SOME REFLECTIONS OF THE YEAR END SPIRITUAL CONVOCATION
Hallelujah, thanks to the
blessings and grace of the Lord. The
Youth Spiritual Convocation, the General Spiritual and Evangelical Services
came to a successful conclusion on December 29, 1985. The effect of these spiritual gatherings left
deep impressions on the hearts of many.
I would like to share with the reader how I felt and what I gained from
these few days.
We all realize that the
temptations and trials that come upon the youths who are studying in the United States
are greater than those of other countries.
For example the use of drugs, smoking and drinking, fornication and
disrespect for elders. The problems just
mentioned have given much concern to the parents and the church. Many of the church youths are here for
study. They live away from their parents
while attending school and board with friends and relatives. The challenge and trials to their faith that
they face each day, are beyond imagination.
If it were not for the loving care and protection of the Lord, it would
really be difficult to expect the youths to resist all these temptations.
Bearing this in mind, the church
in Southern California holds spiritual
convocations for the youths during the summer and winter holidays. So, the new generation of the church can
learn the Truth from the Bible, and pray for the fullness of the Holy
Spirit. They can then become good
Christian Soldiers in their families, schools, and church, to fight a good
fight for the Lord.
To welcome this Youth Spiritual
Convocation, the Department of Religious Education mobilized all the youths to
tidy up the church. Many youths
sacrificed several weekends in order to provide a comfortable environment for the
spiritual convocation. Through working,
the youths learned to help one another, and received much satisfaction. After the spiritual convocation, a student
from the senior youth class wrote, "Before the spiritual convocation, I
felt reluctant to participate in the holy work.
Through the preparation for the Spiritual Convocation, I experienced a
deep satisfaction from working for the Lord.
I believe that whatever we do is not in vain." The church has set
up a system for reimbursing the youths who drove their own cars to pick up
members arriving and leaving from the airport, but they refused the
reimbursement because they enjoyed serving the Lord.
During these four days of
Spiritual Convocation, the actual participants turned up to be one third more
than estimated. The average attendance of each lecture class were ninety-eight. Every believer rejoiced at the special
blessing bestowed by God. Many opened up
their homes to accommodate the brothers and sisters from afar. A certain brother received eleven youths in
his home and cared for them with love.
Those who accommodated the youths, brought them to the church punctually
at 7:30 a.m. for the morning prayer session, and would
bring them home at night after having some snacks. God greatly blessed this Youth Spiritual
Convocation because of the full mobilization of the whole congregation and the
fervent prayers offered.
During the past few months, seven
members of the Southern California church were
seriously ill. The whole church was
under trial. During the convocation,
everyone spent long hours praying for the sick.
They wept bitterly, confessing their sins and asking for the Lord's
mercy. More than 60 members took part in
the noontime, fasting prayers each day.
Even the ten and eleven year olds skipped their meals to pray for those
who were ill. Everybody had a strong faith, they were willing to obey the will of God. The power from. the
praying in one accord produced evident results.
The sincerity, humility and child-like heart of the students could be
clearly seen. Through prayer, the
students cultivated a habit of prayer.
Their spirituality also improved tremendously and they were drawn closer
to God. When faced with the temptations
of society and while in school, they remained steadfast in their faith. The students were reassured of the existence
and power of God. Many youths felt that
the four days of Spiritual Convocation was too short, the time allotted for
prayer was too little. These were some
of the unexpected findings and results from the Spiritual Convocation.
We can also see the bright light
from the next generation of the TrueChurch being shone during
this Convocation. Because most of the
youths are brought up in America
, they have a good command of English.
If we can cultivate their spiritual knowledge, virtue and power, they
could be good soldiers of world mission in the future. We hope the parents and religious education
teachers can imitate Hannah and Jochebed and bring up
the youths in the way Samuel and Moses were brought up to become great workers
The following are thoughts and
feelings of two students:
After participating in this convocation, I felt
that my faith was revived. Prior to this
I felt weak, distant from God and unable to lead a life of prayer and Bible
reading. During the Spiritual Convocation,
I confessed in my prayers and asked God to change me so that He can use
me. In the beginning, I felt that my
prayer could not reach God so I thoroughly examined myself. I repented all my past transgression in tears
and fasting. Slowly, I felt closer and
closer to God and became more fond of making long
prayers. I was filled by the words of
God. Every time I listened to the
sermons, my heart was filled with joy. I
stopped watching television and thinking about worldly matters and felt more sanctified. The brothers and sisters love one another
dearly and the church is just like a big family of love. I hope the Spiritual Convocation will never
end. How wonderful it would be, if we
could live in the love of God everyday.
This time, I had an experience different from
previous Spiritual Convocations that I attended. Previous convocations were like ordinary
services. Maybe, it was because I did
not seek God with all my heart. This
time I was filled with joy, the source of which I did not know. I was joyous both during service and
prayer. Even though I was hoarse, I
continued to sing loud praises because the love of God motivated me. This source of joy is beyond
comprehension. The yearend Thanksgiving
Testimony service moved me the most. I gained
a lot from the testimonies given. It is
hope that after this Spiritual Convocation, I can lead a spiritually rich life.