Grace upon Grace
By Alsa Shih. 01-08-2011While I was typing this testimony on this quiet Saturday morning, it was snowing again. If you do not need to go anywhere, it is great watching the snow, however if you need to travel then it is a different story. This just happened to me two weeks ago when I was scheduled to take an evening flight on December 26th 2010 (the same day Blizzard 2010 hit the east coast) to London for the COCM Year-End Student Camp. I checked in that afternoon and waited to board, however, the aircraft which was supposed to pick up the passengers could not landed and had to be detoured to Toronto. British Airways asked all of the passengers to pick up their luggage and come back the next day.
Since I live in NH, the airline was kind enough to put me in a hotel in downtown Boston. After I got to the hotel room, I prayed to the Lord and thanked Him for His provision so I could have a warm bed to sleep in and I trusted He would continue to lead me for the rest of journey.
Next afternoon, I went back to the airport and the check-in line was long but I have no complaints as I know I was very fortunate compared to many others who did not even have a plane available to them. Finally, around 8:00 pm all the passengers were able to board the plane. However, it was delayed for another hour so that the airline company could load some cargo onto the plane. A little after 10:00 pm the plane left the gate and moved towards the runway. But, ten minutes later the pilot announced that there was ice on both wings, so we needed to move back to the terminal and have the engineers check and find a solution. At this point, I had no idea when the plane would take off and all I could do was pray and hope it would depart that night. Finally the plane was able to take off at 12:00 am on December 28. At that moment, I was exhausted but very excited as I knew I was finally heading to London! Psalms 65:11 “You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.”
I arrived at the COCM headquarters the afternoon of December 28. It was the same time when all the campers began to check-in. Praise the Lord that His timing is always good and His grace is sufficient. At the front door, I saw many familiar COCM co-workers including Rev. Henry Lu who was busy greeting and helping students register and settle into their rooms.
During that night there were 120 students that came from different parts of England and a few from Paris to join this student gospel camp. According to COCM’s information one third of them have never heard the gospel and one third of them have just started to attend the church. For such a time as this, I know even though we had only three and half days, God granted us this very important opportunity to spread His good news. All the US team members were divided into small groups to teach 10 students during our group discussion time. Esther 4:14 “For if you remain silent at this time…but you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”
This year’s theme is “The Way to Happiness” and the bible verses were quotes from Genesis. I was assigned to do a testimony on the night of 29th December. I heard that many Chinese students grew up in a single parent family, so I decided to use my personal story to let them know how God can heal the broken heart to rebuild the self-confident. After this testimony, I found out there were two students in my group who grew up in a single parent family as they shared with the whole group their pains and struggles. Rev. Daniel Shih of the Austin Chinese Church, who is very experienced in family counseling, was my group leader partner, so he became a great adviser to answer many of their questions. One male student in my group, who was a seeker, told me that after he heard the messages and testimonies he knew that the gospel was good for him but that he still had a few bad habits such as smoking cigarettes and speaking bad words. He needed more time to correct these bad habits before he could accept Christ but I told him that he should depend on God to help him, as a human’s mind is always weak to fight these kinds of trials. So he was willing to pray with me and asked the Lord to save him. On the next day I saw that he raised his hand to accept Christ as His personal savior. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
This year something very unusual happened. On the night of December 31, there were many students who came out to do testimonies about how God touched their hearts. Among these students were two non-believers who just wanted to tell stories about how they felt about the camp. While they were waiting for their turn to do their testimonies, the Holy Spirit moved them, so by the time they spoke, they announced to all of us that they decided to accept Christ. Psalm 86:5 “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.”
If you ask me, it is worth it to spend the money and the time to talk with students for three days about God’s salvation and love. I can tell you that it is priceless, as not only these students learned a lot about this Creator and Savior through this program, all the US team members have also been renewed and once again taste His amazing grace. I may never see these students again, however we have given them a precious gift which they accepted and will keep (God’s love) for the rest of their life!
We praise the Lord that He established the Chinese Overseas Christian Mission (COCM), let us continue to pray that the Lord will use and bless this mission organization and send more long term missionaries to expand His kingdom in Europe. John 4:35 “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”