Monday, June 21, 2010

Reflections from my old CG experiences

When I came into my previous CG for the first time in 2007, during service, God whispered to me very clearly this message: "This is the CG that I have placed you in."

Over the past three years, especially when I was so discouraged I wanted to change CGs halfway... this rhema message + my shepherd's care and a prophetic word of encouragement during an altar call all helped comfort and strengthen me to endure further.

Ironically, it was at my lowest point, when I confided to Peter that I couldn't stand it anymore and wanted out, that the next day, Huaqiang invited me to join him for coreteam meetings. I think I must have been the most dejected and reluctant coreteam member in all Hope. :) Haha...

But yup... over time, I see how God used all the time in my old CG to train me and mould me. I remember I still did try to "escape" from my old CG, by requesting for a transfer to HopeKids. But again, God looked at me, and said, "Hmm, no, my son, you aren't complete yet here. I need to do more work in your heart first." So, as more time passed by, I eventually grew in fondness for my caregroup, and found more kindred spirits in the caregroup. And I guess God is so romantic. He really saved the best for the last. Kim Leong (Kim Chun's bro) came in, and we hit it off well... and I'm really so humbled and grateful that God chose to use me to be a friend to this dear bro, and even be part of his discipleship process.

And because of all the experiences what I went through in the old caregroup, I am now doing my part to help another bro who is currently feeling alienated from his caregroup to start loving his CG more, and to also grow in learning how to build better relationships with others. I had a dear friend (a sister some more) who told me a month ago that I'm very mature and Christlike. Yeah, I was really encouraged. :)

Just to clarify, I'm elated, not because she said that I'm very mature or Christlike, but rather, that I'm glad that we brothers can set a good example for the sisters in church. (This is a burden that I have for the bros in church - that we can set an example for the sisters in church - no easy calling!)

But as I reflect on all these, I am so grateful to God. Because it wasn't me, but God's handiwork through the Body of Christ. He used my CG, especially the brothers like Huaqiang, Peter, Zhenzhong and Shawn, to show me how to be more mature as a man in every area. Gentleness, courage, integrity, consistency, honour, godliness, initiative, wisdom, situational awareness, care and consideration for others and so many more manly attributes... these four brothers have really influenced my life in such a macho way. =D

And the farewell that they had for me... really was so touching. Sharon cried when she shared, Kim Leong shared very sincerely from his heart (and the way things are, it looks like God has touched his heart to carry on the work that I initiated - praying weekly for my caregroup), Zhenzhong really blessed me with his sharing... and there's so much more. But I remember Huaqiang's macho words: "Today, I have lost a prayer warrior. Thank you for your comradeship." Man. Can't think of a finer phrase than that. Very manly... and very appropriate, I guess.

It occurred to me that this wasn't so much a farewell ceremony as it was a commissioning and sending-off. Shared with them about this, and told them that I hope that this CG will become like an aircraft carrier - that this CG will be sending off more and more ppl to go where God wants them to go. And one of the CG ppl replied, "And you are the first one to go!" AMEN! yes, i hope I am the 'first' (not as in 'top position', but rather there'll be second, third, fourth and so on.) The first plane off the flight deck... followed by you all, each better than the one before. Like how Jesus sent us... "As the Father has sent Me, so send I you."

Then when the time came for them to pray for me, I knelt down, feeling very humbled and grateful and just... blessed.

So now today, as I stand here today, and look back at all that I've been through, I'm so, so, so mega-amazed at the wisdom, power and patience of my macho Father in heaven. His ways are indeed higher than my ways, His thots than my thots. I'm so glad that He helped me through the valley, and now I stand on higher ground, more able to see the Promised Land in all its fullness, before I go on into the missions field that He's called me to.

Dear Father, thank You for being such an awesomely awesome Father. You are the One from whom all fatherhood in heaven and earth derives its name. And may NG4B1 be more than a "caregroup"... may the Lord God Almighty, the Commander of Commanders, make it a holy carrier battle group to carry forth the gospel and invade the dominion of darkness in the spiritual realms! Amen!

And may God use the children's ministry, as Yanjie quipped so funnily, disciple so well that they'll make the men's ministry obsolete! :D Haha...

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