- Category: Pastor Letters
- Published: Thursday, 05 March 2020 00:00
最近大家都心生恐懼，因為每天都有驚人的新聞發佈，讓人寢食難安。很多教會的聚會，不是人數減少，就是取消聚會；我們能夠理解這些都是因為驚惶與恐懼所造成，但我們不能理解的是: 我們可以因躲避病毒不去參加聚會，但卻仍然照常上學與上班，逾百人的課程我們照樣去上，但幾十人的教會聚會我們就躲避不去? 數百人上班的大樓或工廠，我們照樣按時上班，但一聽到要聚會，我們就害怕；我們可以照舊去買菜、逛超市，但就不敢來參加聚會。為什麼？這是因為我們沒有信心嗎？應該不是沒有信心，因為看來大家仍相信神會保守我們，所以照常生活、照常上班與上學；這似乎顯出我們不去聚會，是因為我們找到不去聚會的「大理由」，也表明我們愛主的心不足，或是因為我們有「屬靈」的懶惰。我們怕到教會遇到一些「不速之客」或「不安全的人」，可是我們卻照常去中國超市買菜，去中國餐館吃飯；難道我們只相信神在華人超市可以保守，叫我們不會遇到帶菌的人，卻不相信神能在教會中保守我們嗎？有人說：「中國人多的地方不要去」, 所以教會不要去；在這段日子我們在路上走，都感覺別人在崎視我們中國人，我們說這樣的話豈不是中國人自己也崎視中國人嗎？這實在是可悲！很多人的辦公室有超過一半以上的是華人，甚至超過幾十人，但為什麼我們還是照常去止班、上學呢？為什麼所有地方都可以照常去，就是不敢去教會呢？如果一個小小的病毒就可以使我們屬靈的生命慘敗，那我們又怎樣可以在人的面前為主作見證呢？如果在病毒低風險的美國，我們都不能站立，有一天當我們回國後，又如何在面對被公安緊盯的風險下去參加聚會呢？除非我們是年長、身體不好，平常就不出門以外，不然我們停止聚會就顯出我們靈命軟弱，愛主的心不足，不夠定意跟從主，不能忠心的作主門徒，我們不是精兵，乃是逃兵！
傳福音方面，保羅提醒我們：「務要傳道」，這是提醒我們: 傳福音是我們各人必須要作的事情，這是我們不可或缺的使命，在各樣的困難中，主已經幫助了我們，讓每一位堅定傳福音的人，都能為主多結果子。「無論得時不得時，總要專心」，若我們說：「現在不是傳福音的好日子」，那我們就真浪費了傳福音的好日子，因為每日都是傳福音的好日子，只要我們肯出去傳福音，就會看見主奇妙又大能的恩手。有一次我帶短宣隊在密西西比州傳福音，得知有颶風來了，我打電話問當地同工，看看這週末有沒有安排聚會? 當地同工告訴我，您們到的時候颶風剛好過了，您們可能會看到很多大樹倒在路上，電線斷落地上，街燈、交通燈都停電了，一些房子倒塌，但你們若能來會更好，因為學校已因颶風的緣故停課，圖書館、實驗室、辦公室、教室都已關門。這是一個很好傳福音的時機，大家都放假，無事作，很清閒。所以我們趕緊去那校園，那次願意接受探訪的人很多，參加佈道會的人特別多，神也帶領許多人信主！感謝神！祂藉著困難作了奇妙的工作，願意在困難中倚靠神，去與神同工的人，必看見主奇妙的作為。所以保羅勸勉我們：務要傳道，無論得時不得時，總要專心。
三月福音營 ( 3月6至 9日)
五月門徒與同工訓練營 ( 5月17至22日)：
新冠疫情之後，中國必然會有重大的變動，在政局上，或者會更緊縮，或者會更開放，傳福音要不然就是比過去更困難，要不然就是更容易傳福音。但不論政局走向那一端，我們都要加倍建立工人，為主的名作見證，傳主的福音，為主更堅定的作見證。我們求主留下更多弟兄姊妹，雖然想家，卻不趕著期末考後返國，先來參加這次訓練，裝備與建立自己，回去後，就能更堅毅地為主作見證。讓我們多多為五月訓練營禱告，並鼓勵弟兄姊妹參加這營會， 這次訓練營的講員為 : 吳淼垚弟兄，與中心同工等；截止報名日期是: 5月15日(嚴格執行)，詳細資訊請上中心網站查看。
每年有不少訪問學者來美深造，我們深信神的心意是要得著他們歸主，並建立他們成為可以跟從主，為主使用、回國後不僅能用書本教導學生，也可以教導學生認識神的書-聖經。在北美的校園，誰最能建立他們，為主所用？大學裡教授、在大學上班的弟兄姊妹們，就是神所使用最能得著訪問學者的人。因為他們無論在背景、年紀、知識、職業等，都很相近，最容易成為訪問學者的朋友，引領這些訪問學者到主前，又得建立，回國後被主所用。帶職信徒訓練營每年只有一次，請把握機會參加。中心有家庭宿舍及兒童節目，方便家庭參加。 弟兄姊妹必須全程參加，建議弟兄姊妹可考慮星期五請半天假，這樣就能準時在下午五點半前來聚會。這次講員有：吳淼垚弟兄、李強生長老及中心同工等；報名截止日期為：5月15日，請儘早報名参加，詳細資訊請上中心網站查看。全職學生 (TA, RA 或博士班學生不算全職上班者) 必須先參加五月門徒訓練 (5/17-22) 後，才能留下來參加此一聚會。
年青人若能儘早接受裝備成為主的門徒是最好，因為可塑性高，更容易被主改變，一生為主而活。基督工人中心的青少年門徒訓練營，就是為了建立青少年，讓他們自少年起就能認識神的真理，日後在大學求學時，能在校園見證主，帶領同學歸主；大學畢業後能帶職事奉，在教會中成為神國度的工人。中心的門徒訓練營是針對說英語的青少年所舉辦的門徒訓練營會，它不是年輕人的遊樂場，乃是青少年的門徒訓練與日後宣教士的培訓基地。講員有Pastor Janas Caruncho, Pastor Steve Tan, Pastor Barry 等。現仍在籌備階段，請常注意中心網站資訊、並代禱。
Brothers and Sisters, Peace in the Lord,
During the days of Covid-19 epidemic, I greet you in the Lord. May the peace of Christ fill your hearts. May the places where you set foot not be infected by the virus. But you can infect others that they can enter into the Lord’s peace and love and receive the Lord’s Gospel and new life.
In Season and Out of Season
“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2)
Recently people are filled with fear because of the shocking news each day. The news makes us sleepless and worn. Church attendance dropped or just cancelled meetings. We understand this is because of fear. But what we do not understand is: we can stop meeting as a church to avoid the virus, yet we still go to school and work. We go to the classes with 100 classmates, but we are afraid going churches with far fewer people. We continue working at the office or factory with hundreds of people. But the phrase “church meeting” fills some with fear. We continue shopping at grocery store or even at the mall, but we are afraid of the church meeting. Why? Is it because we lack of faith? No. it is not. Because we still believe that God will protect us and keep our routine lives, so we continue going to work and school as usual. It seems we have found a “big reason” not going to the churches. But it shows that we don’t love the Lord enough and we are afflicted with spiritual laziness. We are so afraid to meet unexpected and unsafe people at church. But we still continure shopping at Chinese grocery stores and eating at Chinese restaurants. Does it mean that we only trust God will protect us at the Chinese grocery store, so that we will not meet any one who is a virus carrier? But don’t we believe that God can also protect us at the churches? Some people say, “Don’t go to places where a lot of Chinese people are at. So don’t go to church”. During this period, sometimes we feel people discriminate Chinese when we walk on the street. But when we Chinese say “don’t go to places where a lot Chinese people are”, do we not discriminate? This is truly sad! Some people’s office have over half Chinese staff. Why can we go to any place but not the church? If a tiny virus can badly defeat our spiritual lives, how can we witness for the Lord in front of others? If we can’t stand firm in the US where the risk for the virus currently is rather low, could we face the risk of being monitored by police by attending church meetings when we return to our home country one day? Unless we are elderly,of poor health, or usually not going out of the house a lot, stopping attending church will show that our spiritual lives are weak, we did not love the Lord enough, and we are not determined to prioritizing following the Lord. If we cannot be the Lord’s faithful disciples, then we are not good soldiers, but deserters!
Paul says, “Be ready in season and out of season”. It should be the same as for church attendance. We should be faithful to attend with or without difficulties. We can overcome all kind of difficulties when we trust on God’s power. When we face difficulties, we should still go to church, without much attention to whether we should go or not. It seems like this pestilence will last a few months. Are we going to skip going to the churches for months? The Bible says, “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near,” (Hebrews 10:25) What will the church be like after we stop gathering? Will it still be a home? How cohesive is the fellowship, the Bible Study group? Lack of loving communication and encouragement among brothers and sisters is a big loss from the body life. If people do not attend church for several months, people will habitually not go. It will be very hard to invite them to come again. It is not to the point that we need to stop meeting yet in North America during this epidemic. No matter in season or out of season, let us be faithful going to church despite how bad the rumors outside.
From the aspect of spreading the Gospel, Paul reminded us, ”preach the Word.” This is to remind us that sharing the Gospel is a duty for everyone. It is our mission. The Lord has helped us in different kind of difficulties. Let everyone share the Gospel with perseverance and bear much fruit for the Lord. “Be ready in season and out of season”. If we say, “Now is not a good day to share the Gospel, then we have wasted the good days for sharing the Gospel. Because every day is a good day to share the Gospel. As long as we are willing to go out and share the Gospel, we will see the Lord’s wonderful and mighty hands. Once I led a short-term mission team to Mississippi and a hurricane was approaching. I called the local church leader to find out if they have arranged any meeting on the weekend. The local coworker told me that when we arrived, the hurricane should have just past. We might see fallen trees and broken wires on the road, street lights and traffic lights out, some houses collapsed, but the timing will be great because all the schools were closed due to the hurricane! All the libraries, labs, offices were closed. It was a great opportunity to share the Gospel because everyone was off and most had nothing to do. We hurried to that campus and a lot of people were willing to let us visit them. An exceptionally large number of people came to the evangelistic meeting. God led many to believe. Thanks to be God! God uses difficult situation to do wonders. The ones who are willing to trust God in difficulty are working with God, then you will see the Lord’s wonderful works. Therefore, Paul encouraged us, “Peach the word; be ready in season and out of season.”
Spring Break Gospel Camp is almost here! This is a good chance to share the Gospel. We pray the Lord to help us grasp this opportunity to spread the Good News. When people are afraid to attend church or places where a lot of Chinese congregate, it lets us see that in the past, people thought death was very far away from them. Now they have the sense that death stands at their side. They are not only afraid of pain, but also death. Not only do they worry about themselves, they worry also about their families on the other side of the sea. People start to think about not just this life, but also about eternal life. In the past, they said there was no God. Now they ask you to pray for them and their families. In the past they did not want to hear you talk about the Gospel; now their hearts have softened, waiting for us to share the Gospel to them. Jesus said, “Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” (John 4:35) Please take good advantage of the March Gospel Camp and quickly invite others to come. This is a critical moment. Let us share the Gospel together to bring others to the Lord.
This is also the best time to show God’s love. Seeing others returning from mainland China, we cannot say, ”You need to take 14-day voluntary quarantine. Don’t come to the churches.” We can tell them:
- “Our church is willing to pick you up from the airport.” Brothers and sisters can drive two vehicles to the airport. We will give you the unlocked vehicle at the airport with the car key in it. You can get on that car and drive it to your home. The two drivers from our church will drive another car leaving the airport after seeing you drive the car away.
- “We can help brothers and sisters’ in their two-week quarantine.” You may give us a shopping list of what you need to our coworker or to the one you choose. We will do our best to buy all the groceries and put them at your doorstep. You can pay us back later.
- “We can help your family.” The one who just returned from China must stay home for two-weeks. Churches can arrange for other family members who did not return from China to stay at other brothers and sisters’ homes for two weeks. Family members can prepare two weeks groceries and needs at home beforehand for the quarantined people. In the midst of quarantee period, if that person still have other needs, other family members can deliver them at the doorstep too.
May the Lord help us practice the lesson of loving one another. If you have colleagues, classmates, or relatives who are not from church and just returned from mainland China, you may feel free to use the method above to let them experience the Lord’s love. It may be easier for them to believe in the future. This is the best time to witness for the Lord and share the Gospel. Let us grasp this opportunity to show God’s love and spread the Lord’s Good News with one accord.
March Gospel Camp (March 6-9)
Gospel Camp will begin in the few days. Let us continue to be reminded: In season or out of season, preach the Gospel. Christian Witness Center is located in the woods by a lakeshore with a small population and fresh air. It is far from concentrated populations. Till now, no visitors can travel from heavily infected areas to US. US residents and citizens coming in from infected areas need to voluntarily quarantine. You can feel safe to join the Camp. Many people’s hearts have softened. If we can invite them, they will be more willing to join than the past. The attendees are more receptive to the Gospel than before. Let us pray for the Gospel Camp and invite more people to come. Gospel Camp is not just for the nonbelievers, but believers as well. We have revival and edifying workshops. Let us share the Gospel on one hand and be established on the other hand. The theme for the camp is “New Life and New Mission”. Speakers are Rev. Tsu-Kung Chuang and Rev. George Hsu. Mission team form California Chinese Church in Christ-South Valley will help evangelize. Please pray fervently for this camp’s speakers and the nonbelievers. Pray the Holy Spirit to do great works. All the expanses for the Camp are free will offering. We have mailed application forms to all the churches. You can either apply online or mail application form to CWC. Please click here for detail.
Each Coast March Disciple and Coworker Training Camp (March 11-15)
May Disciple and Coworker Training Camp (May 17-22)
After the Covid-19 epidemic, China will have big changes in politics. It may be stricter or more lenient. Sharing the Gospel maybe more difficult than before or easier. But no matter which direction leaders go, we need to build up laborers to be witnesses for the Lord’s name, to share the Gospel, and be steady witnesses for the Lord. We pray the Lord will allow more brothers and sisters to stay in US for a few more days. Though missing home, not hurrying to return home as soon as final is over. Instead choosing to first come to this training camp to be equipped and be built up themselves. When they return home, they can be solid believers to witness for the Lord. Let us pray for the training camp and encourage more brothers and sisters to come to the camp. Our speakers are Brother Eric Wu and CWC coworkers. Firm deadline is May 15. For details please go to CWC website.
Memorial Day Weekend Lay-minister Training Camp (May 22-25)
There are many visiting scholars coming to the US each year. We believe that the Lord’s will is for them to come to the Lord and be built up to follow God and be used by God to teach their students not just the knowledge from books, but knowledge of the True God, the Bible, when they return to China. In the North American campuses, who can build them up for the Lord’s use? Professors and brothers and sisters working in universities are the ones God uses to reach out to the visitor scholars because they have similar background, age, knowledge and career. They can easily make friends with the visiting scholars and lead them to the Lord, equip them, so they can be used by God when they return. Lay-minister Training Camp only will be held once a year. Please grasp the opportunity. CWC has family housing and children’s program for the needs of families. Fulltime attendance is required. We suggest brothers and sisters considering taking off half a day on Friday May 22, so they can arrive at CWC camp by 5:30pm to join the meeting. Our speakers are Brother Eric Wu, Elder Johnson Lee and CWC coworkers. Deadline is May 15. Please sign up early. Please click on CWC website for detail. Fulltime students (RA, TA and PhD students who are not counted as fulltime working people) must first attend the Disciple and Coworker Training camp—the next one is May 17-22—in order to stay for the Lay Minister camp.
Youth Disciple Training Camp (May 31-June 6)
It is best for youths to be equipped to be the Lord’s disciples at early ages because their potential is high. God can change them easier, so their whole lives can live for the Lord. CWC youth disciple training camp is to build up youths to allow them to know the Truth since they are teenagers. When they go to college, they can witness for the Lord on their campuses and lead their classmates to the Lord. After college, they can still serve in the churches while working fulltime, to be laborers for God’s kingdom in their own churches. The camp is for English speaking youths to be disciples. It is not a playground for young people, but a base for youth disciples and future missionaries. Our speakers are Pastor Jonas Caruncho, Pastor Steve Tan, and Pastor Barry etc. It is in the planning stage. Please pray for us and check CWC website for updates.
- Pray for the epidemic of Covid-19. May the Lord heal the soul and body of people. May people can look up to Christ and believe in God.
- Pray for the preparation work for March Gospel Camp. May the Lord strengthen the coworkers as they are preparing for the camp.
- In the time of people’s hearts filled with uncertainty and fear, may the Lord arouse more people to sense their need for the Gospel, to seek God, and to sign up for the Gospel camp.
- May the Lord increase the desire of brothers and sisters to pursue God and spread the Gospel. They not only first sign up for Gospel camp, but also invite many nonbelievers to come.
- Pray for the speakers of Gospel camp that the Lord will give them wisdom and strength.
- Pray for May disciple and coworker training camp that the Lord prepare more people to come to be equipped and be the Lord’s disciples.
- Pray for youth camp that the Lord will prepare the hearts of the speakers and the youth to pursue Him and prepare to follow God all their lives and live for the Lord.
- May the Lord touch more people to join CWC to be coworkers to serve Him.
- Pray for the physical health and ministry of CWC coworkers that their body and spirit are both thriving.
- Pray for the health of Mrs. Ko. May the Lord continue to heal and strengthen her. May God bless Pastor Ko’s ministry in different campuses and travel mercy.
- Pray for March Each Coast disciple and coworker training camp. The Lord will be at work. Also pray for the camp expansion plan and funding need.
- Pray for Brother Qing-Long Liang and his family’s ministry in Columbia MO. May the Lord give him ability and wisdom to shepherd the Lord’s house and his ministry on different campuses and churches.
- Pray for Sister Cindy Chiang for her busy daily administrative work and her weekend ministry at different campuses. Pray for travel mercy and God uses her more.
- Pray for the month operation need for CWC. May the Lord reveal his abundant supply and let more people experience the blessing of giving.
2020 CWC offering receipts:
We have mailed out all of your offering receipts. If you have not received yours, it may mean it had an old address or otherwise wrong address and was returned to the CWC. Please contact CWC. We are grateful for your financial support to CWC. In the new year, please continue to remember our needs. May the Lord continue to increase the efficiency of our ministry to help more people to believe in the Lord, to build up more disciples, and to train more coworkers to serve the Lord.