Mature Camp (From November 10 to November 15, 2009)
This Saturday morning, Pastor Chen continued discussion on the Spiritual aspects of Village Gospel Mission. He pointed out that the villagers have different concept on “decision” prayer in accepting Jesus. Their concept is that he will do it this time but he may change later. Therefore, the conversion process is not a one time event. This behavior may be deeply rooted in the ways of traditional temple worship.
Pastor Chen then summarized how we should approach the missionary works:
- The center of the missionary work is Jesus.
- The calling is from our God and the search of the resources is our responsibility.
- When a seed is buried dead, then a new life can grow from that seed.
- Look at the “service” as a way of life. Do your best and not focus on getting the results.
- Starts small and accumulate into large rewards.
- Forget the feeling of achievement. Save one person at a time. Pay attention to one-to-one discipleship.
- Visit and if possible live in one village and work with the coworkers at the village center. Get familiar with their missionary works and blend in gradually.
Next, Paul Ling led the discussion on “Planning of Personal Mission”. Briefly, these were discussed:
- What is God’s will for you?
- Find your life purpose.
- Assess your personal SHAPE (Spiritual Gifts, Hearts, Abilities, Personality, Experiences) to find out what you can do. (Here, I used Saddleback Church’s terminology).
- Before throw yourself in, assess the situations. Make a short visit to explore the local conditions.
- Join a group to do the missionary work. Don’t do it alone.
- Place your mindset in building God’s kingdom and adjust your service attitudes.
- Manage your money and maintain your financial health.
- List your objectives and time table.
There was a hot debate when Paul mentioned about what words we want to carve on our tomb stone. Some people argued that this is an arrogant act and they just want their ashes spread on the soil or into the sea. I strongly disagreed. The words on our tomb stone summarize what we were in this world and it is nothing to do with a good name or a way to have people to pay respect.
We discussed some specific missionary works that we can do:
- Professional Skills — to help the villagers in financial management, legal matters, agricultural engineering, and business development.
- Teaching – to teach arts and music such as painting class, porcelain class, choir and study groups.
- Educating Next Generation – after-school tutoring, Rainbow mother, Champion program and youth group mentoring.
- Companionship – spend time with lonely people.
- Counseling – to be a role model for the villagers in changing their life behaviors to avoid alcohols and drugs.
- Family Servicing – to conduct church counseling in personal and family problems. Care for single mothers and care for the sick, etc.
- Elders’ Center – to care for the older people.
Pastor Chen mentioned his vision on moving the VGM missionary works by using various “CAMPS” – children camp, youth camp, mature camp, coworker retreat camp for future leaders, Gospel mission camp. Here, VGM need experienced managers, organizers and leaders in these camps.
In the afternoon, we practiced choir for tomorrow’s Sunday services and stage show for the children’s Sunday Bible class. Late afternoon, we split into groups to distribute the pamphlets to the neighborhood. Arrived at the village, we went different directions in a teams of two. This is my first time and I felt some excitement. Some people gave cold shoulder receptions. But occasionally, we met people kindly enough to accept us and talk to us. We were taught when they say “Come in to rest!” then it is a signal for us to say good bye.
The dinner was prepared by villagers and it was a special treat. After dinner, we discussed on future VGM missionary works.
Sunday morning worship started at 9:30 and the room was completely filled; with praise and worship singing for half an hour, followed by special music and choir presentation. Pastor Wu from 蒜頭 preached the sermon. After lunch, the stage show was presented for the children.
Around 2:30 in the afternoon, Paul and Pastor Chen drove us to the HSR station. It was hard to say good bye after this week’s gathering. In my way home, I felt a sense of lost. In the meantime, I felt a sense of responsibility — “What is next?”.
Web Site of Village Gospel Mission : http://www.vgm.org.tw/v3/modules/tinyd1/