This summer Mission Taiwan (台宣) under the leadership of Brother John Wen (温正祥), a group from Arlington Chinese Church and a group from Frisco Chinese Bible Church combined as a team to help a small church in Ligang, Taiwan to host an English camp. Brother John invited me to join them and my main responsibility was to design and lead the morning worship for the children because he was convinced that when we worship God and lift His name high, His work will be done. Ligang is a small village located at the foothill of the Buddha Mountain (佛光山). I was told that there are 25 Buddha temples in this village but only a few churches.
Our original assignment was to work with this church but about two months before the trip, one of the local elementary schools requested to partner with the church to host the English camp. We were excited because we could minister to more children. In fact, this is quite out of the ordinary because Christians were being despised in such a strong Buddha environment. Therefore our team enthusiastically made the necessary adjustment to our plan.
Surprisingly, less than a month before we left, we were told that a second elementary school requested to partner with the church separately because there is some distance between these two schools. This time, we were not quite sure how to respond because everything was pretty much set and it would be hard to accommodate such a big change within such a short time. Our leader, Brother John said that we would split our team into two groups and serve in these two schools. Because this happened so last minute, when we left on July 5, we were still not quite sure how the whole thing would work out. But by faith , we moved forward.
Praise God! Although we did have some confusion at the beginning, our team was unified and worked sacrificially to reach out to the children and the adults. As a result, we have more than 100 children and about 10 adults accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. The dean of the first school and the principle of the second school were touched. They both were not Christians but in their speech in front of the parents, they did not only thank us but they expressed their gratitude to our God and honor Him! Hallelujah!
I had been a short-termed and long-termed missionary before but this time my experiences have been very different from my former trips. First of all, I have learnt to be much more in tune with God. Even when I first agreed to join this mission trip and sought God for His guidance, He gave me two dreams. The first one was that this mission trip would not be a conventional one. We would not depend on our detail planning, our methods or our skills. I just needed to prepare my part well. The second dream was to remind us to love each other as a team. Then as we followed our leader closely, God’s work would be accomplished. Therefore, when the two sudden changes happened, we were ready to face them because God had prepared us ahead of time.
Secondly, during the trip, I felt that God was there serving alongside with us. He truly loved the people there. During the second morning worship, I led the children to sing praise songs but they were very restless and noisy and not really singing. To make the situation worse, three boys disturbed the pianist so much that he requested me to send them away from him so I sent them to the back of the room. I was discouraged and angry because we came all the way here to bless them but they did not care.
After the singing portion, another teammate was in charge of the scripture memory so I sat down and asked God what I was supposed to do. I felt the Lord smiled and told me that He loved the children very much. Then I broke into a smile and told the Lord that I loved the children, too and asked Him what I was supposed to. The Holy Spirit told me to follow my original plan because I did think of canceling the following song and went straight to the lesson time.
Therefore after the scripture memory, I stood up with a smile on my face, I told the children that the heavenly Father really really loved them and I loved them, too. Otherwise we would not come all the way from the United States to teach them. All of a sudden, they all became very quiet and attentive. The spiritual atmosphere of the room was completely changed. Then we sang, “His Banner Over Me is LOVE!”
At the end of the worship, I talked to the 3 misbehaved boys separately. When I talked to the first boy, I began by telling him how much the heavenly Father loved him and I loved him also. It made me sad to scold him. I saw that his eyes were red. Then I asked him what he did to the pianist. He said that they were too loud. I asked him not to do it next time. He promised and I gave him a big hug. He was so touched that he cried. I did the same to the other two boys. Since that morning, they behaved well for the rest of the camp.
I was also responsible to teach two seminars for parents in the evenings because presently I am writing a children’s worship curriculum which includes manuals to train parents and teachers. We had a panel of five parents from our team to respond to the practical questions. Right after the second seminar, God led me to talk to a mother. She worked two jobs to raise four children by herself. Yet the third child, a 13-year-old daughter kept complaining that she did not love her. So this mother was sad and did not know what to do. I shared the gospel with her and she really wanted to accept Christ but because of her Buddha background, she needed more time. So I gave her a gospel track and encouraged her to read it everyday until she is ready to accept Jesus. She agreed. Her name is Beautiful. I asked her, “Do you know why your name is called Beautiful? This is how the heavenly Father sees you.” She had tears in her eyes. Please pray for her salvation.
God truly loves the people in Ligang. This time He used us as His messengers of love to reach out to both the children and adults.
May all the seeds that have been sown will reap 30-fold, 60-fold and 100-fold for God’s Kingdom!!! Amen.