So far the summer camps we’ve had have been amazing (we have one more in August). Other than a handful of them, the students who came are from non-Christian homes & backgrounds. They have never heard about Jesus & His love for them nor have they ever prayed to God or sang praise songs.
One of the Bible stories that was shared at the camp was the Feeding of the Five Thousand. In small groups, the students discussed about the story. When we heard students share things like Jesus performed this miracle because He cared about the people or because He loved them, we can’t help, but to rejoice in God who loves & brings understanding even to small children.
Jeanette and I also experienced more of God’s love & power through time spent with the teen helpers at the summer camps. We discovered for a few of them, that it was through ministries at Tandi Outreach Center & its summer camps that they have become Christians. They came to help out because they once received that same kind of help. All of them worked really hard. It was very hot (no air conditioning in Taiwanese schools) and even during break time they were rehearsing or preparing for upcoming sessions. We are always touched by their pure faith & servant hearts.
The Sunday (a couple days) after our last summer camp, we had a service opportunity with the Tandi Outreach Center youth group to pick up trash on a small island off the coast of Kaohsiung. One teen who was a helper at the summer camp and new to this group wanted to go but wasn’t sure if her mother would allow it. She wouldn’t be able to finish her chores at her family farm in time before the service opportunity. So what happened? A few kids went to her farm and helped her finish her chores and got the approval of her mother. Now this is what I call love in action. As we were picking up trash, the weather suddenly turned on us. There was heavy winds and then a downpour. Even with umbrellas we all got soaked, but no one complained. Everyone gave of themselves so cheerfully and it ended up being a great time together after all. It was truly a day we experienced God’s love in action.
Last week we took a few days off from our regular ministry responsibilities & drove to Taitung, a town in the east coast of Taiwan for a needed rest. This summer has been very busy with summer camps, preaching & other outreach opportunities. I didn’t realize that our girls haven’t gone on a vacation of some sort even though they will be starting school again in 3 weeks. We are grateful for the 3 days we got to spend as a family in Taitung.
The following Saturday evening, I had the privilege of preaching to the adults at Tandi Outreach Center. I am always grateful for their patience & graciousness when I preach for my Mandarin is still a working process. Still I enjoy it because something about preaching God’s Word brings life to my soul, hopefully to the listeners as well.
My conviction remains the same. It is when God’s Word is proclaimed truthfully, and His love is demonstrated faithfully that the Holy Spirit does something miraculous in the heart of an individual, young or old. No matter who he is, no matter what kind of background he is from, by the power of God’s truth & the Spirit, one realizes that what he needs can be found in Jesus Christ, and takes a leap of faith into His loving arms.
This is why we do missions, so that those who are lost can reposition themselves in Christ.