My parents moved around a lot and met many people along the way. I am unsure whether that upbringing influenced me, but I started my little world tour after gaining independence at twenty-one. During my “tour de world,” I met many people who knew my parents, most of whom recognized me first. Why? It is because I look very much like my mom and speak very much like my dad. So they would either recognize me from my looks or my words.
Along with that recognition came certain expectations due to my parent’s different identities – missionary, pastor, professor, manager, and cook. I became an ambassador of the Tham clan. After accepting the fact that I could not hide my relation to the Tham Clan, I started embracing my newfound identity. Thankfully, it was not difficult since I inherited my dad’s interest in Chinese history and philosophy, and having access and exposure to my dad’s books from young was helpful. After many years of fighting against it, I eventually accepted the call to be a Pastor and embraced my dad’s legacy in that area. What surprised me was that I also went down the path of being a missionary and professor. Something that my parents did as a team. I had no problem in terms of cooking since I always had a passion for food and was always interested in helping out in the kitchen. Being an ambassador for the Tham clan was something that flowed naturally from the inside out. You could say I was cut from the same cloth as my mom and dad.
In Romans 13:14, Paul urges Christians to put on Christ – to figuratively clothe themselves with the Lord Jesus Christ to reveal God’s glory to the world, to represent Jesus as His ambassador to the world. So how do I do that in my current context? I work in a unique region. Countries give extra care to those they send to this region as their ambassador. Due to the sensitivity of this region, they often go through many rounds of orientation and training before they are sent. I, too, am an ambassador to this region but not of an earthly kingdom. My training differs vastly from those received by the other ambassadors. For them, they receive training in areas such as public speaking, strategic negotiation, and leadership skills to represent their home country’s best interest.
On the other hand, my training does not follow a curriculum. Instead, it follows a person through relating to Him and Him connecting with me. My goal is not to fight for the best interest of my home country, but for the best interest of the person I am serving as an ambassador. Who I am, does not come from learning a specific set of skills but from owning my identity as the child of God. I am made in His image! By recognizing that I am His child, I can embrace that I am cut from the same cloth as Him, and people will recognize who my Father is.
The people I serve in my region do not understand God’s plan for them. They do not even know who He is. They may even be filled with misunderstanding for Him. Many would brush Him off as irrelevant, unnecessary and western. And most do not even believe He exists. So my role as an ambassador in my region involves many facets – the most important being the proof that God is real through how I live my life, how I relate to those I love and those I have yet to know.