ike was born in Alameda,
CA. He moved to Washington D.C. by the time he was 6 weeks old, than moved
back again before he turned seven. He has thus spent a good portion of his
lifetime in airports and on airplanes. He longs for transporter technology
so that the feeling of displacement while travelling can be avoided.
Mike and his fiancee Elaine
It was at about this time that Mike's entire family came to know Jesus.
The change was dramatic. Before, furniture would fly, and tensions would
almost reach the breaking point. Afterword, periods of calm began
occasionally, growing slowly in frequency and duration as the years
passed. This was a happy time for Mike. He liked school, reading, playing
with friends, and sharing Jesus.
In Mike's teenage years, he began to feel that he was missing out somehow.
He believed he had seen everything when it came to Christianity, and so
found it boring. He didn't pay attention in class, either, as he had found
that aceing tests was not the road to popularity. 100% of his time was
spent either reading or hanging out with friends; it was normal for him to
read three or four books a day, ranging from The Lord of The Rings to
University-level textbooks, which he started devouring in Junior High. He
also learned how to be a hypocrite, showing completely different faces to
different groups of people, a habit that continued through college.
The reason he chose the college he did is because it was far away from
home and far away from the church people who had watched him growing up.
Having distanced himself from watchful eyes, he tried things that had been
previously forbidden. The first year, he had a blast. The second year, he
began to feel that even though he was doing anything he wanted, fulfilling
long-held fantasies, it wasn't enough. He did not feel fulfilled. He
longed to have a Cause, a Quest, something worth living and dying for, and
he knew he hadn't found it yet
In the summer of 1992, as he was standing in a church meeting with no one
nearby, he felt someone push him sharply from behind. Thinking that
someone was trying to start a fight, he whirled quickly around to face his
attacker. No one was there. He looked up and asked God what he wanted. God
answered (this is the part where the reader gets to decide if Mike is
crazy or not :) ), and showed him a picture of what his life would be like
in five years if he continued on the road he was currently living. He also
showed him how much he loved him, no matter what. That night Mike told God
he would go anywhere God wanted him to go, and do anything He wanted him
to do. In short, he finally had the opportunity to offer his life for the
worthy quest of putting his all into whatever God had for him. One month
later he debarked from a plane in Hong Kong, ready to help the Christian
Church in China by supplying them with scarce Bibles. He helped in this
way for five months, then went back to California for a short visit which
turned into almost two years.
Once in America, his pastors encouraged him to go to Bible College. It was
difficult to stay in America for so long, as he really felt an urgency to
get back to China. He studied night and day, finishing four years of
classes in just a year and a half. He also began learning Mandarin in a
Chinese restaurant in Oakland. When he was about to graduate, he and his
pastors began to pray about where he should go next. His pastor was
reminded of an old friend she had in Taiwan, and Mike ended up going there
to help in his church and learn Mandarin for future use in China.
Mike was in Taiwan for three years. Most of the time, he was the only
non-Taiwanese, and since he often didn't know the "right" way to
do things, people would often treat him as a child, yelling at him for the
smallest unintentional mistakes. This was invaluable in learning the
culture and getting the language ingrained deep within him. His heart was
still for China, however, and after his three years he left to prepare to
go to Hong Kong, pausing for a few months in America to make sure nothing
untoward happened in the 1997 handover.
The first two and a half years in Hong Kong, Mike traveled to every major
city in the southern half of China, as well as many smaller places. He
taught Bible classes in both Mandarin and English. He learned a third
language, Cantonese. He began to have responsiblilty for the spiritual
health of a small group of people - a cell group.
The middle of the year 2000 was a new beginning for Mike. Those over him
brought some attitude problems to his attention, and Mike listened and did
his best to change. Since then, more ministry opportunities have opened
up, including the kind that is really on Mike's heart -- pouring into
young leaders, people who want to know God better. He is also more
determined to know God and His Word better for himself.
In 2000 he began persuing, than dating Elaine, a beautiful, talented,
amazingly wonderful person who will most likely never read this :). And by
now Mike got already engaged with Elaine!
This is also the same timeframe that Mike joined the Santharian Dream,
providing needed expression for his creativity, and hopefully entertaining
others at the same time, as well as adding to the Dream as a whole.