2019 九月禱告信 | September Prayer Letter

弟兄姊妹主內平安: 

轉眼秋天就到,這是收成的好日子,願主幫助我們在新的學期,能為主收更多的莊稼。以下的信息可以幫助我們更了解,如何使我們的校園團契得興旺,能為主多結果子。

 

弟兄姊妹主內平安: 

轉眼秋天就到,這是收成的好日子,願主幫助我們在新的學期,能為主收更多的莊稼。以下的信息可以幫助我們更了解,如何使我們的校園團契得興旺,能為主多結果子。

 

華人校園事工歷史系列(三) 

III. 北美校園查經班的興起 – 學生宣教的校園事工

(1950至1990 年)

 

大戰以後神也預備工人推動日後國外華人校園事工。「學聯」的總幹事趙君影牧師,1948年底在政治壓力下遷往香港,從事神學教育。1956年移民美國,成立中華歸主協會,但仍念念不忘學生事工,每週開放家門,與學生一同查經,   又在著名的加州柏克萊大學旁做學生工作,日後成為教會。1960–1970年代柏克萊大學學生事工的興旺,是美國各地校園團契的典範。趙牧師影響很多華人菁英歸主與奉獻一生,對中國教會的影響深遠。

1950–1980年代北美各地都非常缺乏傳道人,特別在美中的大學城,難得會有傳道人路過,大部份校園都沒有查經班,更沒有中國教會。許多從台灣、或香港來的弟兄姊妹在來美國之前,已在校園團契有成長,在出國前也建立了屬靈上的自發性,他們在美國求學時,其所就讀的大學可能不僅沒有教會,甚至中文的查經班也沒有,但他們就在校園內建立了禱告會、查經班。雖然沒有傳道人的輔助或協助,他們主動起來開始聚會。起初可能只是從學校的一個小房間開始聚會,或是開放自己小小的家來聚會,人數可能只有數人,但他們不但不沮喪,反而更積極的事奉,聚會好幾年,可能都沒有一位華人傳道人路過來幫助,他們卻仍忠心地在校園事奉,關懷學生生活的需要,邀請與帶領人來聚會;傳福音、領詩與帶查經都是他們自己來,雖然事奉量很大,但卻是甘心樂意,毫無怨言。因著他們在校園中美好的見證、在聚會中忠心的擺上,來參加聚會與信主的人數也越發增加,常有新的學生信主,這些都是因著受同工們美好的見證與主動、積極的事奉所影響,這些年輕的弟兄姊妹也在主裡活潑起來,一樣熱心地追求主,同心合意與屬靈的前輩配搭事奉,查經班也就越來越有規模,每次聚會也分不同的組別,去滿足不同人的需要,同工的組織也越來越全備,他們聚會興旺的程度,不亞於一般的華人教會。學生雖然幾年就換一批,但受前輩學生榜樣的影響,同工也一批一批地接續起來,神在北美校園事工的作為,在那數十年間實在是有增無減。

上世紀70至80年代,美國中部很多較大的校園,全校華人學生可能僅有200人左右,但卻可有約四分之一的同學來參加聚會。例如: 在1970年代,Ames, IA的華人學生約有200人,週五聚會人數卻約有100人。華人學生在校園中也很有影響力,在Columbia, MO的校園在80年代,全校同學約有140人,查經班聚會人數,也常有40-60人,同學會要辦活動,必須主動避開查經班的聚會時間,免得沒有人參加。

這些校園的興旺,主要不是因為傳道人的工作,乃是因為當時的學生,出國前就深知「校園事工必須由學生來做」,傳道人只是在旁協助,當學生認識到他們校園傳福音的使命,帶著自發性的心,積極去做,在各樣功課與工作的壓力下仍忠心地去完成,他們的擺上,就成為校園事工興旺的基礎,他們就成為「帶學(職)宣教士」,很多基督徒來美留學後,馬上就成為校園查經班的主要同工,當地若沒有查經班,就自己開設查經班,自己去作關懷與傳福音的工作,每週開放自己的家作聚會場地,自己來帶查經。這些同學所擺上的精神與力量,不亞於一般的傅道人,他們實在是帶著學業傳福音的宣教士,在靈性與學業上,在校園中留下眾多美好的見證,引發了很多知識份子歸向基督。北美很多的華人教會,都是由這些校園團契轉型而來。北美很多教會都是建立在當年有宣教心、在校園自發事奉的學生身上。感謝主!這些校園團契轉型成為教會,當年為主擺上的學生,現在有很多都成了教會的長老、執事或傳道人了! 

從這段的校園事工歷史讓我們看到:

  1. 門徒事工所留下的影響力是非常深遠的:上一期看到抗戰後台灣與香港的校園事工,是以門徒訓練為導向,又以建立學生同工作校園事工的方向,不僅帶來當時港台校園事工的興旺,也建立了大群的學生宣教士,畢業後出國留學,一邊讀書、一邊作校園事工,在校園中作個小牧人,建立團契,建立教會。

  2. 教會與校園事工的傳道人、與顧問,必須給年青人有更高的異象與使命感,不要單作一個享受的基督徒,更要成為在校園的小牧人。

  3. 今年帶著功課事奉主的學生與學者,就會是明年帶著工作事奉主的中國宣教士。

  4. 當年港台的校園事工建立了後來北美校園事奉的宣教士,今天我們要反向去建立學生在畢業後,回到中國、台灣、港澳成為帶領別人的人。

  5. 今天在中國聚會,人數被限制在二十人以下,也就是說:二十個基督徒,就需有一個能帶領與牧養人的小牧人,北美教會與校園事工不是要建立那十九個人中的一位,乃是要建立二十人當中的那一位「小牧人」,讓他們現今就從我們的校園團契、與教會小組中,操練忠心作個小牧人。

  6. 當年港台的校園事工能建立一大群學生,在遠東讀書時主導校園的事工,畢業後來美國校園中作福音工作,今天我們也要注重門徒訓練,建立學生同工主導校園福音事工,讓他們畢業後回遠東,盡心地去作個「小牧人」與「二十夫長」。

 

八、九月短宣隊:

八月真是非常的忙碌: 兩週的讀經營與門徒訓練營後,就是八月短宣隊的到來,共計10天,約有50人分別從加州、德州與New Jersey而來,共有七隊;感謝主!今年的天氣比去年短宣時更涼快,主在天氣與傳福音上,都有奇妙的作為。有一個校園今年差不多所有的學生同工都離開了,負責同工們都非常煩惱如何作新學期的校園事工。這次短宣隊在他們的校園一個週末,感謝主!週五晚上聚會時帶了幾位信主,週六一整天做個人工作,主日原不打算有太多福音朋友來,沒有想到有一個新同學,帶了六個新來的同學來參加崇拜,更沒有想到的是: 在聚會結束時,這六位同學都決志信主,這學校的同學差不多都是本科生,感謝主奇妙的作為,在人看來沒有辦法時,主就作成奇妙的工作。

九月六日開始將有第二期的短宣,三十六人將分六隊,從東、西兩岸與德州而來。通常九月的短宣隊都會走得比較遠,北到N. Dakota, 南到 Alabama,Florida。這次也會包括到Pensacola, FL作開荒佈道工作,請在禱告中記念。

八月營會:

感謝主!約有一百多人來參加這次讀經營,不僅學習聖經的話語,也學習忠心的分解神的道,使參加者不僅能用神的話餵養自己,更能用神的話餵養別人。感謝主:四十多人參加了八月門徒訓練營,藉此訓練,弟兄姊妹既能使自己的靈命得著建立,又可以再次重新得力,好面對新一學期的事奉。

十二月美中冬令會:

大家期待的美中冬令會即將來臨,冬令會是為了建立美中各地弟兄姊妹同心傳福音,不僅一同帶領福音朋友接受主,又能讓弟兄姊妹一同追求主,挑起愛主的心,讓美中各教會與校園團契能在主裡合一,互相紀念,互相扶持,讓基督的愛挑旺各地教會。這次講員有:賴若瀚牧師、賴鍾桂珍師母、陸大齡牧師、鍾舜貴牧師、薛忠勇弟兄、周如歡教士等。今年的場地有所改變,將會使用Marriott Hotel – Kansas City Down Town ,日期為:2019年12月21-25日。 請為同工們的準備工作與聚會的邀請工作更多禱告。

十二月門徒與同工訓練營:

將於12月25至29日在中心舉行,講員有:薛忠勇弟兄、周如歡教士等,目地是為了裝備弟兄姊妹成為主的門徒,並具備僕人的樣式,忠心的跟從主。

一月讀經營:

已開始報名,報名單也在中心的網站上。讀經營將於12月29日至1月4日在中心舉行,內容為:普通書信(從希伯來書至猶大書)。講員為:諶志豪牧師、 蘇傅麗秀師母等。請儘早報名,早作功課,預備自己參加,截止報名為11月15日。

代禱事項:

  1. 請在禱告中紀念九月的短宣隊,為他們的漫長的旅程禱告,得以跑遍:Taxes,Missouri,Kansas,Arkansas,Oklahoma 再往 Kentucky,Mississippi、Alabama,Florida, Illinois,S. Dakota, N. Dakota, 等地。求主加添他們奔跑的平安與力量,到處留下佳美腳蹤,在各地為主多結果子。
  2. 為高師母身體的健康禱告,求主醫治與更多使用她。
  3. 為江士民姊妹禱告,求主使她周間在中心的行政事工蒙恩,週末在各地的事奉多得聖靈的力量與結出美好的果子,求主賜福她每週末在各校園間奔跑與分享神話語的力量。又賜給她能力去準備冬季三個營會。
  4. 為新同工梁慶龍弟兄在Columbia,MO 並附近周邊的事奉禱告,並為他一家五口禱告,求主賜福他們,又為他們大女兒剛入學禱告。
  5. 為維修同工Scott一家八口禱告,求主使他 的維修工作常在主的恩典與力量中完成。並使每一位來參加營會的人蒙更大的恩。
  6. 為建築同工Pastor Shull的擴建工程平安與蒙恩禱告,感謝主!餐廳擴建部分已開始使用,現在正在建造餐廳的洗手間,並外面的景觀。 同工Scott夫婦已在今年初搬入擴建完工的臥房,但外觀還未完全完成。求主幫助餐廳擴建與同工宿舍的兩大工程禱告,求主繼續工作。。
  7. 為中心的經費禱告,求主興起更多有負擔的弟兄姊妹與教會,一同在禱告與奉獻上支持中心的事工,使神的國得著更大的興旺。
  8. 為八月份短宣的完成感恩,為各地剛信主的弟兄姊妹禱告,求主幫助他們繼續追求長進,也為各地同工有智慧、愛心與恆心去作栽培的工作。
  9. 為八月份讀經營與門徒訓練營能順利完成感謝,求主使用弟兄姊妹所得著的裝備,使各地教會及校園均蒙恩。
  10. 為冬令會的籌備禱告,也求主幫助我們能適應新的場地。也為冬令會的講員及十二月門徒訓練營禱告。

願主賜福您!

主內
高榮德敬上

 

 


 

Dear brothers and sisters, peace to you in the Lord,

With a blink of time, fall is here. It is the season of harvest. May the Lord help us in this new semester to harvest more abundantly. The message below will help us understand better how to make our campus ministry more prosperous, so that we can bear more fruit for the Lord.

 

 Chinese Campus Ministry History - Part III   

III. The Rise of Campus Fellowship in North America – Student-Initiated Campus Ministry (1950-1990)
 

After WWII, God prepared workers to start campus ministry overseas. Rev. Calvin Chao, chief executive officer of Chinese Nationals’ Evangelism Commission, was forced to move to Hong Kong by pollical pressure at the end of 1948. His ministry was theological training. He moved to US in 1956 and established the “Chinese for Christ” Association. He never forgot the student ministry, and his home was open weekly to Bible study with students. Later he ministered among students at the University of California at Berkeley. That Bible study group later became a church. The student ministry at Berkeley was very active in the 60s and 70s. It became the model for other campus fellowships in the United States. Rev. Chao influenced many young Chinese professionals to dedicate their whole lives to serve the Lord. This had far and deep impact on Chinese churches. From 1950 to 1980, North America had a severe shortage of Chinese ministers, notably to the Midwest college towns. Few campuses had a Bible study group or Chinese church. Very rarely, a Chinese minister would pass by. Many of the brothers and sisters who are from Taiwan or Hong Kong were trained in campus fellowship back home before coming to the US to pursue a higher degree. They had developed spiritual independence before they left for US. When they came to US, there were no university fellowship nor Chinese church on their campuses. They just set up their own prayer groups and Bible study groups on campus. Even though they had no minister to guide or assist them, they set up their own meetings. At the beginning, they might meet in a small room at the school or open up their small houses for gathering with only a few people. They were not discouraged. On the contrary, they served more proactively. In many years there might not be any Chinese minister passing by to help them. They were still faithfully serving on their campuses: caring for students’ daily needs, inviting and leading people to come to fellowship. They did everything by themselves including evangelism, leading songs and Bible study. Their load for ministry was quite heavy, but their hearts were willing and without a word of complaint. As a result, they were good testimonies on their campuses. Their faithful ministries led more people coming to fellowship and many believed in the Lord. Often new students came to the Lord. These young believers, influenced by their faithful senior believers, were on fire for the Lord and pursued the Lord together with other brothers and sisters. They served very well alongside those older brothers and sisters. The Bible study groups became more structured and bigger. Each meeting would divide into several groups to satisfy different needs. Coworker’s structure became more complete. These prosperous situations were no less than a regular Chinese church. Although the student population turned over after every few years, under the good influences of former students’ models, student coworkers were built up one after another. God’s work among North America campus ministries indeed increased during those few decades.

Some bigger colleges in the Midwest in the 1970s and 1980s might have 200 Chinese students. But one fourth of them attended the fellowships. For example, Ames, IA had about 200 Chinese students in the 1970s. There were about 100 people at Friday night Bible study groups. Chinse students had influence on their campuses. The Columbia, MO campus had about 140 Chinese students in the 1980s, and 40-60 people attended the Bible study group. When the Chinese Student Association planned to organize any activity, they must avoid the time of Bible study. Otherwise no one would come to the activity. 

The prosperity of the Campus ministry came not from a full-time minister’s labor, but from the students. Before these students came to US, they knew clearly that campus ministry must be initiated by students. Ministers only assisted them sometimes. When the students had the burden of sharing the Gospel on campus, with motivation coming from within, they evangelized actively. Even under the intense pressure from the school and careers work load, they were still faithful to complete the Lord’s calling for them. Their complete commitment became the foundation of a prosperous campus ministry. They themselves became either “student ministers” or “lay ministers”. Many Christians after they came to US for studies immediately became the main coworkers of their campus Bible study groups. If there was no Bible study group on their campus, they would start a new one. They cared for other students and shared the Gospel to them. They were willing to open their homes for Bible study and led the study themselves. These students’ dedication of heart and strength was no less than a normal minister. They were indeed “student ministers”, with good testimonies on their faith and academics. Their testimonies led more learned people turned to Christ. Many of the Chinese churches at North America evolved from campus Bible study groups. Their churches were established from these students burdened with a mission mind and willing to dedicate themselves for other students. Thanks to be God! Campus fellowships were transformed to churches. Many of the dedicated students from those time have become elders, deacons and ministers!

From this period of student ministry history, we perceive:

  1. The influence of discipleship training is very deep and powerful. As the August newsletter outlined, the campus ministry in Taiwan and Hong Kong after the Sino-Japanese War focused on discipleship training and building up student coworkers as the student ministry. It not only caused campus ministry to thrive in Taiwan and Hong Kong during that time, but also built up a big group of student ministers. After they graduated from college and went abroad to pursue higher degrees, they were studying, yet still doing campus ministry. They were much like little shepherds to build up the student fellowship and also build up the churches. 

  2. Churches, campus ministers, and advisors must give young people a higher vision and sense of mission, higher than their secular study or work. The young people will not only enjoy being Christians, but serve as little shepherds on their campuses.

  3. This year, students and scholars serve the Lord while bearing study loads. Next year, they are missionaries in China while working.

  4. The Taiwan and Hong Kong campus ministries from the past established the missionaries of North America campus ministry. Today, the geography is reversed: we establish students in North America and expect after their graduation they can lead others to the Lord in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao.

  5. The Chinese government has been enforcing a limit of gatherings to 20 people. That means among 20 Christians, one will be the little shepherd that can lead and shepherd the congregation. North America campus ministry is not to build up the nineteen, but to build up the twentieth to be the little shepherd. Let the students from our campus fellowships and small groups be trained and equipped as faithful little shepherds.

  6. In the past years, Taiwan and Hong Kong campus ministry could equip a large number of students to initiate and lead campus ministries in the Far East. After they graduated, some served campus ministries in the United States. Today our focus should be on discipleship training to build up student coworkers to lead campus ministries. After they graduate and return to Far East, they can become little shepherds and lead the “nineteens” with all their hearts.

 

August September Short term Mission Teams

August was indeed very busy. After two weeks of Bible camp and Disciple training, it was time for the August 10-day-short-term mission teams to arrive at the Midwest. About fifty people came from California, Texas and New Jersey forming seven teams. The weather this year was cooler than same time last year. Our Lord’s wonderful work was both on the weather and Gospel. For example, at one campus, most of the student coworkers had left this semester.  The coworker in charge was very worried about this new semester’s campus ministry. One mission team stayed on this campus one weekend. Thanks to be God: The mission team led several to the Lord on Friday night’s meeting. The whole Saturday they were doing personal evangelism. The mission team did not expect many non-believers would come to the Sunday service. But one new student brought six new students to Sunday worship. At the end of the service, all six students believed in the Lord. Most students on this campus are undergraduates. We thank God for His wonderful works. When man thinks there’s no way, God fulfills His amazing ministry.

Starting September 6, the September short-term mission teams will arrive. About thirty-six people from the US East and West coasts and from Texas will form six teams. Usually September teams travel beyond the Midwest to North Dakota, Alabama, and Florida. We will go to Pensacola, FL for the first time to do the startup evangelism ministries. Please remember them in your prayers. 

August Camps

Praise the Lord! Around 100 people attended the Bible camp. They not only studied God’s Words, but also learned how to handle accurately the Word of truth. As a result, participants can feed themselves from God’s Words and nurture others with God’s Words as well. Praise the Lord! Forty plus people came to August Discipleship Training. Brothers and sisters built up their own spiritual lives through this camp. In addition, they were refreshed and strengthened to meet their ministries in the new school year.

December Winter Conference

Everyone is looking forward to Winter Conference. The conference’s purpose is to edify believers in the Midwest to share the Gospel with one accord. They can bring nonbelievers to the Conference to know the Lord. At the same time, they can pursue God with other brothers and sisters, so their hearts will be on fire for the Lord. The churches and fellowship in the Midwest are unified in the Lord, remember one another, and support one another. Let Christ’s love revive churches everywhere. Our speakers are: Pastor Johanne and Mrs. Esther Lai, Pastor David Lu, Pastor Shun Kuei Chung, Pastor Balex Sit, and Minister Jerry Jou. We have a different location this year, at the Marriot Hotel-Kansas City Downtown. The date is December 21-25, 2019. Please pray for our coworkers as we plan the conference and also please invite people to attend.

December Discipleship Training Camp

It will be held on December 25-29 and the speakers are Pastor Balex Sit, and Minister Jerry Jou. The purpose is to equip brothers and sisters to be like servants of the Lord and faithfully follow the Lord. Application has begun. 

January Bible Camp

Application has begun. The application form has been posted online. It will be held from December 29, 2019 to January 4, 2020 at CWC camp. We will study the General Epistles (Hebrews to Jude). Speakers are Rev. Chihhao Shen and Mrs Lois Su and others. Please prepare your hearts and apply as soon as possible to start the home works earlier. Deadline to sign up is November 15. 

Prayer Requests

  1. Please remember September short term mission teams. Pray for their long journey first to Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, then Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Illinois, South and North Dakota. Pray that the Lord will give them strength and peace when they travel, and that they will leave “beautiful footprints” everywhere and bear much fruits.
  2. Pray for Mrs. Ko’s health, that the Lord will heal and use her.
  3. Pray for Cindy Chiang as she does office work on week days in the CWC and ministers at various campuses on weekends. Pray that she will receive strength from the Holy Spirit and bear many good fruits. Pray that the Lord will bless her as she shares God’s Words in various campuses. Also give her strength to prepare for the three camps for the winter.
  4. Pray for our new coworker Qing-Long Liang minister surrounding areas of Columbia, MO. Pray that God will bless his family of five and his oldest daughter beginning kindergarten.
  5. Pray for maintenance coworker Scott and his family of eight. May the Lord enable him to complete his maintenance works by Lord’s grace and strength. Everyone who comes to CWC camp will receive greater blessing.
  6. Pray for peace and blessing upon our construction coworker Pastor Shull as he builds up the camp ground. Praise the Lord! The expanding area of our dining hall has been in used. He is building the restroom next to the dining hall and exterior. Scott and his wife moved in the newly expanded bedroom at their house earlier this year even though the exterior hasn’t completed yet. Pray for these two big building projects that the Lord will continue at work.
  7. Pray for the funding for CWC. Pray that the Lord will raise more brothers and sisters and churches to have the burden to support CWC by prayer and offering, so that God’s kingdom will be expanded. 
  8. We thank God for the August mission teams completing their mission. Pray for the new believers that God will help them continue to grow spiritually. Pray for the brothers and sisters in different churches to have the wisdom, love, and perseverance to do the following up ministry. 
  9. We thank God for the completion of August Bible Camp and Discipleship Training. May the Lord use the brothers and sisters who have been equipped that they will be a blessing to their local churches and campuses.
  10. Pray for the preparation work of Winter Conference. May the Lord help us to adjust to the new venue quickly. Also pray for the Winter Conference speakers and December Discipleship Training.

May the Lord bless you!

In Him,
Billy Ko