I signed up for this trip in a heartbeat because of the good reports I heard from the saints who went in the last two years. But as the date drew near, I became a bit weary of the thought of traveling as we just recently came back from a family trip to China and our whole family, including the kids, all got sick and quite exhausted. But the Lord's grace proved to be sufficient again!
Under the care of the saints, it really didn't feel exhausting bringing two babies with us on the trip. And my concern that I'd be just going to babysit and not really be able to receive much from the fellowship was also proven to be incorrect. I think the Lord really knows how to speak to us. Yes, a lot of times I had to take care of the kids and was often in and out of the meetings, but somehow every moment when my ear was within the hearing range, the Lord was able to dispense something into me.
The first light came on Saturday morning -- Parents ought to sanctify themselves for the sake of their children.
This line came as a piercing knife. It was just what I needed to hear. For a while now before this trip, I had been addicted to playing silly phone games for entertainment. I wanted to quit many times, but whenever I had free time, i just wanted to open up the app again even though I knew it was a waste of time. But when the brother said, we ought to sanctify ourselves for the sake of our children. somehow this time, it made sense. Do I want my children to be just like me? Addicted to games? Do I want them to waste time like that? Our children will grow up to be just like us in many ways. You may say, I want my child to love studying, to have the best marks in school. But do you even have the best marks in school? Do you even like studying? You want them to grow up loving the Lord? But how much do you love the Lord? I appreciated seeing in Genesis that Enoch walked with God after he bore his first child, Methuselah (Gen 5:21-22). I always knew that Enoch was the first man raptured because he walked with God. But I didn't realize that the Bible specifically says Enoch began walking with God after he bore his first child. Enoch must've realized he needed to sanctify himself for the sake of his children. Oh Lord, don't let me forget this.
The second matter came up repeatedly throughout the weekend - We need to spend time with our children.
Before they're the age of 3, they're already learning the core things they need to learn for life. Before the age of 7, they're learning the living habits of life. And when the kids are young, it's not so much about the quality of time that you spend with them, but about the quantity of time. There are no other ways or shortcuts. They need you and they need your time. If you can spend enough time with them when they're young, then when the kids get older, you will become their friends. They will talk to you. If you don't take the time with them when they're young, then when they get older, when you want to spend time with them, it'd be too late. Once they get to school, they listen to their teachers first. And then once they become a teenager, their friends come first, and then their teacher, and then maybe you. And if you didn't spend enough time with them when they were young, then once they get to those teenage years, you might need to borrow an uncle or an aunt to help with parenting them. You're no longer their first choice, not the second, and maybe not even the third. Checking back to my own experience I'd say it was very true for me with my own parents. But how I envied my friends who were able to communicate with their parents like they were friends. Children are God's inheritance given to us. TO US! Not to teachers, not to friends, not to uncles or aunts, but to us. If they cannot communicate with us when they need guidance, how can we say that we have taken care of God's inheritance?!
The third light shined when a serving sister gave her testimony about serving the Lord.
She serves full time in the children's work. And she was sent to a district that had no children. The only children there were, were her own three kids. Everyone else were in the middle aged and older range. And since it was a new district, it was not so easy for her to find a companion to coordinate with. But the Lord's word to her was that “I'm with you.” She then went to a park to find children to have children's meeting. But once she got to the park, there was not a single child in sight. Not even one! She was discouraged but she held on to the Lord's word. She said, "Lord, you told me, You will be with me. Testify for Your own words! Prove Yourself Lord. ". And after she prayed, children came one by one. There were a total of 23 children who came that day to the park. Praise the Lord. His word never fails! --- Her testimony reminded me that the Lord never makes mistakes. Do not look at the environment. Children's work is a big gospel work. The Lord said, let the children come to Me.. this means, the children want to come to the Lord. Why does He say, "let"? It's because often, we're not letting. We're the ones hindering the children with our opinions and unbelief. Often times, when I'm at the park, I don't want to say too much about the Lord to the other kids because I fear that they or their parents may not accept it. Our not speaking is our not letting. Our disbelief is our not letting.
Don't be one of the disbelieving spies, be Joshua and Caleb.
As I was sitting in on the fellowships of the children's work and seeing how many full timers and the many willingly serving saints, I was encouraged and discouraged at the same time. Encouraged because praise the Lord, such awesome coordination can take place in the Body! Discouraged, because I thought about my own district and wondered who I'd be able to coordinate with, where are the willingly serving saints? I was looking at the giants, not at the Lord's word. Do not look at the environment, do not believe in the environment. These things can be changed. Believe in prayers, believe in God's speaking.
And then I was touched that what the Lord cares about is not really the method, but it's about the person.
How come Tainan can have such a flourishing children's work, young people work and even young working saints' work? The serving ones, their person.
The brothers shared with us how they used to serve the children and then when they looked at the results ,they realized it wasn't working. So they prayed and seeked the Lord and went back to the ministry to seek help. And the Lord shined on them about their ways of serving. So they changed some things. And then they kept going back to the Lord, kept seeking from the ministry and the help from the Body, they changed their serving ways many times. They were not set in their ways. They were flexible, living. Most importantly, they were persistent. These “serving ones” are not just full timers, they're busy moms, they 're working saints, burdened saints. How much have I, as a so called 'serving one" really given time to the ones I'm serving? I repent for being unfaithful.
Lastly, we need to bring the Lord into our living. Nothing's too small to bring to the Lord. Don't think that the kids will just get better over time, pray about it!
(HKE Sister Chiu)