I was planning to do the same this year around...however, lately I don't feel like training. Realizing that Missionfest was on the same weekend as my b-day. I decided to go there instead.
At Missionfest, there were many booths with different ministries and callings. There was even one that cycle around China to promote Christ. One would think that would interest me as I loved to ride my bike. It didn't. I was overwhelm.
I didn't want to talk to anyone.
I didn't even know what to ask.
I try not to make eye contact because I didn't want anyone to speak to me.
For now, I have such a desire to go...but first...I need to sit still and seek. He will answers. When He leads, I will follow...
I attended two seminars.
First Seminar: Ron Pearce from Empower Ministry
Empower Ministry travelled around the world to find a physical sign of the pouring of the Holy Spirit (ala Acts 2) and they provide materials to support the local churches. I am really impress of how they discern which areas to support and which areas to turn down. They evaluate based on whether a leader is anointed by Holy Spirit and have the right gifts.
The speaker then went on to talk about what the Holy Spirit is doing among the world. I was awestruck. I read about it in books. But to hear it in person. At that seminar, I had tears in my eyes.
There were many stories flowing from China. Pastors would go to prison, come back up, and go back in. For them, persecution is part of life (hmm...perhaps we miss that in the western culture?).
One of them was a pastor who the police beat him so hard with a thick metal rod that they broke his spinal cord. The pastor was let go and would get convulsion on a regular basis. He prayed to the Lord that unless the Lord healed him, he would have to go back home and rest. The Lord answered by throwing him back to prison. This time it was in a concentration-type camp, living in a filthy cell no bigger than 10 by 10. He prayed to the Lord and the Lord elevated him to a position higher than the guards in prison. This pastor became the head of this prison. He even got his own office. Since the police had been confiscating Bibles from local churches and stored in prison, the pastor had full access to them. (ala Joseph?)
What about his spine? Well the Lord healed it. The doctors examined him and could not find a cause of how it was heal...only a miracle.
I was saddened when someone asked the presenter what do they need. The presenter said they needed Bible. In China, only 1 in 50 Christians have access to a Bible. What a change in perspective where I myself have four Bibles. Bible is such a shortage that they are scrambling for one. The presenter also replied, 'we need money. We need money to print Bibles.'
Second Seminar: Lisa Cheong from Ratanak
A couple from my church is very involved in this organization, I heard the presentation before.
Ratanak is a Canadian based organization that help prevent and rehabilitate child sex slaves in Cambodia. This is not for the light of heart. The situation is very dark and oppress. This is a 32 billion dollar monster industry we are talking about. The issue is mass and complex. Stretching from social, economical, political, cross generation...and here we witness kids being taken advantage of. They had no hope. No second chance.
I heard the presentation many times. I am always in tears at seeing the horrifying sins and oppression that is committed.
Despite the overwhelming struggle, there is hope....hope in Christ.
Tonight, I resonated with Jesus in the Gospel of Luke when He first started His ministry....
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,because he has anointed meto preach good news to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisonersand recovery of sight for the blind,to release the oppressed,to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
I can't help to think what Jesus said is still taking place right now. The hope lies in what Jesus said by quoting the prophecy from Isaiah. It is not will fulfill. No. It is fulfilled. It is done. This is the hope that we rely on. A God who had made a promise that He comes to liberate the poor, free the oppress, and heal the sick.
There is always a feeling of bitter sweet. The despair, anger, futile of looking at the sins at hand. At the same time, the joy of Hope of what Jesus said when He started His ministry.
And this is what I am longing for. An adventure that is worthy of His Name. To join Him in His Mission...
The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.
Take a look at this presentation from Place of Rescue. It is is a safe haven for families in Cambodia living with AIDS, orphan children and orphan grannies and young unmarried pregnant women.