this is going to be a rambly sort of post...
most of you would already know, yi jien is missing. no point in me re-writing things that better writers have written, so i'll just put some links here. for email updates on the situation from Aunty Kim Guat (yi jien's mom), click here. for a discussion among hikers concerning his disappearance, click here. for a comprehensive news report about it, click here. for a description of his planned hiking route by an experienced hiker who was hiking in Glacier National Park at around the same time as him, click here.
i know yi jien from sitiawan days... he's just a year older than me. surprisingly i don't really feel the emotional impact of his disappearance. this may mean i'm cold and heartless, or i have feelings but suppress them, or don't know how to feel because he's missing and only God knows if he's actually dead or alive. i'm just praying that he'll be found soon, dead or alive (of course much preferably alive). so that family and close friends can either grieve with closure or celebrate with joy, rather than being caught in the limbo of not-knowing.
SOE (School of Evangelism) went well! thanks to all of you who supported us in prayer. i did a session on intro to evangelism, covering what evangelism is, why we need to evangelise, and an overview of various methods of evangelism. besides that, we had 4 sessions to help the campers understand the 4 basic points of the gospel more deeply (can't share what you don't understand) - God, Man, Sin, and Salvation. i did the God part, and i tried to cover arguments about the existence of God, the question of theodicy (if there is a good and all-powerful God, why is there suffering and evil in this world?), and a little bit about the character of God. i also did a workshop on how to share your personal testimony, and did the closing challenge.
on the last night of SOE, they had a Gospel Cafe Nite. the whole youth group was involved in this (only 17 came for the SOE), and they invited their non-christian friends. attendance was very good, and feedback from the visitors was encouraging. many said that they enjoyed themselves and would like to come to more of such events. there was a band performance; a magic show which illustrated some aspects of the gospel in a part of its' act; free drinks (very nice ones too, mixed and created or innovated by the youths themselves!) and free cake; a powerful skit which depicted how we were intended to enjoy a beautiful relationship with God, how sin spoils that, and how Jesus redeems us and brings us back to God again; and also a time for the campers to practice what they'd learnt in SOE, and share either the Gospel or their personal testimony at the cafe tables.
for many of them, it was their first time sharing the gospel. for some it was a positive experience, as their friends listened with interest. for others it was not so positive, as they had to share with strangers who were less interested in their message. but we encouraged them that it was a good start, and to remember that evangelism isn't just an event - it's a lifestyle. ideally, our whole lives should speak to those around us of God's goodness and love.
in conclusion, i think that the goals of SOE were met: campers left with a better grasp of the gospel, and new skills with which to share it with their friends. let's pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to convict and motivate them to be ambassadors of Christ, as we are all called to be.
i've let joshua (a different joshua from the last post's joshua) persuade me to join him for a 10km run. i must be crazy. i'm so out of shape, i have no idea how i'm ever gonna be able to run for 10km!
so far i've "trained" for this about 3 times. since my stamina is non-existent, i'm concentrating on time more than distance or speed. i figure that to run 10km, i'll have to run for at least an hour (probably more). therefore, the fact that i started off huffing and puffing after a mere 5 minutes of running is very troubling. this morning i just broke the 10 minute barrier - i managed to run for about 11 minutes. still a loooooooooooong way to go though =P
my aspirations for this run are: to lose weight, get fitter, get more disciplined, finish the race, and (if possible) not be the last person to finish. oh, and i may be crazy, but i got The Wife to be crazy together with me... she's running too! =P
this weekend i and the whole staff team of Scripture Union will be going to melaka. on friday we will be speaking at 3 SCFs (School Christian Fellowships), and have a fellowship and appreciation dinner with the SCF Teacher-Advisors in the evening. on saturday we will have a combined SCF training seminar on saturday morning, a Bible exhibition which will be open 10am-1pm and 6pm-9pm, and a Church Youth Fellowship meeting 3pm-5pm. on sunday, we will be visiting 7 churches, and speaking at 6 of those.
please pray for us for a meaningful time of ministry and interaction with partners in the ministry and students. many thanks =)