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Dear <<First Name>>!

November 3, 2021

When I announced the release of the three books I contributed to last year, I did not realize the impact they would have to help carry out our mission to equip leaders to understand the intersection of their collective stories with God’s story. God is using the fundraising book to revolutionize the training of missionaries from a diversity of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds both in and out of the U.S. Meanwhile, the Honor-Shame book is integrated into every cohort we lead, and the reputation of my coauthors have increased our credentials, and thus our opportunities significantly. Lastly, my partnership with award-winning author Kathy Chin Leong and her Chinatown book along with our Chinatown racism talks has, just to name one example, led to new training cohorts with two new missionary organizations; we’re already in our second generation of training. Thank God and thank you for being a part of this increased impact.

But there are potential dark sides to these new opportunities. That includes giving into temptation to satisfy my appetites, ambitions, and need for approval outside of God. The sabbatical was an act of resistance against these temptations, to bring more focus to our work, and to proclaim as Jesus did, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” See Matthew 4. 


I ended my sabbatical with a retreat for my soul at "Mercy Center" 30 minutes from my home. The three days were filled with time for reflection, contemplative practices, and silence. In our age of paparazzi-level cell phone alerts and cameras, the unplugged space was the perfect, reflective pivot back to work.

One of the contemplative practices was a labyrinth walk (pictured), and walking it so meaningfully mirrored the three stages of my sabbatical: detox, receiving from God, and reintegration (What do I bring back from the sabbatical? What’s needs to change?).

I documented these three stages in a series of posts I wrote in a personal blog, different from the Kingdom Rice blog because I wanted to write more personally, less didactically.

Here are a few posts from each of the three stages. A blogroll can be found here

And of course, you may subscribe to this personal blog if you'd like. There's a subscribe button on each link above. 


Our new opportunities (even during sabbatical) demand greater focus.  Before my sabbatical, our board recommended I seek executive assistance to tighten our focus. To start the process, we hired non-profit consultant Craig Wong. Members of our team including myself have sojourned with Craig for years. While I was on sabbatical, he reviewed our internal documentation and began interviewing different Kingdom Rice volunteers. Pray for this process. I’m excited about what will emerge and how the process will impact our team and those we serve. 

When I shifted my focus during sabbatical from the outward to the inward, I turned off my email for three months, and suspended all engagements except for my sabbatical team (church family, therapists, & directors) & closest non-Christian friends. My sabbatical blog was shared with them. I especially pray the blog provide a unique, special window to God’s Kingdom for my non-Christian friends.  Now back in the saddle, I can intentionally engage people again. The last two weeks, I played at a local open mike and that opened up new relationships and personal spiritual conversations. And next week, I’m meeting with one of my proofreaders, Rev. Jacks of SF’s famous Unitarian Universalist church (SF named a street after their founder). As with my connections with Christian organizations and churches, I have more relationships than I have time for. Post-sabbatical, I’m tightening my focus on these relationships too. The more centered I am in God’s presence, the more I trust He will help me discern the organizations and people He’s prepared.  

Altogether, I believe the past sabbatical and our ongoing consultant process are going to propel Kingdom Rice forward with unprecedented focus and stewardship. Currently, about 80% of our income comes from people who share our vision. I invite you to consider investing in the Lord’s work through Kingdom Rice as a monthly, quarterly, annual donor and/or with a special investment. Our work is timely because many churches, mission organizations, and seminaries are rethinking the very questions we have been bringing into every program. Our approach is innovative and unique; there are few organizations at the intersection of honor-shame theology and practice and coaching leaders to propagate this in a holistic, embodied way.  Our giving website can be found by clicking here. There, you'll find ways to invest via credit card, Vanco, bill pay, check, or PalPal.  All gifts are tax-deductible. Be blessed!

Drop me a line with any inquiries, comments, or just to say hello.

Hallelujah & Happy Thanksgiving!


Copyright © 2021 Steve Hong/Kingdom Rice, All rights reserved.

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