Precious Memories – Two weeks ago, several members of the church visited my father at home.
One of them brought a picture album of 300 photos accumulated over the years and centred around my dad’s ministry as an elder in the church for about 40 years.
It was acknowledgement of God’s work through my father and our family and reflected our love for the Saviour and for God’s people whom Christ gave His life . Nothing to boast of ourselves but of His keeping sustaining power, of fellowship sweet and cherished memories of love and care and nurturing.
There were pictures of
- the day the church opened its doors way back so many years ago when there was much uncertainty in our nation in 1968 and people needed the Lord. There was a reminder of the evangelistic crusade at the community hall that brought our first converts into our midst which thrilled and encouraged us in the days ahead
- first Sunday School pictures of Bible quizzes and memorization and games we played. Thank God for out of that group are several who are spread around the globe in China, France, USA and Canada, Malaysia, Philippines , Australia and they are still serving the Lord with all their hearts, minds and souls. Seeds sown in young children now grown to touch others.
- the inauguration of the church newsletter “The Zeal” and how subsequently through the tough times of separation and division, it was used to bring the people together again in love for the Lord and in His service.
- the missionary trips we took to Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia which taught us the hardships and heart of missions early on in our Christian lives. Yes, we remember the choir with 12 toothless members all over 70 years who sang to us on an Indonesian island occupied predominantly by Muslims. They told us of a miracle deliverance, how the militant Muslims hordes saw angels with firebrands surrounding the church, how the enemies were blinded and fled, so they and the church were kept safe that night.
- rest and relaxation and fellowship sweet – the wonderful holidays as a family or in small cell groups in church retreats, camps in Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Philippines.
- all the pastors through the years, some men of God and one or two black sheep whom we quickly spirited away with the grace and mercy and love of the Lord.
- young people through the years, with the zeal of the Lord and dedication in their youth, working and serving in so many ways, different times during the day, giving their all. We wonder where some of them are today. Thankfully many are still serving in the church and other churches, several as pastors and missionaries.
- we saw the grandchildren of several members who now are the young people and leaders in the church today, fully grown and taking their place as their parents did in second and third generations Praise the Lord! For when He saves, He saves the household as well.
- we noted several who have left us and gone ahead to glory – our pioneer pastor and his wife, my mother and many others faithful to the end. Glory to God and we expect to join them soon when we cross Jordan some day should the Lord tarry and before the rapture.
Then, as our hearts turn to the present we can say, hitherto has the Lord helped us. He will be our tower of strength to the end as He promised. May we be found faithful in Him.
We shall bravely run the race into the unknown future by the very testimony that He was with us in years gone by. He remains faithful and His promises ever true. Praise the Lord for His love and the opportunity and privilege of serving in His local assembly and family and may He save many more through our faithfulness in His service in the local body.
To those of you who are serving the Lord in various ministries in the church, hang in there. Sometimes it seems lonely, sometimes disappointing, discouraging, depressing. Other times when additions are made to the household of faith, it is most encouraging and we know that all the difficulties have been worth it that even the angels in heaven celebrate. He will be with you through the seasons and asks that you remain faithful, trusting and obeying as He leads. Remember it is not your work but the Lord’s and He will undertake if we let Him resolve the issues that arise. May you be blessed and Godspeed.