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Graduate Testimonies

Eugene Looi Nicole LaLonde
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Every year Loma Linda University graduates share a testimony of what God has done in their lives.  Eugene Looi and Nicole LaLonde share their experiences in this message.


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  • May 23, 2020
    1:45 PM
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You have a listener We pray that you is and you're always spirit to be with each person who is listening this morning and I praise you would please be with our speakers and that you and is the with their words printed a human breast on our eyes what you would have us to hear this morning the places you would be with each person in our world asserting has been freshly especially as you would be with the advent of attendees are listening this morning praise be with those who are sick and who are hurting in some way and Lord for those of us who have lots of Thanksgiving this morning we praise you for this morning that our worship would be accessible and to you is then we pray and then. This morning we will have 3 of our graduates sharing with us and the 1st will be a genius Louis uni is graduating from a lonely University School met a student Eugene we're looking forward to hearing what guy has placed on your heart to share this morning and I want you. Thank you so much you're right can everyone see my screen Ok. All right well hi everyone happy sad Beth for those who don't know me I was one of an island off the west coast off the Malaysian peninsula called command I grew up there pretty much my whole life until I came to California in 2012 and I graduated from last year university in 2016. That same year I started medical school in La Melinda and by God's grace I will be graduating tomorrow. Growing up I always felt that I had to work very hard to accomplish anything as a child I notice that it often took me a longer time to understand and memorize something especially when I compared myself to my orders to stare. I know that I shouldn't be comparing myself with other east but my sister always picks things up so quickly and always and that that and so I always felt I had to work a lot harder to pick something up or get to where I wanted to be when it took her a fraction of the time to do so these feelings often adequacy became more pronounced when I started medical school where I realized that I was surrounded by others who were incredibly smart and brilliant on top of the mental and physical stress of medical school I also started to feel more anxious than usual part of my anxiety came from knowing that I had so much to learn and sold little time to do so and I found that no matter how hard I started I just couldn't grasp the subjects and remember what I had learned as way through 2nd year of medical school I was studying for midterm exams and was struggling now if you thought 1st year of medical school was hard 2nd year will prove much harder with much more information to memorize and to master I remember stress I couldn't remember the details of microbiology and which bug was associated with causing certain symptoms once if it infected someone I was also struggling with everything else including pathology and pharmacology each time I studied the subjects I would come away feeling as though I accomplished nothing as that information would learn and meld together feeling helpless and frustrated I remember turning to one of my favorite prayers in the Bible trying with me to 2nd Chronicles Chapter 21st 5 to 12. Before we read it I just want to give you a little background on the prayer this powerful story took place during the time when change a host of federal Judah sometime during his friend in law bites and the knights and some other nations joined forces together and they were preparing to attack and shoot out when King had heard that such a great multitude was gathering for battle he felt fearful but his response is what is most memorable to me because strictures say that he set himself to seek the Lord and so 2nd Chronicles of verse 5 picks up on where he starts his prayer and if I've stood in the congregation of the Judah and Jerusalem in the house of the Lord before the new court and Senate oh Lord God of our fathers are not that God in Heaven and of let us not the over all the kingdoms of the heathen and in the one hand is there not power and might so that none is able to withstand. Our not our God who did strike out the inhabitants of this land before the people. And gave us it to the seed of Abraham by friend forever and they developed it there in and have built the sanctuary there in for the name and. If when evil come that the pot at this toward judgment or pestilence or famine re stand before this House and in thy presence for the name is in this house and cry to our affliction then they'll look here and help and now behold the children of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir what is not that they when they came out of the land of Egypt but they turned from them and destroyed them not. He called I say How did your ward to come to cast us out of by possession which God has given as to inherit all our God will not judge them for we have no might against this great company that kind of against us neither know what Reach to do but our eyes are upon. Notice how can Joseph and create He started with tracing God for who he is and what he has done for the it is for lights in the past then follows that with a plea for God to intervene as he know that the odds of the back will wait heavily against him but instead of making that his focus King Joseph I turn to God and say I want eyes are upon you and so my prayer went something like this Dear lard I want to trace you for who you are and that you are a God who has all the wisdom knowledge and power in your hands thank you for the me this far in my med school journey and now I am facing microbiology which threatens to overwhelm me I don't know what to do and I have no night against this subject but my ice are upon you after this prayer I felt at peace knowing that the baton now belong to God and not to me. The way medical school exams were it is that every 64 to 6 weeks we have a few days that we can get 2 exams. Each exam for the day is made up of a coming nation of questions from all of the subjects they were covering in class up to that point in time and a quarter this require students to be prepared for each subject every day. And so every day this was pretty much my prayer for every subject. And he end up instead of Greek our test scores were released and to my surprise. I found out that not only had I done well. And exceeded my expectations in each subject. But I had only gotten one question to rot. In microbiology. And during medical school I came across a sermon by Dr Eric Welch titled The stress equation in it he said that how much stress be faced in life is equal to the demands we face minus the resources at our disposal this made sense to me I definitely was experiencing a lot of pressure from the demands of medical school and I felt overwhelmed but he went on to ask. Where do you get your resources from if God truly is the God of your resources what are you so worried about what are you so stressed over. This question made me stop and think I had been so focused on my feelings and my weakness sense that I had lost sight of him who has been so faithful to my I realized that if I make the same God who owns the cattle over a 1000 heels a source of my strength with them and understanding nothing can stress me out. And I to help be the demand of my life and yet learning to mend God My focus has been an ongoing journey and there are times when I still trip I have sometimes wondered why God allows weakness to us and flaws to be part of my life and when I wonder that I am reminded of the story of Peter walking on water. Does Iraq a just I mean white mentions that Peter was safe and secure as long as he cautioned keeping his eyes on Jesus but then in a moment of self-satisfaction Peter made the mistake of turning his eyes from him and looked back at the boat and as he did so he noticed at the waist and the green surrounding him and what confidence he had gave way to fear. Him goes on to say this powerful statement when trouble comes upon us how often we are like Peter we look upon the race instead of keeping our eyes fixed upon the Stabler our footsteps light and the proud waters go over our souls Jesus did not bid Peter come to him that he should perish he did call us to follow him and then forsake. Your not he sends for I have everything to do I have called the by the name the white light went up has us through the water as I would be with the and through their various They shall not overflow with the when the walk us through the fire that shall not be burned at the Flint Kindle upon. I am the Lord thy God the Holy One of. I sit here. As I 43 respond to. In this incident under see Jesus desired to reveal to Peter his own weakness to show that he is safety was in constant dependence upon divine. And in the storms and temptation of temptation he could walk safely only as the other stuff distrust he should rely upon the city it was on the point where he thought himself strong Peter was weak and not until he discerned his to be could he realize his need of dependence upon Christ. A.D.'s age 3 and 2 I started thinking to myself. Maybe through my reading a says God is trying to show me that my only safety lives in constant dependence. And that I should never rest in my possession of knowledge wisdom and understanding instead I should rest in God Schwab from a sense I do take him at his word in my struggle with the why I question I would if God is faithful Why would he allow me when he says he nobs to face difficulties and struggle with my deficiency it's Doesn't he know that I have my devotions I go to church and I don't study understand that surely he owes and something and this type of vending machine relationship is not why God has in mind for us according to Scripture all of us I 100 percent guaranteed to experience delays setbacks and just assess and trials of some kind and if you even told to rejoice in them to be honest that one an easy thing to hear or to alert. But it is a reality now we all have to face James Chapter one Verse $2.00 to $0.03 my brother then. When you fall into diverse temptations knowing that of the trying off your faith work with patients but then verse 4 goes I just statements but let patients have a perfect work and you may be partially act of an entire wedding method in this verse James seems to be telling us to keep the long view in mind he said it should use our trials to our advantage in helping us to grow in Christ of your ends and faith and I prospected as in preparation for heaven. So the question is not whether I want experience trials and challenges but who I turn to and make my refuge in strength when I experience difficulty. I heard this quote once by Hudson Taylor the missionary to China who went through a great deal of persecution and narrowly escaped death on several occasions while minister going to the Chinese people he once said It doesn't matter really how great the pressure is it only matters where the pressure on that I. See that in never comes between you and the Lord then the greater the pressure the more it presses you closer to him in my frustration with God and myself I realize that I am missing the point about the Christian journey I have come to realize that for these personal challenges that I faced God has been trying to develop faith. And to inform me of my need for him as much as then yes you know graduations across the country have been canceled or postponed and I had and I had scheduled my last year of medical school in such a way that I would have a good chunk of time off to travel with friends and family which did not end up happening due to the current pandemic that we often see this year and this graduation weekend and I've not been Watchmen you know including myself have been hoping for and dreaming about a few like I think going through a lot of emotions like being in denial and feeling disappointed while also feeling fearful about what the future may hold. At a rate all I've been reminded that while God may not be faithful to my expectations God sure Heston and always will be faithful to. And it is my hope and prayer. Then we can continue learning to depend on Him and trust in his. Thank you all so much for listening. I'm so sorry for being so emotional but I hope you all have a great staff are. Using what I was saying were nice Peter who is going to be in the color line there is a growing view it from one university hence school our allied health is going to have her doctorate in physical therapy and cynical thank you for sharing with us this morning encouraged any of this show is going and it will have a lot of prayer why this guy and me. Don't leave Ah there you go again for this beautiful Sabbath day want to thank you for the experiences that you give us as it instead of the trials that we go through are meant for perfecting your character we just thank you so much that you care so tenderly about us suppose to these trials even though they cause lots of pain hardly. Well I just asked this morning again for you or your presence here with all of us as we hear more of how you are working in the lives of individuals and so specifically in the story that you put on my heart I think you inducing me pray in. So this morning I don't think about the golden indication and I think that the style make a little bit more sense as we go so our Lady of the Rockies was fabricated and actually construction started in 1979 in Butte Montana Maybe you've never heard of our early the in the Rockies and that doesn't surprise me it is a small statue compared to some but for me it was one that overlooked the community that I lived then it grew up in in Montana. The northern part of the Rockies her height is 90 feet tall she is constructed out of steel weighing about 80 tons of material for reference if you don't know what a ton of material is it's about 2000 pounds or the average weight of a car still occasion of the idea Rockies is on the Continental Divide she's elevated higher in the mountains and when you're driving from the mountain passes down into the city if you do you can see her lit up night time or day as a statue a monument that overlooks the city such as aren't uncommon to us as humanity if we look over the globe today we have statues of many and various types and different types in Grandy or a tall statue in the world currently and finished in 2018 as the statue of unity in India topping at 182 meters roughly 600 feet and you can see there are a little statue of liberty which is the tallest statue in the United States at 93 meters tall. Now statutes like I said are not uncommon to see Nancy and I would say that in the historical past they're also not uncommon and we when we think of images or statutes we think of one found in the Book of Daniel so if you have your Bibles with you please turn to Daniel 2 and Daniel Chapter 3 will be reading all of the story here but you definitely encourage you to go back and read it or reread and if you're familiar with the story get the highlights here so the the back up of the setting is in Babylon which is in Mesopotamia and at this time in earth's history king of a can as there is ruler over a great enlarged Kingdom. Is because the known world it taken into captivity is a light switches lives mentioned in the Bible God's chosen people are taken into captivity specifically Daniel and his 3 friends are highlighted in these chapters and can never get has or has a dream and he wants to know the meaning of his dream it is wearing on his heart then or stand what the purpose of this dream is or why it's there and in fact he even forgets that the dream ends I know you've had that experience sometimes you wake up and you feel like water sifting through your hands you can't remember what the dream was so he demands of his wisemen that they need to tell him the interpretation of his dream and if they don't tell him the dream and its interpretation he will kill all of them pretty extreme measures to be taken we can tell him Porton it was for the ruler of the known world to understand the meaning of his history so with this threat in mind Daniel and his friends go and pray to God asking for the meaning and for their lives to be spared and graciously grants Daniel the vision and also the interpretation of the dream the dream is of 6 kingdoms It's a statue. That relates to kinetic misery of Daniel and it talks about the statue the top of the statue being the head of gold which is to represent King now we can measure and his his kingdom and then after that subsequent kingdoms will cysts will follow him in progression one of several one of bronze want to buy an island of clay and then eventually the stone carved without hands and we can infer from the text as a period on the agenda of chapter 3 that he never going to his or didn't really care for God's plan he understood the dream but to his own little spin his own interpretation on it and so you can read there in Daniel 3 verse one that says never can as their king made an image of gold his height was 60 cubits and its width 6 cubits he set it up on the plain of dairy in the province of Babylon. So this is what the image potentially look like this is a rendition that we've made we're not really sure what the image was but this is now because golden image and so wasn't quite the image that God had established it was made of all gold pure gold instead of the varying 100 times that God had a numerated to know because or in the dream the statue was 90 feet tall which is the the 60 cubits mentioned here in the Bible and I took a little bit of mathematical Liberty here in estimating what this might have weighed and the statues likely would overlaid with gold and we know that from other artifacts from the same time area 6 or $5.00 to $562.00 b.c. we know that in the century there were elements such as the ark that was wooden and overlaid with gold likely the statue is similar with this image is similar so if we said that there is roughly a quarter inch of gold plated around the outside of the skull statutes say it's roughly $37.00 tons of gold now sections were uncommon in this day just like they're not uncommon now what was unique about this statue though was the effort and the time and the energy put into creating the statue the grandeur and the splendor that can never been as are spent on erecting the statue if we took the $37.00 tons of gold and put in today's terms that would be about $1000000.00 ounces of gold and my background is in metallurgical engineering and I spent 6 years prior to bt school actually at a gold mine in about a learning how to process gold learning how to get the most efficiency out of the or that we were processing to get to your rules and so if we chance later what never can hazarded into today's day and age those $1000.00 ounces it would be about $2000000000.00 that he had spent lavishly spent on cream. In this image for reference gold today the high grade ore of gold today is about half an ounce per tonne of material so you think of your car again and the amount of gold you get out of that volume will be about a little bit on your pink p.t. to about half of the peak It's worth of gold and so processing it would be quite an endeavor and then some might say you have plenty of the rock is another statues and the sun is located on a plane of Durham so all could see it was in plain sight and you're wondering what in the world does all of this have to do with gadgets call well stay tuned we have I think some really important lessons that God has been putting on my heart about why these images are so important and I think we talked about it a little bit in Sabbath school this morning. So I'm going to show you a couple experiences that I had and still having through graduate school and just so. Excited to share these experiences with you today so let's go that had some really fun memories for me you can see a couple of the pictures here I really was able to connect with a lot of people care groups just a place to find a family away from home friends in school or a bit of hiking a little bit of entering a lot of studying a lot of ministry and it's been such a blessing I have to say the ground school hasn't then rainbows and unicorns it hasn't then there's a joyous life all the time as NATO had anticipated it I think going into grad school I thought life would be on hold and studies would be all that I had to worry about and there wasn't a case for me. So in 2017 which is there I started p.t. school has a really big year for me actually February 2 dozen 17 I was baptized into the administers there is a big change there June of 2017 and moved along where I started p.t. school and started planning were getting married I was engaged at the time to breath and. Canadian And in September of 17 to 2017 me were married and as exciting time as and so you can imagine or if you are married you can relate to the story in October of 2017 Brad actually had to go back to Canada and get his visa approved so that he could work in the States with us it was just going to be a weekend trip. And unfortunately I have had some other plans so bad as beds work is a was denied it was denied for. 2 different times and on the 2nd denial the Border Patrol at the us. Actually told us that if I tried to come into the States again with that these are here people are from entering the states so you can imagine the stress and the anxiety of getting married and then kind of being separated not by choice or by own Well so for the better part of 2 months Brad was 2nd Canada and I was stuck in California with just the phone as a way of communicating and it was a really stressful time I started feeling November it's time frame I started having digestive issues and some anxiety which made sense for the time that we were there because it was a stressful time I didn't know when Brad was going to come back or if he was going to come back or what happened. So we were reunited at Christmas time and in January of 28000 brothers able to come to the states and begin working we really appreciate all the work that Loma Linda did for us in just the university taking care of us trying to get Rand here so eventually he was able to come to the states something else really special about September 17th on our wedding day it was my grandmother Ron's birthday and we were really excited to share a special day with him and just celebrate who he is and have to tell you that my Grandpa Ron is probably the strongest person I've ever met you know shake his hand in your bones would just roll he had such a firm grip I remember as kids growing up you would tease grandpa around you might even snap his suspenders and he would chase after you and let you know that if you're going to tease him he was going to tease you back. And he was the picture of strength for me as a role model him and my grandmother had been married 62 years at the time we got married and just a place really for me to look up to in October. 28th teen McGregor Ron was diagnosed with stage 4 pink Yeah to cancer in terminal cancer and at the time we were going through them how do you like shares in beauty school and I remember calling my oncologist investor who didn't know me I don't know her at all she was a guest lecture and just crying my eyes out asking her what could I do is there anything. To help alleviate his pain to help him feel better hope against hope that you know this with this will be cured. Farmhouse with my grandmother just trying to figure out maybe diet changes or exercise or anything just to be. A part of governance healing in. November that year we had decided to but I decided to travel to Michigan and we're going to wise immigrant hospital and they want a strong man that I knew was lying in the hospital bed so weak and enfeebled so withered away and it was a scary moment just to think the strength that you thought was in the world was up ended and it really really got me thinking though I don't think I knew at that point that my perspective about strength was beginning to change to this point ever strength meant being strong for the people around you by showing them that nothing phased you being strong by say showing that there was no weakness and you know and that. No trial that came your way would ever be something that would knock you down you know to show that you can get back up again and that the restaurant in ignoring almost issues so thanks giving day there in the ember of 20 Tina Brown passed away a. Really sad really trying time for our family and my stomach aches my problem with even food went from bad to worse and about that made sense is understandable there's a lot of stress there is a grieving process now happening and. It made sense that my sicknesses wasn't getting any better. We tried in general Tony team throughout the year 2018 we tried several measures change figure out what was going on with my health and I would say half heartedly we got a couple blood tests done and tried a few elimination diet specific could figure out what was happening definitely have hardly And I say to this whole process I was not open to sharing with anybody I very few people that I tell what was going on and even them only part of the story because I wanted to be strong and I wanted to show people that had it all together and that I was going to get straight is and everything's happy and rose colored and even though it wasn't and I think that in itself added added a lot of strength. So in January 29th team after we'd had a memorial service for McGovern their. Health was getting worse and worse and there was not an answer to any of the problems and so we called a friend of ours mercy Ballard who runs a health clinic in Northern California wellness clinic in Northern California and he said what can we do things are not good and having written even amazingly hard time keeping food down menu tradition is horrible at this point what can I do. To make things better and we went on a I went on a very strict diet. A strict diet of no grains no nuts no fruits for about a year and you can imagine the stress that that itself evokes I don't think I really realized how social food is in eating in sharing meals with people and it up and everything that we were doing it up ended going to pot lucks it had ended social gatherings with friends because I can eat anything I can go to a restaurant and eat anything that was there I couldn't have friends over bringing food because the thought of them bringing something that might cause more sickness and continue this downward spiral words Fear eliciting And so it was actually really really trying time until we figured out maybe 45 months into some ways around and wisdom navigate through this this new diet change. And. The About 4 months into his diet I got a little bit of relief my digestive issues were definitely helping different saying they feel better but I was suffering from persistent chronic headaches and tonight s. which is ringing in the ears I remember some of the low points of p.t. school was having to put up with. These headaches having to tell my friends my classmates I got to go home I can't say instead here with you I just don't feel good and it 5 o'clock in the afternoon and have to go home and lay down because I was so sick arresting Brad sometimes just to quiet his voice because it was exacerbating the headaches. I think one of the low points in the sickness was me understanding how serious it was because even to this point you know I'm having these headaches and these trials into this point I was ignoring or trying to ignore the trial and pretend I didn't exist because I was going to be strong and I went to the low point is having to talk to an internal medicine doctor who said because of some of your symptoms which included Paris Egypt I was having numbness and tingling in my hands in my feet along with it's head it's 76 years and you're going to have to go for an m.r.i. of your brain to make sure that there's not a tumor there now is tell you that is the most a stressful thing that I had to hear or endure during school is to set up an m.r.i. set for the m.r.i. and then wait for the results the results were negative which was such a relief but it didn't solve the problem there is still a major sickness in in my life. November of 2019 was probably some of the worst of it I actually think that God sustain with your all of this I've no idea how I was able to persist through beauty school or any of these studies because I'll tell you a little bit of what my diet consisted of then. Oh subsisting on t.v. and trying to force myself one meal a day just to keep energy levels up and sometimes not even cleaving do that and I lost about 20 pounds very rapidly and. You have got it God is just working in all of it he brought me to we were trying lots of things at this point to try to make feel better about me to a group of people who do this all manipulation and I got to believe in stemming themes. And just realizing through all of this what I thought my image was my thought was so important to be strong was it and what I needed the most see was to be born or of all to be real with people and to say hey this is what's going on in my life and I need help I need prayers and support I think some of the most encouraging times there all of this was knowing that after and so you have in those conversations of close friends and family there were definitely prayers for me and so through all of this I think there are some major lessons that I learned and I want to share some of those of you. The 1st thing I learned is immense is everything. Not the stuff contrary image that Daniel 3 had or the image that I had for myself the image of a work so hard to produce the image that we spend so much time and effort on so the world will wonder after it's in can never can as Or will one of the world an hour after. I had fabricated what I thought was valuable and I was inhabiting the growth that God wanted image that God wants the message he's trying to set up now in all of us is the image that we want is the image that is everything 2nd us and Ireland why isn't always the right question and you didn't ask this question then I asked a lot why is this happening to me I'm young I'm healthy I eat a vegan diet I exercise I get regular sleep but the real question is why the question is how how can God be glorified in this trial how is God growing me you're all of us the last lesson that I want to share with you is the image that God designs no matter how painful no matter how desperate Lexx it's better than gold and gold is pretty precious by any standard by any historical standard gold is pretty precious. It's more beautiful than we can control image that God loves to design for us I love this quote its end is our ages. And it just says that God never leaves his children otherwise than they were chosen to lead if they could see that and from the beginning and discern the glory of the Purpose for which he is working through us because he wants us to be coworkers with him I think that that is situated a profound statement no matter the trial you're going through right now and the trial that your neighbor is going through in the present next year your fellow student we haven't heard him and knowing that guy is allowing these trials in him the future for him wants to know what the future looks like. These trials for me are over and there hasn't been complete resolution to them but I know that God's using it and by God's grace graduate in 2 weeks I'll be done and June 5 and Legion said this isn't quite what we are expecting but I know that God It didn't surprise him not one bit and I just wanted courage you that God can use you wherever you're at if you're just starting school or if you're just finishing or even if you're around student see you can understand and know that there are trials in their lives that they're working here and help encourage them that it's Ok to be vulnerable it's Ok to share with one another and being strong isn't necessarily. Keeping it all together it's done sometimes sharing with others your own ability. This is awesome I want to share this comes from the minister a feeling which alone I wrote the founder of Long Island University one of the founders of the university the fact that we are called upon to endure trials shows that the Lord Jesus seasons something precious which he desires to develop does not cast breathlessness worthless stones into his friends it is valuable. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a visit w.w.w. dot audio Verse dot org.

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