Pastoral Perspectives

An Unexpected SQ Trip

When I decided to join this year’s SQ Summer Camp, I never thought of the impact it would have on me. Upon arriving at Cheng Du International Airport, two passenger vans led by Brother H, our local coordinator for the Summer Camp, came to pick us up. The unique scenery we saw on the way to the hotel generated lots of curiosity, laughter and of course photo taking. However, due to the long journey on the flight and on land, I soon find myself dozing off.  The night went passed quickly with dinner and hotel check-in. When we arrived at the resort the following day, we quickly got ourselves ready to receive the children. After getting to know the children from our group, the camp started with various activities.

I was assigned to lead in all the singing sessions and as I believed that singing songs is a good way to share the goodness of God, I had intentionally prepared 10 Mandarin and 4 English Christian songs for the whole camp, hoping that God would somehow use these songs to minister to the children attending the camp.  However, in my heart I really didn’t know what to expect and proceeded to teach the songs with a bit of anxiety.  To my surprised, the songs were quite well accepted.  After the first two sessions of singing and seeing that the children seemed to like the songs, I was very encouraged and prayed that some of these songs would speak to their hearts. By third day, I could sense that God was working in their hearts from the expression on their faces. From that moment on, I was thankful for every session of song leading, knowing that God was going to do something special in many of them.

During the camp, my heart also changed. I could sense that my heart started to fall in love with this group of children. Their smiles, curiosity, mischiefs and singing edged deeper into me with each passing day. Even though I had led many children camps and truly enjoyed them, this was the only camp that touched my heart. It was a feeling that is very hard to describe but I knew it would be special. On the afternoon of the second last day, I was all excited to prepare for the gospel rally with the puppet show and gospel sharing. My heart pondered hard as the speaker spoke of the God’s Sovereign plan for them.  I sat right in front facing the children and I found myself unintentionally praying for them that God would move their hearts to respond to His love. Finally, the speaker gave the invitation and I held my breath for a moment with my heart pondered even harder this time. In my heart, I truly wanted all the children in my group to respond but minutes went by and there was silence, none stood up. The speaker continued to encourage them to stand and at that desperate moment, I prayed and let out my disbelief “God, how can it be? No one stood up!”

After what seemed like eternity to me, God prompted me to stand.  Out of obedience I stood and almost at the same time, 3 girls stood up with me.  I was elated but what happen next was overwhelming. Many other children stood up and walk out towards me until I did not even have a place to stand and had to move to sit at their chair and that’s when I realized that all the children except one girl from my group responded. I quickly sat next to her to provide some company for her as I could see that she felt very out of place. In my heart, I was overjoyed and what happened next was magical. The speaker prayed for them and after praying, I heard a cry of joy coming from those children who stood up and I saw the boys from my group hugging each other out of joy.  I was stunt and after regaining my composure, I quickly took a snap shot. It was a moment that I will never forget.

After the event I was very comforted but wanted to be sure that 9 out of 10 from my group made a sincere decision to follow Christ. I brought them to their rooms and spent time explaining to them individually on the significance of their decisions. I asked every one of them, “Are you sure you want to be a Christian?” and all of them gave me a firm, “Yes!” Even the girl in my group who didn’t stand up said that she believed but didn’t want to accept the invitation because she was fearful of family opposition.

On the last day, it was hard for me to say good bye to them knowing that some of them will be facing family opposition once they break the news to their family members. As we were having our last singing session,  God prompted me to use the song  “我要向高山擧目” to share from Psalms 121 that God will take care of them whenever they are in trouble.  After singing the song and committing them to God, I felt more at peace having to leave them.  Every now and then, whenever I think of them, I will sing this song “我要向高山擧目” and pray for them. Indeed this is a blessed trip for me and I believe that it is also a memorable trip for the rest of them in this trip.

Preacher Alvin Lim

August 12, 2012