Friday, March 19, 2010

My Testimony for Ripple Conference

from Hong Teck Hiew
to Yeo YA
date Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 11:58 AM
subject RE: Sharing for HopeKids ripple conf

Please do.

A testimony of your service in children's ministry even though you feel your inadequecy. Be as frank and open as you can. It'll bring better impact. Yes do send to me..

So here's my testimony...:) here goes!

When I first came over from HopeTots to HopeKids Live, I came with a lot of dreams and visions and basically hoped to change the world, preach to huge multitudes, walk on water and so on.

But as the months and then years passed by, I found myself getting stuck into doing the 'routine' things of ministry, and what's more, I also found that I struggled a lot with simple things like preparing a sharing, connecting with children, doing things on time, leading a team…

All these little things drained me and I started losing sight of the original vision. I also felt quite alone a lot of times, 'cos the people I was closer were all in HopeTots, and I didn't know any one else in HopeKids LIVE. And my natural introversion didn't help. Oh, I also struggled a lot with coming down to service on time. :P Took cab a lot. So I became more and more discouraged, and felt more and more inadequate.

In fact, I remember one day, as I was in the cab for yet another service, Ecc 4:8 came to mind. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?"
This too is meaningless—
a miserable business!
Yeah. So that Bible verse described how I felt at that point in time.

I guess it was a moment of decision. Would I stay on or give up and go back to my comfort zone? Then I recalled what Ps James from the Mandarin service had told me in a very prophetic way: "Yeu Ann, God has clearly confirmed you to be in children's ministry!" And I was reminded of this verse from Acts: "So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven." Hee. So I decided not to give up, but persevere on in what God has called me to do.

Well… thing is, I still struggled as I did. I saw that I wasn't strong in many areas e.g. preparing sharing, teaching, etc. But I just kept the vision that God has given me burning in my heart, and just kept going on, doing the small things day after day.

Felt so inadequate so many times, that i would break down and cry before God. Not complaining to Him, but just telling Him that I really do love Him, really do want to give my best… longing to bring something that's of worth, that will bless His heart. but oh! so many many times my best just isn't good enough! In fact, "A thousand times I've failed… but Your mercy still remains" is the opening prayer that I have been praying for the past two years or so.

And a lot of times, my past failures and sins would come back to haunt and discourage me. But I countered this discouragement from the devil with this Psalm: "If You, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O LORD, who could stand? *But with You there is forgiveness, therefore You are to be feared.*" Knowing the wonderful truth that God has completely forgiven me for all my sins, and that as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed my trangressions from me… these horrible discouragements would flee from me, because of the truth and power of God's Word.

So I kept on praying and praying day after day… asking God to use me as He please, and constantly surrendering myself to Him… "So take me as You find me, all my fears and failures…" Oh… I experienced God's mercy so deeply. I still do, every day. The very fact I'm still alive each new day is proof that my Father loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life.

I guess I did my best, even though it's not the best that could be found… and to my surprise, God really blessed me slowly but surely over time in many ways. There are so MANY ways - my original list hit seven, but I think I'll share the most significant 3 with you.

Firstly, because of all these struggles and brokenness, I grew closer to Daddy through all these pains. I really, really treasure all my moments of brokenness and inadequacies. Because I really have never felt closer to God than when I am broken! "The LORD is close to the broken-hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

Secondly, I grew in courage and creativity, having to find new ways to compensate for my many weaknesses. So I'm slow of speech and tongue? Find a way to present it visually. So I'm slow to plan and execute? Find more people and involve them in the vision, and get them to share in the joy of the work too. I learnt to laugh at myself more often when I fail - it keeps me from taking myself too seriously! :)

Lastly, in persevering and doing the small things, I saw God unfolding His calling for me more and more specifically, which led to even more chain-reactions of related events which in turn showed God's calling for me even more clearly! Things like acting and writing skits… these are actually linked very strongly to God's calling for me to enter the media industry to impact children not only in church, but in the whole world. Because of my time in children's church, I was able to lead effectively a children's service in Cambodia when my team and I went in January for a missions trip. Lives touched beyond the confines of this tiny island called Singapore… in Cambodia, and to the ends of the earth! Exciting!

So my dear bros and sisters, I really want to encourage you: Keep doing the small things, bcos when you do so, you will find that these are really the big things!
No matter how small you may feel today… how small the things you do today may be… brothers and sisters, God doesn't call the qualified; He qualifies the called!

Amen and Hallelujah!

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