Andrew D.

my insights, instrospections, and inspirations

Grad Night Testimony (2012)

A bunch of my friends graduating this year are writing their grad night testimonies right now. It made me go back and take a look at my own testimony I wrote 2 years ago. And especially for this particular season of my life right now, reading this tonight has encouraged me and reminded me of a lot of previous convictions God placed in my heart.

My name is Andrew Darmahkasih, and this is my testimony.

If I could summarize what God has taught me the past four years in one word, it’d be this: SURRENDER.

I came to Michigan kicking and screaming. I didn’t want to go to Michigan. Frankly, I thought I was better than Michigan. It didn’t help that I was an Ohio State fan. Truth be told, I was secretly rooting for the Buckeyes during the Ohio State game my freshman year.

I thought I knew what I wanted to do with my life, my future, and my career. I was going to go into Michigan, graduate in 3 or 4 years, go immediately to a top-notch med school, and become a doctor in record time. I’ve always felt a call to do missions, but instead of accepting that call humbly, I justified my ambitions by saying that the faster I finish college, the quicker I’d be able to serve God as a medical missionary.

But God had other plans. He knew what He was doing, and He by His grace knew that had I been allowed to do things my way, I would have stolen the glory that rightfully belongs to Him. So He placed circumstances, challenges, difficulties, and trials my way, to break me of my pride and show me how much I needed to depend on Him. The breaking came in many ways. It came with the ankle injury I endured my freshman year, where I had to trust Him for my physical and financial provisions. It came with the falling grades and difficult classes. It came with struggles in my relationship with my parents. It came as I tried to juggle my involvement here at HMCC with school and family. It came through difficult conversations, sleepless nights, and heavy hearts.

Finally, God brought me to my knees. During the Congregational Revival this past January, I asked God in frustration, “What do you want to do with my life? Was I wrong all along about missions? Is medicine not for me? Why is my GPA sinking and my medical school plans closing? Have I been wrong all along?”

And in the quietness that followed, an unmistakable voice, “Andrew, I don’t want to send the smartest doctor. I want to send a surrendered life. Will you surrender your own agendas and your own plans to me?”

I guess that’s why God brought me to Michigan, to this church, to this community. He wanted to break me out of my own set agendas, to show me just how much greater His plans are for my life. Along the way, He has allowed me to interact with some of the best brothers and sisters I could have asked for.  Some opened their lives to me and faithfully advised and counseled me through the ups and downs of the past four years. Others have been my peers, buddies who have listened and prayed for me more times than I could count. Still others I have been given the privilege of discipling, not knowing that I would learn from them immeasurably more than they have learned from me.

But ultimately, He has shown me so much more of who He is. In Matthew 16:24-26, Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” This is the call of being a disciple of Jesus. This Jesus – he is a God worth sacrificing my life for. He is my greatest treasure, my greatest hope, my Lord, and my Master.

Thank you.

  • PJ:

    Hi Andrew, what's the outcome?

  • Me:

    Oh, I'm waitlisted at [...]

  • PJ:

    God wants us to pray! Praise the Lord. :-)

  • What a perspective. Thankful for pastors and older mentors who remind me what it means to have faith in prayer.

More education?

The intro to an essay I just finished —

The world of the twenty-first century is drastically different than the world of centuries past. More information is being discovered daily because of groundbreaking research being done in laboratories across the globe. Information is being shared in a matter of milliseconds instead of days or weeks. Opportunities for education—at least in theory—are far greater than they have ever been. And education attainment has never been higher; according to a recent New York Times article, more than 30% of American adults hold bachelor’s degree, the highest in this nation’s history.

Yet more education has not translated to less problems. In the healthcare industry alone, despite the advancement of medicine as a field and that more is known about public health today than ever before, healthcare disparities remain alarmingly high. The poorest members of society are still often left without access to affordable, quality care. When they finally do require medical assistance, most of them end up in emergency rooms for conditions that could be better managed—and more cost-effective—if they had received adequate medical care earlier.

I am not claiming that education or its attainment is not important. But more important than education earned is education applied. Our world does not need more smart people with degrees after their names, but rather, smart people whose hearts are moved by the brokenness they see around them and see opportunities for change. People who understand that, having been entrusted with knowledge and education, impacting the world, serving those in need, and leading others to do the same are important parts of their calling.

In essence, I must use my talents to bring glory to God. 

I need His freedom to set me free from chains of sin.
I need His wisdom to make righteous decisions.
I need His power to enable me to obey and remain faithful.
I need His strength to lift me up when I feel weak.
I need His grace to cover me when I fail.
I need His wholeness to overcome my brokenness.

I need Him, every moment of every day. Oh, may I never forget that.

I’m sorry.

I had a friend who was in my graduating class throughout junior high and high school. “Friend” is maybe a poor choice of words to describe our relationship. “Classmate” is perhaps more fitting, or even, “acquaintance,” at best. We took some classes together, but we generally had different circles of friends. And quite frankly, we couldn’t stand one another. We both had different personalities, ideologies, and beliefs. To me, she came across as annoying and prideful — and I’m sure that’s how she viewed me as well. I remembered at a gathering where our parents met, and her mother said to my father, “Oh, you’re Andrew’s dad? My daughter can’t stand him.” This pretty much summarized our relationship.

This translated into the way we communicated our faith as well. She flatly rejected anything about Christ, and since the Christ I portrayed in those days was one of legalism, judgment, and hypocrisy, I probably (directly or indirectly) contributed to her antagonistic attitude about Jesus.

Fast forward a few years. Both of us went to college, and beyond being Facebook friends, we didn’t bother keeping in touch. I have certainly grown spiritually in a lot of respect over the past years — and apparently, so has she. Imagine my shock when I found out that somehow, some way, this person has placed her faith in Christ, and living out this faith vibrantly! Is this even the same person I knew then?

This humbled me. God is really able to save anyone. And I am not in a position to ever write off anyone, because no one is beyond Jesus’ long arms of grace. But more than that, it reminds me why the God I serve is so awesome and so much bigger than I can comprehend. That He would redeem His people for His glory — regardless of this broken relationship! — He is truly an amazing God.

So in the off-chance that this person is reading this: I’m sorry for having judged you, for failing to portray Christ correctly, and for being a general jerk during those years. Yet I’m so thankful that we are not just “friends” or “acquaintances” anymore — we are family now, together in Christ.

The Forgotten Sycamore Tree

So he [Zacchaeus] ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him [Jesus], for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” (Luke 19:4-5)

For some odd reason, this passage jumped at me this morning. The story of Zacchaeus usually focuses on his interaction with him and Jesus, and how Zacchaeus repented of his sins in light of what Jesus has done for him. But this trivial sycamore tree plays a not-so-trivial role in Zacchaeus’s salvation: he climbed onto this tree to get a glimpse of Jesus, and it is at this tree where Jesus first asked to stay at his house.

What a privilege it is to be that sycamore tree! What an honor! That upon my shoulders, people would be able to get a better glimpse of Jesus! That through me, people would encounter Jesus personally and receive their calling! No, the story is not about the tree — it’s probably long gone and forgotten now — and rightly so, because the story is about Jesus. Isn’t that what really matters in the end after all?

Paul understood this clearly. He understood that his calling, sacrifice, and message are ultimately not about him at all: “We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” (2 Cor 4:7)

Make me a sycamore tree, that through me others may catch a glimpse of Jesus and encounter Him in a real and personal way.

When I am supposed to show a video at the end of the sermon but the computer suddenly crashes



HAHA this is the DOCS life!!!

“You overanalyze things too much, so let me oversimplify what ‘grace’ is for you: it’s one way love. That’s all”
—P. Joe (via superminsavestheworld)
“Any blessing we don’t turn back to praise turns into pride.”
—Craig Groeschel  (via littlethingsaboutgod)

(via marla-sansserif)