Introduction: Andrew Bulin

member_introductions

(Andrew Bulin) #1

Hi everyone,

I’m a 36 year old from DFW, married 15 gracious years, and have a 12 year old son who will be a full fledged teenager this summer. We are members of Duncanville’s First Baptist Church in Texas. My background is diverse, with experiences in automotive, construction, and at latest is information technology, where I currently work for Amazon’s Web Services as a team lead in big data cloud support. You can say I enjoy technology, but the masters in theology I’m working on at Dallas Baptist University is so much more interesting. I cannot wait to see how God will use these experiences for His kingdom, but at the present moment, I’m not serving in any formal ministries.

God’s plan for our lives is to eventually move us to Japan to serve in missions in the next couple of years. Here is my current life’s mission statement:

My life’s mission is to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love others as myself. As an ambassador for Christ, I will be depended upon to coach and encourage others to become disciples of Christ, whose hearts grow closer to God. I will live this kind of life, and lead my family, wherever God compels us, which is here now, and next in Japan.

We have only embarked on this journey 8 short years ago, and prior to that we were very much of the world. There are many more things I must learn, but I’m hoping that perhaps a community like this one will allow me to share in conversations of faith as we take this time to study to show ourselves approved, sharpen one another, and give a defense for the hope that is in us.

Warm regards and by His grace I hope to connect with some of you,
Andrew


(Keldon Scott) #2

Welcome aboard. Glad to have you joining us. Sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Knowing where you’re going in the mission that you have laid out is such a blessing. Be encouraged. You are right this is a great place for you to get plugged in. Find some people that you connect with so that when the time comes you will have direct and connected prayer warriors on your behalf. Best to you and Happy Easter.


(Andrew Bulin) #3

Thanks for your greetings. I’m very interested to see where this all goes.

It has been huge blessing to have a target country in our sights and to spend this time acclimating ourselves little by little. Good advice: I’ll poke around and see who else I can find here that may have interests in Japan. Cheers!


(David Roeder) #4

Hi Andrew,
I love seeing how God brings people into His service from varied professions and giftedness. Behold, the fields are white unto harvest! I’m sure you’ll pick up additional ways to share Christ through this platform.
Blessings to you and your family
David


(Andrew Bulin) #5

Indeed. I’ve been able to step into some unique places and seen very complicated series of events just come together. The Lord is good, faithful and wise, and the journey he has me on has been exciting! It’s amazing to see a life before and after commitment to His service. Thanks for the kind words.


(SeanO) #6

Welcome @andrew.bulin! I recently used some AWS services for a project I work on, so def appreciate the work you guys do. I am also in the CS field - data analytics and things of that nature.

How did you get interested in Japan? Are you learning the language?

Praise the Lord for His work in your family’s life - may He richly bless you and your family with wisdom, knowledge and grace through the fullness of His Spirit!


(Carson Weitnauer) #7

Hi Andrew, welcome! We’re honored to have you join and excited to cheer you on as your family prepares for missions in Japan. My family took a trip there many years ago - I remember the incredible food with a longing to return! We were fascinated with the beauty of the countryside, the innovation of the urban environments, and the meticulous attention to detail in many environments. At the same time, I could not help but be saddened at how few in Japan have a personal experience of God’s love in Jesus. That said, I’ve been encouraged by the team that leads Asian Access (https://www.asianaccess.org/index.php) - they might be worth checking out and learning from as you consider your next steps.

With Sean and you, and others in Connect, I share an interest in technology and ‘what’s next’ - we’d love to have your insights and engagement on these topics as well.


(Andrew Bulin) #8

Hey Sean! Thanks for the shout out on AWS! These days I’m moving more into analytics and data science, and it amazes me what we can do with technology now. I often wonder if missionaries can use the latest in big data tech to make greater advancements in the field of Bible translation.

The passion for Japan is a long story and can be best summarized as just the Lord’s prompting. We fell in love with the art, culture, people, history, etc. many years ago. We’ve visited 4-5 times for short trips (school and recreation), and my wife was an exchange student for 5 months a couple of years ago. The language is challenging when you add university work on top of it! But we’ve toyed with it for several years now and have tuned our ears to it, I guess you can say. Once I graduate, I’ll have time to put in a real effort, but till then we know enough language to joke around with my Japanese friend. :slight_smile:


(Andrew Bulin) #9

Thank you for the warm welcome! I’m keen to see how I can build our network before we embark on moving abroad, so I’ll definitely check this link out.

I cannot agree with you more: The sights, sounds, and smells of a place like Japan are unparalleled in their own respects. Most anywhere you go, you are not far from beautiful mountains and forests. I’m learning a new feeling of yearning to be “home” where the sights and sounds tug on my heart even as a foreigner. I feel blessed that when we make our refuge in the will of our Heavenly Father, He grants us passage to some truly incredible places and make a place a home that is not our home. It is also crucial that I do my best not to underestimate the real challenges and culture shock that still await us.

The state of the Gospel message in Japan is another unique burden on my heart. In children’s Bible study, I was fortunate to have teachers who told me my role in God’s kingdom can be to go out to other nations. This helped plant an important seed in my heart. However, I’ve had to grow a greater appreciation of what it is like to bring the Gospel to a first world country like Japan. Till recently I had know idea how few Japanese were Christian, and after learning I now struggle with the patience to wait on the Lord’s perfect timing as he prepares my family.


(SeanO) #10

@andrew.bulin yea, I’m in school atm as well and attempting to learn a language - small steps forward are the name of the game for me. But I’m beginning to really enjoy etymology and how other languages are constructed - almost wish I could go back to school for linguistics.

I had a small chance to see how Wycliffe was using machine learning to help Bible translators - a lot of language mapping and extrapolation based on already translated bits. It’s neat stuff.


(Natasha Morton) #11

Welcome! Looking forward to discussing God and the wonder He brings us with you! It’s amazing how much He can change in you, isn’t it! I’m excited to take this journey with you, and all the others, and seeing what God does in our lives!
Japan sounds very interesting! I know a few folks that have/or are doing this (not in Japan but some other countries) and it sounds like a very rewarding experience.

Good luck as well - and may God continue you on your life mission!


(Omar Rushlive Lozada Arellano) #12

Hello @andrew.bulin. I affirm your heart for missions. I hope that you’ll be able to find the community here helpful in your walk. Let’s learn together! Welcome to Connect! :slight_smile:


(Giselle Seidel) #13

Hello @andrew.bulin, thanks for sharing so much of what God has done and is doing in your life. I will keep you and your family in my prayers for God to prepare you for that challenge but also great honor, to be the hands and feet and face of Jesus in Japan!
Unbelievers will see Jesus face to face for the first time when they see us, His people, laying our lives to serve them by giving everything up to bring them the good news of Jesus Christ. Read Col 1:24.
I don’t know if you like John Piper and his ministry, but I just happened to listen to a very good preaching he gave back in 2007 about missions, actually in Texas. I hope you can listen to it. It’s called “Radical Effects of the Resurrection”. I’m sure it will be a blessing. God bless you and hope we will be in touch here.


(Giselle Seidel) #14

(Ashish Money) #15

Hi Andrew so glad to know about you. I am so excited to know God’s plan for your life. I too had diverse background like your. I have worked with different organizations form liquor industry to BPOs, Non Profit Organisation and currently serving a small community here in Delhi. I hope to learn with you and grown in the Lord.


(Megan Kemp) #16

Hi Andrew, and welcome to RZIM Connect!

I completely relate to your current job in the marketplace, but finding studying theology much more interesting! I’m in the same boat. Your life mission statement is really neat - thanks for sharing it. I think I am inspired now to write one…:thinking:


(Andrew Bulin) #17

@Megan_Kemp, the life’s mission statement provides me a sort of “constitution” or rough definition of those values that are important, which can then become a clear and concise set of goals to steer life towards. It’s easy to get off course, so I’d highly recommend spending time praying on it and giving it a shot! It should just be a few sentences, and then to help with your personal definition, you can follow that up by breaking down each core value point by point, describing why each is important and what are you actually doing to apply it to your life. This was a real struggle for me at first and required some soul searching. By writing this all down and the guidance of the Holy Spirit as I opened my heart to God’s will, I was able to come up with this simple life’s mission statement. :^)


(Andrew Bulin) #18

Hey @giselleseidel, thanks for that audio post! I was able to listen it and found it to be quite timely…

I was very curious about the latter part of the referenced passage, Colossians 1:24, and decided to research it further:

“[…] in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.”

We know Christ came to suffer for the salvation of all, and Paul was saying that Christ’s suffering (though complete for our salvation), was not yet finished as He left His followers to continue carrying the Gospel message to all nations. Acts 13:47 calls us to be a light and carry salvation to the nations, as quoted and foretold of Christ by Isaiah (49:6). As His followers (like Paul), we too will share in His suffering as we take this Gospel message. Christ’s suffering continues then by His members as we obediently follow His example [1].

My friend who is a professor and works with international students came to me yesterday to ask opinions and suggestions about a talk he’s doing today. This is in regard to the impact of international travel studies and exchange students. This is when I started researching the above passages and it all fell into place. Briefly:

  • Acts 13:47 - We are called to be a light and bring salvation to all the nations.
  • Isaiah 49:6 - This was foretold of Christ, whom we must emulate and obey (Mat. 28:19)
  • Colossians 1:24 - As Christ’s followers, we must too share in His sufferings as we have hope in the resurrection of the dead and bring His Gospel message to all the nations.

Thank you again for your counsel and timely words. Only the Lord knows who is to receive them for His service. I guess this shows how beneficial a online community like this is for us to share God’s truth with one another, to help take it further to all nations. :^)

[1] F.F. Bruce, Colossians in Commentary on the Epistles to the Ephesians and the Colossians (1957; reprint, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982), 216.


(Carson Weitnauer) #19

Hi Andrew, at the MLK50 Conference, I met a man who was a missionary in Japan for 20 years. I asked him which agencies he would recommend to someone considering missions there. He said:

  • TEAM - The Evangelical Alliance Mission
  • International Mission Board
  • Presbyterian Mission to the World
  • Asian Access

FWIW!


(Andrew Bulin) #20

@CarsonWeitnauer: Wow, 20 years?! Praise the Lord!

Thanks for these details. I did visit TEAM and established a contact there a couple of years ago, and know a couple that are a part of IMB. But I’ve never heard of the last two. I’ll definitely look these up and see who I can reach out to.

Thanks!