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Dallas Texas                         Fall 2021
Hard pressed, but not crushed!
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you."
- 2 Corinthians 4:7-12
Shalom! Our prayer warriors!  

Grace and peace to y'all! :) Thank you for taking the time to journey alongside us by reading our newsletter and praying faithfully for and with our family. We are so humble and beyond joyful to celebrate with you our 5th year anniversary living in Dallas. It is grace upon grace for us to be saturated in our Lord's provision and your financial support to allow us to go this far with your prayer and support! Thank you!

We'd like to invite you to join our family to reflect on our loving Father's teaching of hardships over our family in the past couple of months and recount the blessings of our Father upon our family in the present and the days to come. 

In this newsletter, you will hear the stories from: 
  • Hard Presses in the Sun's household
  • Ministry Updates
  • Family Updates
  • Upcoming Ministry
  • Praise Points 
Hard Presses
As we turned the page of year of 2020, like many others, we have taken a long sigh of relief and anticipated with hope that things should get better and would soon return to normal. And as the year of 2021 rolled out and the world events began to unfold right before our own eyes, it has gone far beyond our false expectation and finite imagination. 

When we turn on the TV and scroll down social medias, what quickly bombards our sight and mind is nothing but the tragedy in Afghanistan, Haiti, Myanmar, Delta variant, vaccination, loss of loved one from Covid and even New Zealand, the last fortress on earth found their 1st positive case of Covid on August 17th after 6 months without Covid in the community and all of the sudden, the lockdown for the entire nation has been issued and the notorious virus has swept the north island with 609 community cases recorded by August 31st. Our kiwi fam, we are praying for you to keep the faith with perseverance and resilience. 

While our world is again being put on bed rest in desperate need of our urgent and daily prayer, our family has also encountered a series of hardships (stories below), wild whirlwind and emotional rollercoaster, where our God has brought us into the deep to refine our faith with fire. "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed."
Hard Press #1: New Zealand Nostalgia
(Email from the immigration lawyer of New Zealand)

While we wish we could share an exciting news with you, our heart is heavy to be informed that our New Zealand visa, along with 50,000 applications, has been lapsed. To be brutally honest with you, the disappointment is through the roof as we have seen that many other nations have slowly reopened their border that we thought NZ would've finally begun the visa process too, but no. Not quite! 

We thought we would've been devastated after more than a year of waiting and yet, we praise the Lord for His transcending peace that is guarding our heart and mind without losing heart. "We are hard pressed, but not crushed." We understand and believe God's will needs to be done in God's way and the spirit of Jesus has led us to regroup ourselves by trusting our Father's perfect timing and keeping up with what God has entrusted us to do in the ministry here in the US. We believe delaying is not denial and waiting is not wasting. The reminder of prophet Isaiah's word has brought confidence and comfort to our soul, "For those who wait upon the Lord will gain new strength." So until the border reopens, we wait patiently and labor actively to plant our feet here in Dallas by bringing shalom to the city. 
Hard Press #2: Miscarriage Madness
(Jocelyn in the hospital waiting for treatment)

Again, we were hoping to share with you an exciting news, but our Father has a different plan in store. Back in April, we were overwhelmingly ecstatic to find out that Jocelyn's pregnant! YAY!!! While our whole family was throwing a dance party, few days later, we were told by the doctor that baby's heartbeat has unfortunately stopped at 6+ weeks. We lost our baby girl (Moriah Sun). 

To say we are devastated is a total understatement. We were hard pressed emotionally, spiritually and physically especially me (Jocelyn). On Mother's Day, I (Jocelyn) was inducing myself at home coupled with severe side effects and hoping baby could naturally labor via medication without the need of procedure. However, baby did not come out, so I went in for an unwanted operation for 3 hours and came out feeling part of me died and gone with baby Moriah. 

As I reflected on the miscarriage, I was wrapped with sadness and broken into pieces from within. It seems like the darkness covered the sky every morning when I woke up, but God did not abandon me that His comfort carried me to draw me closer to Him even in the midst of the storm. Praise the Lord that I could finally empathize those who have gone through miscarriage before. God has allowed us to invite our kids to learn how to lament to mature their faith in the face of life and death. God has used several precious moments to warm our hearts, Liora will ask why God didn't give and is He testing us? She will also be crying in the middle of the night to sleep cuz she misses baby. Zion, on the other hands, will turn around to kiss my stomach when he sees a pregnant neighbor. 

There is also one miracle to be noted. On one morning, I was comforted by God as I woke up wrapped in emotional pain. He showed me an angel figure as the sun raze beamed through the blinds and curtain. I saw little wings, a circle head and swirly dress that came down. It was just the right size and comforting moment for me to feel our little girl is in heaven now. Our Father is so good and faithful that He hears our prayers and sees our tears. 

On top of everything else, I've also been graced by God to share the Gospel with most of the medical assistants, RN and doctors. They mentioned this was their last shift and had to stay for extended time for my procedure but I was the best patient whom brought encouragement to their faith. "We are hard pressed, but we are not crushed." To God be the glory in all He is doing in and through our family. Amen.
Hard Press #3: Covid Captivity 
(Family doing covid testing together, stay forever lol)

Just when we thought we were out of the woods from all the hard-press events, we had wade through another trial where Jocelyn and Kyra caught Covid in August when we visited Houston. During 3 weeks of battling Covid, the condition of Jocelyn had gone almost out of control with severe symptoms such has deep cough, sore body and chest pain that I (Ric) needed to check on her everyday to see if she was still breathing because her body had put her onto at least 14-15 hours sleep per day. Even at one point, with Jocelyn's own words, "I almost couldn't make it."

It was scary and daunting 3 weeks of hard fought battle where we were isolated and exhausted without daring to make it known because of the shame and embarrassment. We got knocked out and deceived by the lies of the enemy to hide in the dark. Then our Father’s wonderful provision and incredible protection through His words from Elijah's 7,000 in 1 Kings 19:18 reminds us that there is a whole army of God behind us rallied and ready to love us, support us, intercede and pray for us, so we were convicted to finally reach out and shared openly about our despair. And our Father has done it again to restore our family with His great mercies and many of yours immense cares. Seriously, EVERYDAY, your daily prayer and texts, grocery pick-up, homemade cooking, flowers, Emergen-C, medical consultation, coffee and boba tea has gone exceedingly and abundantly beyond we can imagine. You, my fam, is the real MVP!

Thank you SO much for bathing our family in your faithful prayer. Jocelyn now has finally and fully recovered from Covid as our Father has mightily turned her

chest pain into faith gain.
coughing into praising.
tears into prayers.
ashes into beauty.
worshiper into warrior.

Hallelujah!!! "We are hard pressed, but we are not crushed!" The Lord is kind! We have slowly resumed our activity and ministry last week. YAY! 
Ministry Updates
Life International 
(Pictured with master trainers and staff of Life International in Michigan)

Back in June, our family was invited to participate an intensive training with Life International in Michigan. The training has left us marveled with the passion of the leaders and their immense love for the Lord! In the past 20 years, the training has spread its wings to South Africa, Libya, Congo, Lesotho, Cambodia, India, Thailand, Burma, Ecuador, Bolivia, Croatia, Kenya, Malta, Hungary, Ukraine and more and counting.

We are in awe of what God is and has been doing through the organization locally and globally to go everywhere around the world with the call to proclaim the message of Father’s heart and empower the leaders with the training in all nations for the sanctity of life.

It is such an instrumental ministry and monumental opportunity for us to be part of the specialist team and now going forward, Lord’s willing with His divine timing, we will join the team to teach and train the leaders worldwide wherever He calls us to!

We pray for you to join us to be the life givers and bring it to your mission field, church, ministry and even your family.
(Global virtual training with brothers and sisters from around the world)

After the training in Michigan, in July, we were beyond thrilled and honored to help teach/train alongside other trainer. We have pastors, leaders, doctors, seminary professors join from all over the US, the Philippians, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Croatia and New Zealand. Praise God!

Though we needed to wake up at 5am everyday throughout the week to prepare the class, the training, fellowship and partnership for the advancement of the Gospel and the expansion of the kingdom is indeed so worth of our time.
Camp Challenge, Houston
(Group picture taken with everyone at camp. Can you find us?) 

During summer, our family traveled to Houston to speak at Camp Challenge (Youth camp hosted by Fort Bend Community Church). We learned that whether its 1 soul or 200+, pandemic or not, with mask on, the Gospel will never lose its power, anointing and effectiveness.

After many hours of preparations, countless sleepless nights, 15,000+ words, urgent prayers, timely words of encouragements, 5 days of camp and 5 messages of God's Word, by the grace of God, the Gospel has been preached, decisions have been made, lives have been rededicated and worshipers have been turned into warriors! Hallelujah!!!
(Picture taken when the students raised hands to believe in Jesus, rededicated to Jesus and commit to being an evangelist)

This is a powerful and monumental picture captured at the last night of the camp where we got to witness the power of the Holy Spirit made manifested in the lives of youth after a long drought of in-person fellowship during the pandemic. To be honest, it was a hard crowd to preach because in the beginning of the camp, many of them had expressed that their faith has become so indifferent and apathetic, that they didn't even see the point to continue pursuing God or even question the reason to come to camp.

As you could imagine, the hands of God intervened slowly but surely and touched many hearts for the revitalization of their pursuit of God. We so hoped you were there during the camp fire to listen their powerful and beautiful testimony. 
We have so much hope for the future of our next generation. With so many incredible pastors/leaders and faithful counselors who love Jesus so well, I believe without the shadow of doubt that our Father is dancing and rejoicing with us on His throne.

Please join us to pray for each church, pastor, leader to dedicate their lives to raise a generation of army of God to re/commit their lives to knowing God, to be known by God, and to make God known! Amen! ❤️
Preaching and Teaching Ministry
Throughout the first half of the year, we have, by God's grace, been given many opportunities to speak and teach at various churches and organizations. We have found great privilege and joy of serving together as couples. It brought us to the example of Aquila and Priscilla in Acts 18 where every time they were spoken of in Scripture they were always mentioned together (Acts 18:3, 18, 26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corin. 16:19; 2 Tim 4:19). In other words, we don't think of them as two, but as one flesh (Gen. 2:24). 

And what's even fascinating is that many years pass from Acts 18, the last place where we hear of them in 2 Timothy 4:19, they are still together. Wow! How beautiful and powerful it is to see couples joyfully and humbly serving the Lord together! As married couple, we have gradually grown to understand that it is not enough to simply stay married, but it is the perfect will of God for couples to submit to the Lord with the sole purpose of magnifying the unity, serving the body and glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ together. My fellow married couples, may God give us all the grace we need to finish our course with excessive joy - serving each other and our God together. Amen!
Family News
5 Years Dallasversary!!! 
Happy 5 years Dallasversary to us!!! August 16th, 2021 has marked as our 5th year since our tear-filled and heart-wrenched farewell to some of our dearest friends and family in Houston!

Over the last 5 years in Dallas, it's been the most formative, faith-stretching, Spirit-filling season of our lives. Many of you knew our story, we came to DTS fundraised with 2 kids without knowing what the future holds, but 5 years later, with the training we received and the community we have grown with, we are more than confident to walk into the unknown by faith to know that we are holding the hands that hold the future. We wouldn't trade this precious season of life and ministry for anything. It is so challenging and yet rewarding at the same time. Our Father is good and faithful in every step of the way. 

Oftentimes, we have gotten people asking us why you want to go to seminary even bringing the whole family? 
If we can sum up our experience here in Seminary in a few words, this is what we have learned and embraced in the pursuit of our Lord: 

Seminary stretches our faith to the point we see our inability and then cry out for God's grace to experience God in ways a more comforted life cannot experience. This means no matter what season God has called us into, when we step out by faith, His presence will not only go before us but also be with us by day and by night!!!
Suns Family On the Go!
In June, our family got to travel to Michigan and Chicago for the first time since pandemic. After about a year and half shelter in place in Dallas, we were finally able to see the world outside of our ecosystem. This time, we got to visit Lake Michigan for the first time where we learned about the lake is just like a mini ocean with beach, wave, surfers and sand castle. The state of Michigan is so pure and kind to our family that reminds us so much of pure New Zealand. :) 

We also got to experience the country life where we grasped a truckload of incredible knowledge about farming. No wonder Jesus talked so much about farming in his time with the day to day chores, tasks, and the attention required to the smallest details, not to mention the patience in waiting and trusting the Lord for nature and weather. So much fun, truth and wisdom digging the dirt, running on hay and riding on the tractors. It's indeed a trip of a lifetime for our family. Praise the Lord!
Therapeutic Comfort 
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
- Matthew 11:28-30

In the season of encountering hard presses, Jocelyn has been resting in the unforced rhythms of grace and has found deep longing of God's presence abiding in the beauty and creativity of art where her weary soul and wounded heart meet the overflowing mercy of God - beholding His transcending peace and therapeutic comfort at the foot of the cross. 

"We are hard pressed, but not crushed!" Thank you Jesus!
Blessed to Bless
After the healing of the Lord from miscarriage and covid, Jocelyn is back in the game to be a blessing to others. This time, it's the donation of her precious hair. 2 years for 22 inches. YAY for the children in need through wigs 4 kids of Michigan. If you or anyone you know have hair to donate, we recommend wigs for kids of Michigan as they receive a medical discount from the manufacturer to create the wigs and no child is turned away and no family ever pays. 
Upcoming Ministry
  • September 12: Preaching at Prosper Fellowship Church, Dallas
  • September 19: Preaching at First Chinese Baptist Church of Dallas
  • October 27: Serving at DTS on the diversity panel for EML5101 (Designing and Leading Effective Ministries)
  • November 14: Preaching at Ford Bend Community Church, Houston
  • December 27-30: Workshop speaker at Chinese Mission Conference
  • March 2022: College retreat speaker at Evangelical Chinese Church, Seattle (TBD)
Prayer Points
  • Pray for the outbreak of Covid and terrorist attack in New Zealand that the patience and victims will find peace and comfort of God in the midst of all the sufferings. 
  • Pray for God's protection over Afghanistan and Haiti that the steadfast love and great mercies of God will turn fear into faith, pain into peace, suffering into enduring and death into life. 
  • Pray for our family to be good witness of Jesus Christ to shine for our king Jesus even with the challenging encounter of one test after another. 
  • Pray for the anointing of the spirit to empower us to abide in Christ as we behold our Father's mercy and glory to speak the truth boldly and powerfully with clarity, audacity and urgency. 
  • Pray for the total dependence on Jesus for Jocelyn to persevere and complete the assignments and exams for demon and angelology class.
  • Pray for another year of homeschooling that the Suns kids will grow in wisdom and stature with favor of God as they learn how to walk in step with the Spirit in everyday of their life. 
  • Pray for our heart to seek God’s kingdom and righteousness first and trust by faith that we can cast out all burdens onto Him especially our financial situation.
May our Father God in heaven continue to bless you and your family abundantly and fill you with joy and peace as we anticipate amazing and mighty things He will do in the days, months and years to come! May our Lord Almighty alone receive all the honor, praise and glory. Amen!
The Suns family is beyond thankful for your unceasing prayer and generous support. We can do what we do to share the Gospel and make disciples for the advancement of the kingdom only because of you. We are committed to walking by faith and trusting our Father's provision for the cost of living here and launching into New Zealand. If you or you know of anyone who is passionate about mission, a postmodern culture, prevention and restoration for abortion and what God is doing in New Zealand specifically through our family, we invite you to continue this journey of faith with us.  

If you felt led by the Spirit to partner with us through financial support, here are two ways that you can help support our journey ahead. Please let us know if you have any questions. We are looking forward to hearing from you. Love y'all so much. :)

Until all are heard and healed,
The Suns :) 

Giving Options:
  1. No Tax-deductible through DTS financial support link (Jocelyn's student ID: 940219)
  2. Tax-deductible through International Christian Community-Eurasia (Please designate Ric and Jocelyn Sun)
Copyright 2021 © Journey with the Suns

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3900 Swiss Ave. Apt. 801
Dallas, Texas 75204
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Journey with the Suns · 136 Westown Dr. NW apt. 202 · Grand Rapids, MI 49534 · USA

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