2018 十月禱告信 | October Prayer Letter

親愛的弟兄姐妹:

從美中奧沙湖邊向您問安!秋季湖邊附近的農民都在忙著採收,求主讓我們在祂福音的禾場中,也能殷勤地收主的莊稼,並享受得果子的喜樂!

 

 

親愛的弟兄姐妹:

從美中奧沙湖邊向您問安!秋季湖邊附近的農民都在忙著採收,求主讓我們在祂福音的禾場中,也能殷勤地收主的莊稼,並享受得果子的喜樂!

在困難中把握時機作主的工
(約翰福音第九章)

雖然我們在教會事工,常常覺得遭遇許多的難處,福音事工也是障礙重重,校園事工更是失去盼望,在這樣黑暗的時期,該是我們休息的時候嗎?讓我們細想耶穌在這樣的時刻,向祂的同工們所發出的呼籲:「趁著白日,我們必須作那差我來者的工;黑夜將到,就沒有人能做工了。」(約 9:4)。耶穌醫治生來瞎眼人的事蹟,提醒我們在困難黑暗的日子,我們應如何繼續忠心去作主的工?

  1. 少說多作 - 當耶穌和門徒走近那瞎子,看見那一生活在黑暗中可憐的瞎子,門徒沒有為他作什麼,他們大概是想:這是超過他們能力的範圍,所以他們不僅在那裏袖手旁觀,還在那裏激烈的討論問題,諸如: 瞎子為什麼成為瞎子?這是誰的錯?他們口舌動的很多,但卻連一根指頭也沒有動,對瞎子一點幫助都沒有。教會也會經歷各樣家庭的問題、同工的問題、同工與牧者相處的問題等等,為了解決問題,教會可能會安排同工去參加不同的研習會,回來作個報告,大家討論一下,我們的筆記可能寫了很多,但事情終歸原樣,問題也沒有得到解決。校園事工也是如此: 近年也有很多的研討會,其實這也是好事,談了快十年,但校園事工就整體而言,卻沒有什麼好轉;這就是: 我們作很多的預工與討論,但對實際傳福音、與建立門徒的事工,卻沒有甚麼幫助。我們需要盡量減少研討的時間,儘早走到福音的禾場中動手,快去收主的莊稼。

  2. 多作「顯出神作為」的工作 - 耶穌對門徒說:「不是…不是…是要在他身上顯出神的作為來。」瞎子一直活在黑暗中,直到神的時間到了,耶穌到了瞎子的面前,「用唾沫和泥抹在瞎子的眼睛上」,祂是直接在人的身上作醫治與建立的工作,雖然祂醫治瞎子的方法,在人看來,實在是不科學、不文明、不衛生,是不可能的方法,但神卻用人看為絕對不可能的方法,使瞎子得醫治;因為耶穌是按神的方法,在神的時候、把握機會,去作神的工作,就看到瞎子得醫治與被建立,神也因此得榮耀。當人願意與神同工,雖然用最平淡、最簡單的方法,將人所看不起的福音告訴人,神卻能作成祂的工作,好讓祂的名得榮耀。

    前兩週帶短宣隊到Mississippi,那天晚上聚會時,來聚會的差不多都是上班的弟兄姊妹,學生方面只有一位大三的女同學來參加,吃飯前,我觀察到她: 可能因為年紀與別人有差,又是最年輕、最陌生的一位,她一直一個人站在那邊,我就過去和她談談話,她剛來美國不到一個月,還是福音朋友,因為快吃飯了,我趕緊用十多分鐘的時間,向她簡單的傳福音,在十多分鐘清楚的告訴她,我們眾人都是罪人,耶穌為我們的罪而死,接受耶穌作救主,就成為神的兒女。吃飯時我跟別人談話,剛吃完飯、一位同工將一位同學帶到我旁邊,請我帶這同學作決志禱告,我就順便問剛才我用十多分鐘傳福音的同學,願不願意與我們一同作決志接受耶穌的禱告,她歡然答應,這是神的大能! 要藉著這樣簡單的福音,使人得救。很多人的心早已經預備好了,只要我們肯花一點點時間,在別人的身上作傳福音與栽培的工作,就能為主多建立人,使神的名得榮耀。

  3. 把握機會趕快傳福音 – 耶穌又對門徒說:「趁著白日,我們必須作那差我來者的工;黑夜將到,就沒有人能做工了。」,當門徒不覺得現在就是該去幫忙這瞎子、醫治與建立他的時候,耶穌就對門徒說,現在就是白天,是最好工作的時候,不要耽延,因為黑暗與困難的日子,馬上就要來到。現在是傳福音的好時機,白天的時間不多,不知不覺黑夜就要來到。剛開學是最好傳福音、帶領人信主的時機,我們若不把握這傳福音的好時光,兩個月後再向他們傳福音,就會很困難,很多學生功課一忙,不信主的朋友一多,自然就會將教會的朋友擺在一邊。今年中美關係欠佳,中國留學生人數減少,這是一個預警,提醒我們: 學生潮隨時都會成為過去,中、美兩方邊的領導人,隨時都可以下達命令停止留學生,白日就成為過去,黑夜就來到,向學生傳福音的門就關上了。也有人說現在我們的事工已經到了黑暗時期,向現在的年輕學生傳福音,一點辦法都沒有,因為他們既是年青人、獨生驕子,更是官二代,富二代,向他們傳福音實在是門都沒有。 若我們以為現在傳福音實在太難,那麼我們就真已進入傳福音的黑暗期,但要知道,不久就會有驚人的大黑暗來到,就更沒有辦法傳福音了。我們若肯在這困難的時期傳福音,主會將福音的門打的更開,讓我們多多的得果子,讓我們看到神的榮耀,讓神得到更大的高舉。

    上月帶短宣隊在Kentucky州一間校園傳福音,這間校園去年迎新聚會時,只有三位同學來參加,沒有想到今年迎新聚會,卻有四十多位同學來參加,大部分為本科生;若我們在困難中忠心靠主往前行,主會作奇妙的工作。那天聚餐快結束時,我發現有一些同學開始離開,就趕快示意同工馬上開始聚會,也請一些同工幫忙請人不要離開會場。我趕快到會場門口,看到有兩位男同學想要離開,就勸他們留下來,他們答應留下來聽個三十分鐘,沒有想到過了三十分鐘,他們仍沒有離開,等我講道時,他們小聲的說,這人的普通語實在太難懂了,怎麼能明白呢?可是他們卻沒有離開,越聽越專心,等呼召時,他們二人都舉手信主。那天晚些共有五位信主。主的作為實在奇妙,在困難中只要我們肯倚靠主往前行,主必彰顯祂的大能。

今天是傳福音的好日子,現在是白天,我們要在困難中,把握時機作主的工。我們若覺得現在是黑夜期,傳福音就會變得更困難;其實「難」,不是難在背景、年青學生、富二代或官二代,其實「難」在我們這些傳福音、或作校園事工的人,是我們的信心不足,不肯依靠神快快傳福音,快快領人作主門徒。求主提醒我們:「我不以福音為恥;這福音本是神的大能,要救一切相信的,先是猶太人,後是希利尼人。」(羅 1:16)

九月短宣隊:

九月短宣隊來自五間教會,分成七隊在美中各地傳福音。這次他們所走的路程相當遙遠,但大家都存著喜樂的心、勇於傳福音的靈,從墨西哥灣走到加拿大的邊境,他們所經過的路,都留下佳美的腳蹤,不僅帶領不少訪問學者與他們的家人信主,也帶領許多的研究生與本科生信主。感謝主!祂樂意將福音的果效,加給那些勇於傳福音的人。為八、九月各教會與短宣隊所擺上的辛勞感謝,求主紀念他們的勞苦,也為各地剛剛信主的弟兄姊妹禱告,求主興起更多人,一面收祂的莊稼,一面建立這些新生命,不斷成長,早日能成為帶領別人的人。

冬季各項聚會:

  1. 冬令會 將於十二月廿一至廿五日在密蘇里州堪薩斯城的Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center舉行。冬令會是培靈與福音並重,是聯繫美中各地弟兄姊妹一同追求主,同心合意傳福音的好時機。求主藉這冬令會加添弟兄姊妹愛主的心,挑旺弟兄姊妹傳福音的靈。也感謝主!帶領不少東西兩岸短宣隊與美中弟兄姊妹攜手,共同努力,為要得著人的靈魂;求主藉著今年的冬令會,使多人信主,並興起更多同工在各地事奉。感謝主!今年我們的講員有:許道良牧師、黃子嘉牧師、莊祖鯤牧師、梁燕城博士、李道宏牧師、林心昂牧師等,請預備您的心參加,並為營會的籌備及聚會禱告,也儘早邀請福音朋友參加。報名時間將從十一月十五日開始,嚴格截止報名日期為十二月十六日下午四時。大會也有英語部, 幫助講英語的弟兄姊妹(中學生、大學生與工作者)認識主與追求主; 也有Dan Davis夫婦與其他美國同工負責帶領兒童事工,幫助小朋友從小認識主,一生在主裡長進,也讓兒童的父母能安心學習主道。請您為聚會代禱並預備您的心來參加,費用為自由奉獻。

  2. 十二月門徒與同工訓練營 將於十二月廿五日晚至二十九日,在基督工人中心的營地(Warsaw, MO)舉行。目的是為了協助各地教會、與校園團契建立門徒,並栽培有影響力的同工。在這個時代,當各地正用輕輕鬆鬆的方法來事奉,我們卻盼望能腳踏實地建立門徒、走十字架的道路、明白真理、作神話語的管家、忠心按神的話而行。訓練後能在各地教會與校園,作個帶著工作或功課事奉主的人: 在求學期間成為帶著功課傳福音,畢業後作個帶著職業事奉的小牧人,與牧者同心傳福音,牧養主的小羊。盼望有更多弟兄姊妹帶領福音朋友來參加冬令會,自己也能留下來參加門徒訓練。 這次訓練講員有莊祖鯤牧師與梁燕城教授。 請為聚會禱告並儘早報名。

  3. 一月讀經營 將於十二月三十日傍晚至明年一月五日中午,在基督工人中心(Warsaw, MO)舉行。我們將研讀使徒行傳,目的不僅是讓弟兄姊妹更多了解這書,更盼望大家在研讀中,能認識教會建立、與興旺的方法,尤其重要的是:要建立弟兄姊妹研讀神話語的興趣與技巧。這次講員有:諶志豪牧師、高昭鑾姊妹等,請儘早報名參加,好早日開始自修工作,得以更有效的參加讀經營。 請為弟兄姊妹的準備功課與讀經心得禱告。嚴格報名截止日期是: 十一月十五日,詳細資訊請參中心網站。

近況與代禱:

  1. 十月初美國福音機構RVICS (Roving Volunteers in Christ’s Service) 將派五對義工夫婦來中心三星期,他們會來幫忙做蓋建的工作,我們計畫請他們優先蓋建美國同工Scott的宿舍。因為他們一家八口,需要多一個房間。請為工程順利進行、與所需的經費禱告。
  2. 為餐廳的擴建工程禱告,目前因要先擴建同工宿舍,餐廳工程將推遲,求主紀念。
  3. 高師母最近的化療已完成了五次,十月初將作最後一回。感謝主!一切順利,雖然痛苦,但靠主的恩典,一切比預期的好,醫生也非常滿意。請繼續為師母日後的治療與康復禱告。
  4. 為冬令會、十二月同工與門徒訓練營、禱經營禱告,求主預備人心參加。也為冬天三個營會的講員禱告,求主更多賜福他們!
  5. 為江姊妹周間要忙碌中心的服事,周末要在各校園事奉,請為她繁忙的服事,及周末路上的平安、並為主多結福音的果子禱告。
  6. 為中心每月所需的經費禱告。
  7. 為維修同工Scott一家禱告,為他的殷勤與忠心的服事感恩並禱告。
  8. 為Pastor Shull過去三十多年忠心的蓋建房子,並為他週末在附近各地教會的事奉禱告。

謝謝您在禱告及財務上對基督工人中心的支持。願神豐盛地賜福您和您的一家。

在主裡與您一同服事的,
高榮德牧師

 

 


 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

Greeting in the Lord from the Lake of the Ozarks! Farmers from the region are working hard harvesting in the fall season. May the Lord of harvest allow us to diligently labor in His field and share the joy of reaping crops!

Strive to Do God’s Work in Difficult Times
(John 9)

In view of the difficulties of church ministries, of evangelism, and of campus ministries, should we just take a break from our efforts? Maybe leave it all to God? Let us examine the calling that Jesus gave to His disciples during times such as these: “We must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4). The account of Jesus’ healing of the man who was blind from birth reminds us how to faithfully carry out His work during harsh and dark hours.

  1. Talk less, do more. When Jesus and His disciples got closer to this blind man, they found a miserable fellow who had lived in darkness his whole life. The disciples did nothing for this poor man. Probably they thought help was beyond their abilities. Perhaps the man’s troubles were the just and natural rewards for someone’s failure. They began a heated debate. Why is he blind? Whose fault is this? They talked a lot but never lifted a finger to help. Their analysis did the blind man no good. A church certainly encounters a variety of problems: apathy, ambition, conflicts within, resistance from outside. To solve such problems, coworkers may be sent to seminars or workshops to study. They came back with notes and report their findings to the church. Discussions follow, Yet the problems are not solved. The state of the church remains the same. Though well-intended seminars have not contributed much to improve the overall the church or campus ministry. We have done lots of pre-evangelism work and discussions, but these have not helped practical evangelism and establishing disciples. We need to cut down the discussion time, and immediately march into the mission field to reap the Lord’s harvest. 

  2. Do more that can “display God’s works”. That was Jesus’ reply to the disciples, “Neither…nor…, but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” This blind man’s whole life was in darkness until God’s time came. Jesus walked up to him, “spat on the ground, made some mud with saliva, and put it on the blind man’s eyes.” Jesus operated directly on the body of this man, healing and strengthening him at the same time. The method Jesus used in healing him appeared unscientific, unsanitary, uncivilized, and impossible. And yet God chose to use these absolutely impossible means to heal the blind man. The key is that Jesus grasped the opportunity to do the work of God using God’s method at God’s appointed time. The result was that the blind man was healed and strengthened, and God was glorified. Whenever a person is willing to work with God, even though he or she shares the despised gospel in a most prosaic and simple way, God can accomplish His purpose and glorify His name.

    I led the short-term mission team to Mississippi two weeks ago. Most of the attendees to the meeting that night were working professionals. As far as to the students, only one junior woman student came. Before the supper I noticed her, probably because she was younger than the others. She had been standing there alone and I walked over to chat with her. She came to the United States for less than a month and was still a nonbeliever. Because dinner would be served very soon, I took the opportunity to share the gospel to her in about ten minutes hurriedly. However in this ten minutes, I clearly told her that we were all sinners, that Jesus died for our sins. Anyone who accepts Jesus as Savior would become a child of God. During meal time, I was chatting with other people. Right after dinner, another student was brought to me by a coworker who asked me to lead this student to Christ in prayer. Right away, I thought of the girl with whom I shared the gospel before dinner. I asked if she was willing to join us in prayers. And she happily consented. That is God’s great power! He saves men through such simple Gospel. Lots of people’s hearts have been ready. As long as we are willing to spend a little time to share the gospel and do the following up, then we can build up more people for the Lord and God’s name will be glorified. 

  3. Seize the opportunity to share the gospel immediately. Jesus said to His disciples, “We must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work”. The disciples had no idea what day it was, what time it was by God’s calendar and clock. Jesus told them that now was the time to help, to heal, and to build him up. Jesus reminded them while it was still daytime - the best time to work, they should not delay, for night (dark and difficult time) was coming upon them soon. Now is the best time to share the gospel. Daytime is short, and the night will fall. The beginning of a semester is the best time to share the gospel and lead people to Christ. If we do not seize this golden opportunity and share the gospel to the students, after two months, it will become harder to share the gospel. Once students are busier with school work or they acquire more unbelieving friends, of course they set aside superficial connections to church friends. Tension builds between China and the States. We see a reduction in overseas Chinese students. This is a warning, reminding us that the current open door policy for Chinese students could become a historical footnote. Leaders of China and the States respectively can stop sending or receiving overseas students any time. If so, then daytime is over and the night comes. The door to share the gospel to the students would be closed. Some might claim that student ministry has come to the dark time already. Sharing the gospel to the young Chinese students is nearly impossible because they are young, spoiled, one-child-per-parents kids brought up in wealth and influence. Is now is a hard time to share the gospel? In the last seventy years, there have been darker times. We need to know that a deeper darkness can come. At that time, it will be even harder to share the gospel. If we are willing to share the gospel in this difficult time, then the Lord will open the door of the gospel even wider, to let us bear more fruits and we will see His glory, seeing how His name is lifted up. 

    I also led a short-term mission team to a Kentucky campus last month. Last year at this campus only three students showed up in the welcoming meeting. Thus we were pleasantly surprised that this year more than forty students attended the meeting, most of them undergraduates. The Lord works wonders. We must trust Him and continue forward faithfully despite difficulties. So on that recent night, I noticed that some students began to leave at the end of the supper. I asked the coworkers to start the meeting immediately. We also asked coworkers to help to encourage everyone to stay. I myself came to the door of the meeting room right away and saw two male students planned to leave. I encouraged them to stay. They agreed to hear the message for thirty minutes. They stayed far more than thirty minutes. When I began to preach, they whispered to each other. And yet, they did not leave. They settled in and listened attentively to my message. As I made the salvation calling, both of them raised their hands and want to believe. That night, five people believed. God’s work was truly amazing! When we are willing to trust Him amidst difficulties, He surely reveals His mighty power.

Today is the best time to share the gospel. Now is daytime. We should seize the opportunity to do God’s work despite difficulties. Perhaps it is darker than now than a year or two ago, but we should take this as warning that sharing the gospel will become even harder. As a matter of fact, the real difficulties in outreach are not the nonbelievers’ background, their young age, wealth, nor their family background. The real hindrances come from us who are the coworkers sharing the gospel, or the campus ministry coworkers. It is because we lack faith, we are not willing to trust the Lord and share the gospel immediately and lead people to become the Lord’s disciples right now. May the Lord remind us: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16)

September Short-Term Mission Teams:

September short-term mission teams came from five churches and were divided into seven groups to share the gospel in the Midwest. Although they traveled quite a long way, they were joyful and bold to share the gospel. From the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border, how beautiful were their feet that brought the good news! They led not only many visiting scholars and their families but also many undergraduate and graduate students to the Lord. Praise the Lord! He is willing to add the fruits of the gospel to those who took the courage to share it. We give thanks for the hard work of the August and September short-term mission teams! May the Lord remember their toil! Please also pray for all those who newly accepted the Lord on local campuses. May the Lord raise up more people at one hand to reap His harvest, and on the other hand to establish those new lives that they can grow and quickly become those that can lead others. 

Meetings in the Winter:

  1. The Winter Conference will take place at Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center in Kansas City, MO from December 21st to 25th. The Winter Conference features both evangelistic and edifying messages and gathers brothers and sisters from the Midwest to pursue the Lord and share the gospel with one heart. May the Lord increase brothers and sisters’ love to the Lord and kindle their spirit to share the gospel. We thank the Lord for bringing many short-term mission teams from the East and West coasts to labor alongside brothers and sisters in the Midwest to win over lost souls. May the Lord save many people through the Winter Conference this year and train up more coworkers to serve on different areas. Praise the Lord for all the speakers: Pastor John Hsu, Pastor Caleb Huang , Pastor Tsu-Kung Chuang, Dr. Thomas Leung, Pastor Jeff Lee, and Pastor Andrew Lin, and more. Please prepare your heart to attend and also pray for the preparations of this conference. Please invite nonbelievers as early as possible. Registration will begin on November 15th. The strict due date is 4:00pm, December 16th. The English section of the conference helps English-speaking brothers and sisters (middle school and college students and working professionals) to seek and pursue the Lord. Brother and Sister Dan Davis and other American coworkers will lead children programs, helping children know Christ and grow in Him all of their lives. At the same time their parents will be able to study the Word of the Lord with peace in mind. Please pray for this conference and prepare your heart to attend. The conference is going by free-will offering. 

  2. December Coworker and Disciple Training Camp will be held from the evening of December 25th to 29th, at CWC campsite (Warsaw, MO). Its purpose is to assist local churches and campus fellowships to equip disciples and build up effective coworkers. While many places serve the Lord with a relaxed approach, we hope to build up disciples in a solid way, leading them to walk on the road of the Cross, understand the truth, be a good steward of God’s Word, and faithfully obey the Word of God. After training they will be able to serve the Lord as a student or as a professional in local churches or campuses. When they are students, they can share the Gospel in the school. After their graduation, they will be little shepherds with a profession, sharing the gospel and tending Lord’s flocks alongside the pastor. Pray more brothers and sisters will bring nonbelievers to the Winter Conference and then they themselves will stay for the disciple training. The speakers are Pastor Tsu-Kung Chuang and Dr. Thomas Leung. Please pray for the training and register early. 

  3. January Bible Camp will be held from the evening of December 30th, 2018 to January 5th, 2019, at CWC campsite (Warsaw, MO), studying the Book of Acts. We hope that not only brothers and sisters will know this book to a deeper degree but also learn the methods to build and revive a church. The most important goal of this camp is to enhance brothers and sisters’ interests in and skills of studying the Word of God. The speakers are Pastor Chihao Shen, Sister Chao-Luan Kao, etc. Please register as early as possible so that you can begin your home study and get ready to attend the Bible camp. Please pray for brothers and sisters’ preparation and learning. The strictly observe deadline is November 15th. For more details please visit CWC website. 

Ministry updates and prayer requests:

  1. In early October, Roving Volunteers in Christ’s Service will send five volunteer couples to help with construction at CWC for three weeks. We plan to have them first work on the house of American coworker Scott and his family, because they need an extra room for their family of eight. Please pray for the smoothness of the project and needed funds. 
  2. Please pray for the expansion of the dining hall. Due to the project of the coworker’s dormitory, the expansion of the dining hall will be postponed. May the Lord remember this project.
  3. Mrs. Ko has recently completed her fifth course of chemotherapy. She will receive the last course in early October. Thank God that everything went well. Though the treatment has been very painful, with God’s grace the outcome exceeded expectations. The doctor is quite satisfied. Please continue to pray for Mrs. Ko’s future treatment and recovery. 
  4. Please pray for the upcoming Winter Conference, the December Coworker and Disciple Training Camp, and the Bible Camp. May the Lord prepare people to attend. Please also pray for speakers of the three meetings. May the Lord bless them even more! 
  5. Sister Cindy Chiang is busy with administration during the week and serves on various campuses during weekends. Please pray for her busy ministry and safe travel and pray that she will bear more fruits of the gospel for the Lord. 
  6. Please pray for the funds needed for CWC monthly ministry.
  7. Please pray for maintenance coworker Scott and his family and give thanks for his diligent and faithful ministry!
  8. Please pray for Pastor Shull who has been faithfully building houses for the past over 30 years. Please pray for his ministry in nearby churches during weekends. 

Thank you for your prayer and financial support to CWC! May the Lord abundantly bless you and your family!

Together serving with you in the Lord,
Pastor Billy Ko