Hello fellow CEF volunteers and parents!
My name is Derrick Ma, and I grew up in Temple City, California. I attended Longden Elementary, where I was a part of the Good News Club led by Mrs. Brown from first grade to sixth grade. Growing up, I was a naturally optimistic child and cherished every moment of my childhood. I enjoyed attending church, spending time with my friends, and eagerly participating in the Good News Club on Wednesdays after school.
However, as I grew older, I began to feel weighed down by responsibilities and my inability to please those I loved the most. My parents were disappointed in me for not being accepted into the Gifted and Talented Education program, struggling with learning Chinese, and getting kicked out of the Student Council. In sixth grade, I started to realize the cruelty of the world, as I experienced mockery and bullying from those I called friends. As it turns out, I had been bullied throughout my entire childhood but did not have the mental capacity to comprehend it at the time.
I remember one hot spring day when I sat outside the Good News Club, feeling afraid and anxious to go in. I wrestled with my feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing, which pushed me further away from God. When my father stopped attending church, I followed suit and started going to the temple with my Buddhist mother.
During middle school, I entered a rebellious phase, seeking more freedom from my parents. My mother, concerned about my growing rebelliousness, decided to take me back to church. There, I heard the gospel message and learned about the importance of submitting to Christ as both my Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9). This experience led to my salvation and renewed faith in God.
As I continued my journey through college, the Lord called me into ministry. I began serving my local church and eventually found a church home in the city of Walnut. I am currently pursuing a Master's in Divinity and am excited to work with all of you.
As we embark on this journey together, let us remember to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Together, we can make a difference in the lives of young people and spread the good news of Christ's love and redemption.