Do you remember we used to have “devotional sharing” during cCCF and KWCAC (the few times we went)? Well, we incorporated this system in our Bordeaux fellowship as well, and I decided to volunteer for next week’s sharing. The sharing will be based on the gathering that I went to tonight, the one I was soooooooooo nervous about. I wrote what I am going to say already. It is in Chinese but I will translate it and put it here so you will be the first one to read it XD Here goes.

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It’s hard to believe that three months passed by so quickly.

It’s hard to believe that Louvain-la-Neuve, a place that almost make me break down, is also the place that I will miss a little, now that I am leaving.

I’d like to share a line of lyrics by Dave Wong (王傑): “If I could smile, I wouldn’t cry.” I remember telling myself that no matter how difficult school and work get, no matter what kind of adversity I face in life, I will face them with a smile, because God has given me such grace that I have no reason to cry, to complain. During these months at Louvain-la-Neuve, from the first week of depression I crossed into the period of adaptation, then into a time of stress at work, and finally, hesitation to leave. I am so thankful that God gave me the capability to smile through everything from beginning to end. I’d like to share with everyone something that happened last week.

I was supposed to go to Switzerland last Saturday, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, the trip had to be cancelled. Coincidentally, my Chinese colleague invited me to a gathering with Chinese people that night, just to have dinner and chat and have fun. I actually really wanted to go, because within the three months there, I didn’t get to know many Chinese people. Then again, after my colleague told that that usually there are around 15 or so people at the gathering, I began to have doubts about going.

If you know me well, you’d know that I’m very shy upon first contacts with people, especially when there is a huge group of people. I felt that this situation was very similar to the first time I went to fellowship. Even though deep inside I really wanted to go, I was afraid that I didn’t know anyone and would end up sitting there being a dummy. Still, at that moment, I told my colleague that I would go, because I felt that if I don’t face my fears, I would never gain confidence.

I got home and I prayed to God, saying, “Lord, thank You for being with me all the time during these three months, never leaving me. Thank You for still giving me the opportunity to know all these people even if it is three days before I leave. Although I am hesitant, I know it is Your will for me to go. Please give me the courage to face tomorrow, lead me to do what I should do, say what I should say. Perhaps You have arranged this opportunity for me for a reason, though I may not know what the reason is, but I am willing to try to fit into this social circle. Please teach me how to be a good testimony for You. Please stay with me.”

The next day, I brought the cakes that I spent so much effort making all afternoon and went to the gathering. I remember seeing all these people and thinking, “MY GOODNESS what am I going to do?” I even regretted a little bit for going, but I was already there, so I stayed reluctantly. In the group, everyone knew each other so well, but as the passive person who never takes the initiative, it was clear that I had nothing much to say, so I felt like I had to take care of myself. They were all very friendly, but I just felt so out of place. Even then, the entire time I was smiling, yet I didn’t feel like I was faking it at all, because I knew God brought me here and He wanted me to genuinely get to know these people with my heart.

At the moment, I suddenly remembered what it was like when I attended the Bordeaux fellowship for the first time. I also had nothing much to say, just introducing myself, having dinner, answering questions when asked. Seeing brothers and sisters chatting away, I didn’t want to interrupt or add anything to the conversation, and I didn’t know how to penetrate this apparently closed circle. However, everyone realized how it felt like being a new person in a group, and they all took the initiative to talk to me, making me feel less distanced, and very soon I started to feel the love and warmth of the fellowship, and opened my heart gradually.

The night of the gathering, everyone was watching the football finals. I looked at these Chinese people, and I sighed, thinking, “If only everyone here was a Christian! If this is a fellowship meeting, how great would it be! If watching a ball game can turn into worship and Bible study, how lovely that would be!” They were all very much into the game, yet sitting there, I felt the insurmountable responsibility to tell them about God. Still, I was too weak, and I didn’t know how to open my mouth.

Finally, I left them. They warmly said their goodbyes, and I promised to bring them back some red wine from Bordeaux the next time I go back. Stepping out of the door, I knew I would return, but I didn’t know how much time it will take to comfortably fit into this group of people like our fellowship. Walking home, I stopped by some steps, sat down, and prayed, “Thank You for loving me non-stop, God. Thank You for never leaving me, and thank You for letting me smile under any situation, because I know I have You. Although this gathering wasn’t like the fellowship gatherings, I hope I left a good impression on these people. I pray that You will take care of these people through their lives and work. I know I will come back, and perhaps next time will be the time I spread the gospel…”

I would like to request everyone to pray for these Chinese people in Louvain-la-Neuve. I always feel that God is sending me there for a purpose, do DO something, but to ask a person as shy as me to spread the gospel is beyond difficult. However, we know that nothing is difficult for God. I would like to ask for prayers for my next trip to Belgium, praying that God will give me the strength, wisdom, and confidence to do His holy work.

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