Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Seniors 2016: Josh Tai

Driving in the car the other day, one of my boys asked me; "is Josh really gonna try out for the Duke Basketball team?" I said "He should!"  

Josh is headed to Duke next fall to pursue a degree in nursing. And he is really good at Basketball!! But probably not:)

I first got to hang out with Josh while we were doing construction work on the Court Street House; a home that we were remodeling to house homeless men.  Josh is one of those guys that you could always call for help. Whatever the initiative, whatever the outreach, whatever the venue, Josh is a guy you could count on to show up and serve! I will definitely miss his faithful presence next year!  
I got to hang out and serve with Josh over Spring Break out in Baltimore.
I learned early on not to regard Josh Tai's introversion as a lack of passion or spirit! People might not immediately describe Josh as "outgoing" and yet I have observed him "going out" faithfully engaging others with the love of Jesus. I remember getting to know Josh during his freshman year. Specifically because he is such a quiet guy, I had not expected him to do such an incredible job gathering others, engaging his friends and striving help people to encounter Christ.   I literally marveled at the way he was always inviting friends to come check out Cru and the Christian community.
Josh with his bro's Grant and Jon
One thing I appreciate about Josh is his teachability.  As a mentor to Josh, I had the chance over the years to provide him with constructive feedback.  Josh is humble and receives input with humility and grace.   He also possesses a veritable resilience.  When something doesn’t work out according to the plan, Josh may be disappointed, but you can count on him to press on and find other options. Two summers ago he didn’t end up getting any of the internships that he had hoped for. Rather than mope about it, he signed up for a Cru summer project in Wildwood, New Jersey.  There he was able to grow in his faith, improve his leadership skills and bless the International student community out there. 
  I was really glad he went out to Wildwood! He's one of the few Cornellians who has joined us out there on that incredible Summer Mission!
Here is Josh speaking at one of the backyard parties in Wildwood.  

Josh's love for Christ and the mission has also compelled him to be a part of Cru's work in South Africa. Last spring Josh went to South Africa to serve with the Mamalodi Initiative.  (The Mamalodi initiative is a model of effective, sustainable, Christian humanitarian aid.  Students from Cornell and Harvard spend time tutoring underprivileged teens so that they can pass the matriculation exams that stand between them and a quality education. )  In just a few days, he will return there for the Summer Mission.

During his "Senior Share" Josh talked about our identity as connected and derived from our names. He talked about the names that people call us and the names we call ourselves and the names that God calls us. Throughout his life, words like "ugly, worthless, pushover, loner, and boring have served to discourage him. Josh talked about the powerful ways that words affect our lives and the importance of believing God's words of truth over the satan's lies. In Christ, we are "loved, children of God, chosen, saints, soldiers and friends of Jesus."

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