loving, and enable you as a friend or fellow member to challenge your spiritual and individual growth. I can’t promise that everyone will be your friend, because that’s actually impossible, but at least be willing to get to know people and their stories. And for those who struggle with finding a community or understanding who they are, I encourage you to be prayerful and surround yourself with those who want to grow and not stay comfortable, because you may find yourself joining them on that journey.

MEET WYIETAH

AAIV UW

AYO WE OUT HERE PRAISING THE LIVING GOD HOMIES!!!

Just wanted you to know that God loves you UNCONDITIONALLY! There is nothing you did do, can do, or will do that will make God stop loving you.

To have unconditional love is to have no conditions for loving. If you think about it, Jesus died for us in that same way. That means, He loved us despite what has happened, He loves us despite what’s happening, and He even loves us despite what will happen, good or bad. If this is what love is, then we ought to do the same for our brothers and sisters all around us if we want to see this love be poured out unto all.

Mark 12:29-31 (I am paraphrasing) love the Lord God and love others as yourself. But how we suppose to know how to love if we do not receive that ourselves? Do we know that we need God’s love? Do we know that we are lost without Him? Mark 2:17, “it is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick.”

Long intro, so let me get to my point! What I suggest is that we are all the same. We are all the same in that we are all sick with sin and we all need that healing from God’s love. But will you go to the doctor if you do not think you are sick? Hell nah, I ain’t paying that price; but is it worth it in the end? Hell yes, so I can get better! Will it come at a cost? Yeah, it is the sacrifice of pride, of security, and even of knowing that you have no control over your own life.

But God’s love heals you of sin. There is no doubt that God is going to take care of you despite whatever happens. And because of His great love for us, we are called to love other people… But how do you do that? If you want a friend to see a doctor, are you going to say “you are stupid for not seeing a doctor when you are hella sick,” hell nah. Do you think it would be better if you told them how this doctor healed you of your sickness? Hell yes. *cough cough vulnerability* (smiling while shrugging)

MEET KATRINA

AAIV UW

I’ve never been the type of person who is itching to graduate, I don’t have a countdown to summer, I’m not “so ready to be done.” The last few weeks, actually, I’ve felt an overwhelming sense of fear about this chapter of my life ending. To be honest, it’s kind of paralyzing at times wondering what Jesus has for me after this. Not just in my career, or relationships, but even the things He will call me to do and places He will ask me to follow Him in this life. It’s terrifying to me. Because what if at the end of the day I don’t want to go where He's going?

I think the idea of graduating in general has revealed to me deeper strongholds and fears I have about changing seasons and trusting in Jesus. It is so hard being a Jesus follower when you are resistant to moving forward into the unknown. Because that’s always where He is, going before us and guiding us near. But I often find myself choosing to stay stuck somewhere despite knowing that it isn't the best I will have or repeating cycles that aren't even good simply because they are known and I grasp for the known.

But there’s the passage in the Bible where Jesus turns water into wine (John 2:1-11) and the master of the banquet says, “Everyone serves the good wine first, but you have saved the best for last.” In the midst of debilitating fear, Jesus reminds me this; He has saved the best for last. That doesn't mean what came before wasn't good or even great. But it was never his intention for us to stay in the "good old days." His fruitfulness, his abundance, his goodness, it has never been more full than it will be. There’s more and there’s always more. As doors close and I am forced into a new season of life, I want to be more committed to the unknown than the known. And trust that it is well no matter what has gone or what comes.

MEET ALEC

AAIV UW

To be honest, this year I have been much less involved/engaged with the AAIV community (which is why some of you, especially newer students, probably don't know me lol) and some of that came from a place of frustration/apathy towards the fellowship—the structure, people, conferences, repetitiveness, organization—and since I've already been around for a while and met some solid friends, it's been really easy for me to stay in my little bubble and disengage myself from the community and not reach out to new students or be involved with a lot of things within the fellowship unless it's convenient for me. It was easy as a senior to look forward to the next chapter of my life rather than continue to invest into a community that has poured so much into me for the past 4 years. I grew apathetic towards AAIV and to be honest towards God as well.

It wasn't until very recently that I had a conversation with one of my friends who was very honest about my (lack of) engagement with new students in AAIV. I think God was trying to convict me to continue to love His people in AAIV even if it didn't seem easy or worth it. I know there are only a few more weeks, but I'm hopeful that God can still use me to show people in this community the love Christ.

So that's me, but I think some of this was supposed to be advice? I'm not very good at that... BUT here's my one piece of advice that I didn't do enough of, take advantage of your time in AAIV and invest in GENUINE relationships with people inside AND outside of the fellowship. I truly believe that your relationship with God's people in your life is strongly correlated to your relationship with Him. It's like a 2 for 1!! Amazing!!

I still remember my very first large group in Bagley, an insane amount of people, Matt Sekijima's beautiful voice and more passionate worship that I had ever seen before. I had no idea that AAIV would be such an important part of my years in college, but God truly BLESSED me with such an amazing community; and here I am 4 years later about to graduate and leave AAIV... CRAZY.

MEET CLEO

AAIV UW

For those who have gotten a chance to hear my testimony will know that I didn’t grow up in a Christian household. You might have also heard about my non-Christian parents.

My dad and I have never had a great relationship, and even to this day I find it extremely difficult to love him. I lived in constant fear of him. It seemed like he was always unhappy about my performance or even the way I looked. I was abused by him mentally and physically but I assumed that was just how parents disciplined their children.

Then I met God. Over the past 9 years of getting to know Him, He brought deep, transformative healing into my life and was softening this angry and broken heart of mine. Over the last 9 years I fell in love with this perfect, spiritual Father who tells me I’m adored by Him—but I still couldn’t come to love my earthly father.

At Mark Camp this year there was one particular day that we discussed about how Jesus loves the poor and the needy. That same week I was doing a devotional that was urging me to love the poor. I knew this meant something and prayed, “Father, who is the poor and the needy that you want me to love?” God wanted me to love my earthly dad. My dad, who is poor and in need of the Father’s love.

Over this past year I put in more effort to be more outward with how I was showing him love, even when it was uncomfortable or awkward. I began to see God working in my family and showing me He was near. At times I became extremely hopeful when I started seeing small changes in my dad, and other times I quickly became discouraged to see that he hasn’t changed much. But I put my hope in an all powerful, all mighty God. I know that He loves each and every one of His children, and He certainly hasn’t forgotten about my dad. Now more than ever I need to love my dad and pray earnestly for him. This is my prayer request: that my dad would come to know Christ.