Pursuing Together with Brothers and Sisters – African Camp and Trip to Madagascar – Alison Chan

As Violin had said, this trip to Madagascar was more for the mission team than for the work there. It was like a “retreat camp” for our spiritual growth and renewal. To me, our team time was the most precious because it helped me to understand more the essence of pursuing together. It is much different from pursuing by oneself, where one may study the Bible, listen to messages or read some spiritual books. When we came together, however, we had much exchange of ideas through sharing, worship and prayers. W e knew one another more deeply in worship, as our deepest selves were revealed–our personality, mindset, lifestyle, etc.. Then we know which area we should improve. Moreover, we opened our hearts for discussion and reminders so we could help one another to be better. At the end, I felt very close with this team of coworkers. I felt that we knew one another deeply even though we had only spent one week together! It’s so precious that we could come together to make clear about the truth and practice it together. I believe after this trip, the progress we made will become a blessing to our own district. 

The way how Violin presented the truth also amazed me. From the English coworkers gathering in Hong Kong to the meetings in Antananarivo, Madagascar, I have listened to the same messages and seen the same power point presentations from her for at least four times. However, each time she was sensitive to brothers and sisters’ condition and needs to adjust the content and pace. The examples she used were vivid and lively. The message was tailor made to different groups of brothers and sisters so they could easily understand and absorb the truth being presented. I did not feel repetitive at all. Instead, I was very much impressed, and I was inspired to rethink about my way of giving messages to convey the truth more effectively. 

The camp in Pretoria, South Africa was sweet and unforgettable. I remember how we stayed under the sun in the yard of our meeting place, learning how to sing and worship the Lord. We followed some simple steps to set the truth (content of song) before us, give thanks for it and tell our feelings to the Lord. It was easy and enjoyable. In the past, I tend to stay at one point for long time and try to think deeply and dig out some “enjoyment” from the song. As a result, my mind either flew away or froze. With this easy way, I learn to move on when I should and enjoy the plain content of the song. The same principle applied to Bible reading. In the past, I would stay at one verse and tried to think deeply and look for things I can “respond” to the Lord. It made me focus on the Bible passage more than the Lord. The simple steps helped me to “chew on” (meditate) the Lord’s words more thoroughly. I could talk to the Lord through the Bible passage more easily. 

I treasure very much this everlasting way, in which everyone can walk on and be blessed regardless of our background, culture, age, etc.. Anyone who does it can enjoy being close to God. We can also bring others to walk on this way and experience closeness with God. It is indeed the spiritual highway. I hope I can share this everlasting way to more and more people so that more can experience God and love Him! 

May the Lord come soon!