朱肇平宣教士代禱信(2017年9月)

Ethiopia Newsletter

Joseph Chu(June to Aug, 2017)

        This Update was dispatched to you on today the 11th of September – which is the first day of the Ethiopian New Year of 2010. Let me first quote from Psalm 37:4-5 :

Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.”

        These Scriptures assure us that when our joy is in the Lord, which means our abiding in Him producing the fruit of joy in the Spirit, He will grant us the desires of our heart. These verses will mean a lot to ACM as we are anticipating God-sent laborers in our ministries, men and women who are in the Light be our contracted paid workers, ‘Phrase by Phrase’ development of our Camp Site in the days ahead, and many others. Yes, commit our ways to the Lord, fully trust in Him, and He will accomplish it on our behalf!

The Prospect of a Youth Centre:  In our original Proposal & Profile over 13 years ago, ACM has already projected these two arms of Ministry, namely the ‘Youth Camp’ and the ‘Youth Centre.’ In the original plan, these two were intended to be separate with the Youth Camp on our current Camp Site whereas the Youth Center would be somewhere in a strategic location in the Capital city. But due to the very high rental cost these days in Addis Ababa it is unfeasible for ACM to look for a place, say just around 300 to 400 sq. meters, to function as a Youth Centre.

        In various interaction with people, this idea of combining the ‘Youth Camp’ (targeting juniors from 7 to 15 years) and the ‘Youth Center’ on our Camp Site has been very positive. Unlike the Camping outreach, the Youth Center will focus on older youth from 15 to 19 but not excluding those in their 20’s. Besides those more affluent residential areas such as Ayat Villages and Summit, let me present these statistics of those government Condominium (for the mass of people) close to our Camp Site: a) Yeka Abado Condominium with an anticipated population of 43,000; b) Yeka Ayat Condo. 1 around 15,000; c) Yeka Ayat Condo.2 around 17,000; d) Chofa Ayat Condo.1 around 35,000; e) Chofa Ayat Condo. 2 around 23,000. Out of the total combined population of these 5 Condominium Complex of up to 133,000, 40% will be youth and children. So clearly the city people are moving steadily to our area close to the border of Addis Ababa which means New Flower in Amharic.

        The ‘Abyssinia Youth Centre’ may likely be incorporated into the Final Phrase of the development of our 2,200 sq. m Camp Site. Like the Youth Camp, the Center will also be Bible oriented. Besides facilities like library and canteen, there will be regular “Scriptural Counseling” service plus weekly ‘Film Show’ and Bible clubs. We also envision ‘Language Classes’ say teaching English & French & Mandarin, ‘Musical Instruments classes’, and ‘Computer Classes’ etc. Bible time is not optional but it will accompany whatever Classes being tailored out for the Youth.

Wait patiently for the Lord:  Patience is something that none of God’s people can be exempted from here in Ethiopia. We have been waiting for the new City Master Plan for over 9 months now. It was told us about one month ago that the City mayor had affixed his important signature on this set of documents, which still need the final binding and may likely to emerge during the New Year months.

        We must pray without ceasing for the laborers ACM has been waiting for, whether a couple to serve as our Programmer or the vital big brothers and big sisters for our overall program and expansion. Prayer is our responsibility whereas thrusting forth laborers is the sole work only the Lord of harvest can accomplish.

        Lack of patience will always lead to compromise, which we could recall painfully with our employees at ACM. We do always pray for children of Light yet without patience we, with Joseph in particular, were tempted to employ people with certain skills yet clearly without Christ. In every case of such compromise, without a single exception, our Camping Ministry suffered ending in things dishonoring the name of our Lord.

Transference of vehicles finally accomplished:  This is another praise item that with the good cooperation of SIM Personnel here and with our amended Constitution authorizing our manager to sell and to buy, the whole transference was finally completed by the end of August.

The Gospel booklet Outreach:  Over one month ago the reprint of ‘The Mystery of the Cross’ in Amharic came out. 3000 booklets were printed costing 3.60 birrs each. Pray for the effective distribution of this Amharic booklet and may some be taken up to the Orthodox north spreading far and wide in this ancient land.

ChuSiuPing201709_01

        With funds (contributions up to around 50,000 birrs) said to be available in Hong Kong, we are ready for the printing a new Gospel booklet ‘Born from heaven’ with 7000 in Amharic, 5000 in English, and for the first time planning to print 3000 copies in Chinese. It is still quite small in view of over 100,000 Chinese from mainland China in Ethiopia these days. This booklet’s theme will be on repentance in relation to new birth from heaven. It will boldly tackle all those most deadly obstacles that have been blinding millions from finding the path of life to God. Thus this booklet could offend particularly those who are deeply religious yet devoid of the Spirit of Christ. Let’s hold up this Gospel booklet ministry before His throne of grace!

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Ethiopia Newsletter

Joseph Chu(Jan to April, 2017)

 

Phil 2:13 may aptly serve as an opening for this Newsletter: “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  This Report will go far back to the beginning of ‘Abyssinia Camping Ministry’ (ACM), reviewing its two major milestones, and looking forward for this year of 2017.

 

ACM began at the turn into the New Millennium:

Started small with a Stable and other facilities at the borderline of Addis Ababa about 17 years ago, we, whether foreign missionaries or Ethiopian believers, nevertheless all conceived that our humble site was conducive to camping outreach to young people.

At the turn of the New Millennium we used to take boys and girls to our Site for horse-back riding, football, archery, netting fish, and hiking……Plus a Bible time which still remains as the backbone of this Ministry.  After these many years, things have changed a lot such as cluster after cluster of Condominiums (i.e. Government built apartment blocks for the mass) shot up all around (the photo with Shemson running on a meadow today being dotted with condominiums in the distant background), no more fish in the stream as being polluted, a heavy-duty six cable power line with towers running within view from our Site, and more and more people moving from the city taking up residence in our area….  In spite of the changing faces of all the surrounding, our Site still retains certain countryside flavor in her distant rolling mountains, the wooded area (being designated the government as ‘Green Area’) and water are still running in the nearby streams.

 

The first Milestone of ACM in 2005:

In early July of 2005 ACM was registered with the Government as a national Christian faith Ministry.  As we look back, again our Lord was prompting us through His indwelling Spirit then that this Camping endeavor should be registered national but not foreign.  After 12 years in 2017, when many NGO foreign Christian organizations included, are being faced with this trend – increasing difficulty in getting new work permits.  We heard that the government has been more lenient with national entities in regard to granting work permits.  Our Lord made no mistake in leading ACM into our first Milestone in 2005!

 

The second Milestone of ACM in 2016:

As being reported in a number of updates before, the Lord’s hand was helping enabling us to get through every hurdle that came up throughout the entire process.  Just around 9 months of time during September of 2016, ACM had acquired our Title Certificate for 2,194 square meters of land without time limit.  It is common in Addis Ababa, whether private homes or organizations, in spending years to get the karta – without which no land could be legally occupied and developed.  An Elder of an evangelical church recalled it took them 4 years in finally acquiring the karta!   As we look back, we know that God’s invisible hand was helping us every step of the way in response to the prayer of His blood-redeemed children in diverse places!

 

What about the Sport Complex on the meadow?

Many of you have already known that for years we are contemplating another 6,500 sq. meters on the meadow to be used for our sports activities. However, we were faced with two big hurdles if pursuing this plot of land from the City government. The 1st hurdle is that to acquire open land free the City government requires a 70% deposit of the total amount to complete the proposed Project. That is to say if 10 millions birrs be required for the completion of the Sport Complex, the government needs to see 7 millions in our ACM bank A/C or no granting of land.

The 2nd hurdle is even more formidable, which is the requirement to enter an agreement with the government in ‘Serving the Community.’  (Note: in Ethiopia any ‘Serving the Community’ agreement with the government, as a rule, falls under Development thus by law no spiritual activities such as Bible or prayer were allowed) Input given us from experienced personnel have been: “be cautious for ‘Serving the Community’ could be tricky in its requirements down the road…” or “…this could lead to complication rapidly for ACM as a Christian entity…”  In short, warnings to us not to compromise our Christian faith for a plot of land free from the City authorities.

Just around February how we thanked our Lord for 2 precious input, of the same nature, from 2 of our ACM members. Both pointed out a new feasible way that instead of pursuing another karta for 6,500 sq. m of land, we can contribute to build a medium-size soccer field on the same meadow, leveling the land properly and erecting 2 solid goals plus surrounding the field with short stone landmark. The local Kebele administration will appreciate this kind of contribution from our Camping Ministry.  In this manner, we will be totally free from the two above mentioned big hurdles.  The meadow land will always remain under the City government whereas the soccer field will serve the community youth plus of course we at ACM can also use the field from time to time.  When God has put a desire in our hearts through His Spirit, He will also bring it to fruition in due course!

 

Embarking on ‘Phrase by Phrase Development’:

With much patience, we are still waiting for the final outcome of the new Addis Ababa City Master Plan, said to be in its final stage now. When the new Master Plan has emerged, our current Karta will be able to be amended in getting rid of this clause of ‘no masonry work permitted’.

With just around 2,200 sq. meters of land on our Site, we will stick realistically to our original goal of serving 100 campers – with facilities to lodge 50 boys and 50 girls. When the karta amendment being done, we will make known our ‘Immediate Phrase’, which we will set before our Lord for helping us to accomplish fully.  Only with the ‘Immediate Phrase’ fully completed will we embark on another new Phrase.  Each Phrase will be geared towards the final goal of serving 100 campers, plus if the Lord so directs to combine our future ‘Abyssinia Youth Center’ on the same Site of our Youth Camp. At ACM we shall not depart from our long tradition ofTrusting in the Lord fully’  and steering away from any solicitation of funds.

 

Pray for laborers:

This final heading focuses on the need of God-sent laborers, whether a younger couple to serve as our Programmer (a commitment of at least 3 years) and a young man or woman with a God-endowed love for youth yet also possessing horsemanship in order to head up a riding program. Again a commitment no less than 2 years.

Then pray to our Lord for big brothers and big sisters so vital for all our program whether English or Amharic.  With our past endeavor to some nearby churches for volunteers or youth department of denomination yet with little responses. Only our Lord can lead us to the right young man and woman (College age quite desirable) who fear Him and honor and love His word and who can be a living example before the youngsters. Today in Addis Ababa there are too many church young people who are pursuing after prosperity and health and who enjoy the so-called gifts of the Spirit yet so many do not even have a personal assurance of salvation! We never ask the Lord for this sort of laborers.  We firmly believe that true laborers, sent by our Lord of harvests in response to the unceasing pleading of His children, will be the key to lasting fruitfulness at ACM!

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主內兄姊們平安:

 

耶利米先知告訴我們:「你求告我我就應允你並將你所不知道又大又難的事指示你」(耶33:3)從地契(karta)申請過程起伏變化難測,正因為有神的兒女在施恩座前祈求,讓我將最新的發展告之如下:

 

主又恩助克服了人的阻撓

上週五(9月30日)當我們到首都Municipality市土地局,呈上營工ACM 有關文件,起初那位土地租借署(Land Leasing Office)主管態度似冷淡,然查閱了那宗教局(Federal Ministry)為營工出的那信,印證了營工確實為宗教性的機構,即將我們轉移到法律部門。法律部門的主任律師同樣地在閱讀那封宗教局發出的信後,表示他們將出信給Yeka 區政府土地局,指示他們去處理我們營工地契的事情。

今日週一(10月3日)當我步入Municipality的市土地局,正好碰上那位主任律師,說今日已將信送達Yeka區政府的土地局,謂我可以接洽無證土地租借之地契發出室(Document-less Land Leasing)的主任,說我們只需約一週的時間就可取得地契。

這鼓舞人心的消息催迫自己同日下午去到Yeka的無證土地局,見到了那主任,他說當時要去見法律部某律師。於是我又見到那青年律師(註:他曾答覆我詢問有關其部門可為營工出哪類地契的5個問題),他的態度因上級所出的指示而有了大轉變,說現在可透過宗教組織名義(religious organization)為ACM營工出地契。那位主任說下週一(10月10日)我們可到其辦事處,意味著karta之發出!

請兄姊同工們不息的儆醒禱求直到地契之成就   

 

肇平於  Addis Ababa

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親愛的主內弟兄姊妹平安:

 

在這寒冷而潮濕的雨季,送上溫暖的問候。

 

願頌讚歸與我們的神!祂讓我們透過卑微的服侍見證祂的大信實。營工近況如下:

 

阿比西尼亞營的Karta(即Title Deed地契)申請接近完成:

雖然我不曾向你們細說申請過程的每個細節,但營工的董事會主席Sammy 清楚知道每個經歷,在一個祈禱會中,他感謝主,說:「…主啊!我們讚美祢,karta的申請在人看來似是渺茫,但祢卻使它成為事實,且幫助我們排除萬難,現正邁向完成階段…」

在整個申請過程中,我們接觸各個政府部門,包括測量辦公廳(Survey Office)、法律辦公廳(Law Office),不能預計的困難接踵而來,然而主是我們的幫助,祂察看一切,帶領著每一步!現在我們正等候那最終的審批:核實阿比西尼亞營工是屬於基督教非牟利的信心事工,而不是歸類為城市規劃中的商業發展用途。部門的負責人請我下星期五(譯按:8月5日)再到辦事處,完成這個程序後,我們便可如地契部(Title Deed Issuing Bureau)的職員所說,隨即獲發地契了。讓我們為此切切代禱,直至得著阿比西尼亞營工的地契。

 

八月第二個週日是阿比西尼亞營工會員大會

八月十四日為本年年會,願每一位會員不論男女都殷勤地為營工付出一點力量,把年會的事情帶到祂的施恩座前。

 

為車輛轉移手續祈求

在過去的四、五個月,我們曾到文件鑒定部(Document Authentication bureaus)走過五、六次,國際事工差會(SIM)總幹事和我們的經理Ato. Gashaw也一起同行,可是每一次部門的職員都要求SIM呈交新的文件。因此,讓我們把兩部車輛和兩部摩托車要由國際事工差會轉至阿比西尼亞營工的手續交託給主,懇求祂幫助,讓手續早日完成!

 

 

在禾場上收割的弟兄
朱肇平

 
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主內弟兄姊妹平安:

 

首先在主裡向你們問安。有關埃賽工場消息,現謹扼要述說幾件事項如下:

 

  • 為Residence Permit居留證感恩:去年九月下旬之居留證辦理過程,竟然需要去到Immigration之最高辦公室(The top man office),乃全然意想不到的。最後獲Immigration首長下筆批下可以發證。感謝主。
  • 為兩汽車及兩摩托車(motorcycles)過transfer:約1個半月前我們欣悉阻撓此事之人, 已被SIM免職。上週六我取得長時被扣Kia之Title book,同日下午完成了每年一次之vehicle annual inspection,本週將到交通局2008(Ethiopia year)之bolo即每年之車駛行證。請繼續為車子從SIM過ACM,求主幫助得速成就。
  • 為營工向政府申請karta(即Title Deed地契),求天父施恩,雖面對似乎重重困難,但在神豈有難成的事嗎?

 

最近首都市政府(Addis Ababa City Government)之土地局告之我們:「ACM你們的Karta申請,當向Yeka區政府之土地局進行…由於你們的營址已超過10年歷史,又有衛星空攝(鳥瞰圖),故可直接申請…」

 

但從Yeka區政府土地署的指示,卻與市政府有出入,說ACM於10年前簽的99年”Land Contracting Agreements”並非無效(not invalid),我們若從Kebele 13(從Yeka區政府之下乃最基層之kebele政府)取得他們的証明書(i.e. verifying our “Land Contracting Agreements”),當kebeke之證明書抵Yeka土地署,他們就會為ACM營工辦 Karta事情。

 

Karta的確對ACM前面的發展,如增建設施及法律層面等等,是不能或缺的要環。然而Kebele能為營工多年前之合約出證明嗎?前面的發展將如何?讓我們把這一切帶到主施恩寶座前,向祂懇求!

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Dear brothers & sisters,

Warm greeting in the name of our Lord & Savior!  He has been so faithful to us and may we also prove our genuine love for Him by keeping His commandments with our whole heart.

Let me update you first on our General Assembly documents submission. Last Friday, i.e. the day before our expiration, we were at the Fed. Ministry about 10:30 AM only to be told that all their offices were empty. It was due to a big governmental gathering being held currently at Hawassa.
This Friday (10th of July), however, the Fed. Ministry will be opened again for half a day. We were told that our submitting our documents a few days late should have no problem. Pray for our submission on this Friday that it will lead to what we heard before of a 5-year duration this time. When that happens ACM will not need to renew year by year but just to submit our annual General Assembly Record with the Annual Activities Report plus the Audit Report once a year.

With this General Assembly, 5 new members have been accepted. Yet 2 former members have left already – Wondi for the U.S. and Eden Emeru for personal reasons. Aida will depart for Hamburg, Germany within weeks to join her husband Ato. Meheret-Ab, who was assigned as the Counsel General of the Ethiopian Consulate there. Pastor Mattewos, our General Assembly chairman, lost her mother in the South. He couldn’t make it to our General Assembly on the 28th of June because of the funeral week tradition he had to observe in Addis Ababa.

Let me also update you on our 26 meters deep well which needs deepening. We have been praying about this for a long time. Yesterday, after a weekly meeting with Sammy on Tuesday morning, Joseph drove straight to Mojo – a town about 75 km south of Addis Ababa. When approaching the town, I stopped the Kia and asked whether this was Mojo. The 2 men walking toward Joseph, who gave the affirmative, turned out to be experienced well-diggers.  They heartily accepted our offer of 1,000 birrs per meter and were happy when hearing that we would provide them lodging and food.
The work will start very soon and expected to complete from 7 to 10 days.  Pray for safety throughout this whole process of digging down for 10 meters for these 2 men. If within that range the well spring eye could be hit opened, that could mean unfailing water supply all year round.  Yes, let us lift up our eyes to the hill for our help does come from the Lord the Creator of heaven and earth!

Let me also brief you on what AFX – a Hydropower Engineering Co., from China, had estimated for us for a complete job of drilling a well 70-80 meters deep. It will embrace everything from all the casing, gravel pack and submersible pump. Their Chinese manager, with his Ethiopian colleague, gave us a price of 488,800 birrs – which is just about the cost of a median luxury sedan car. (Note: the manager Mr. Liu said that for our Camping Ministry this quoted price can be lowered if there is a real need) Of course, this will be the best long-term solution for unfailing water supply, which was said to be sufficient even to supply water to the community around. Again we commit this drilling a well to our Lord. If this be His will He will surely provide!

Joseph

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主內兄姊們平安:

  箴言書3:5–6這樣說:「你要專心仰賴耶和華,不可倚靠自己的聰明。在你一切所行的事上都要認定他。他必指引你的路。」這兩節經文恰當地成了這三月從香港發出中文通訊的導引。

  在未按主題分享之先,有人或許會問:「為何你在香港短留,仍愛持守埃賽之Fasika fasting?」(按:埃賽 – Ethiopia東政教傳統禁食時日之長之多,為全球之冠,超過半年時日皆為禁食日。其禁食乃不碰肉類(魚肉可接受)、蛋類,而injerra(一種薄餅)或米飯麵食菜蔬果類皆可進口,牛奶亦禁而荳奶則可。3至4月間長達約55日的Fasika受苦復活節期之禁食,乃埃賽一氣呵成最冗長的禁食節令。)不錯,埃賽禁食食品一向有健康食品之譽,但非Joseph亦禁食之主因。埃賽九千萬人口,一半以上為東正教徒,約香港總人口的7倍。自己多年前選擇和千千萬萬東正教男女老少一樣禁食,為要藉此提醒自己:不可停止,不可忘記,要常常在施恩寶座前,為他們失喪的靈魂呼求主!

靠主去完成營工基要設備:

  從數月前得著kebele最基層地方政府認可,到今天看見整齊堅實的小石堤環繞著兩個中小型的運動場地,美觀又能耐久的鐵欄杆被豎立和延伸,我們的心又喜樂又感恩…。在未離埃賽飛港之前,我們仍能購下各種材料,讓營工的workshop可繼續開工,去完成將來紅砂Playground 向北14米長之新鐵欄。

  要完成2,500平方米營址的保安圍欄,在經費及裝置上皆非容易,我們會按力而為,一段一段地去進行。另外營工之供水乃我們一貫重視的,目前常缺水,故需要在4至5月間,以人力將水井掘深至少10米。另外活動場所,對快速成長活力滿溢的少年人,乃不能或缺的重要一環。所以我們積極預備紅沙運動場,雖僅約12 x 20平方米,但用以火山石打碎的紅砂舖的場地,全年四季都可使用,包括6至9月的冗長雨季。

  當然這些最基要的營工設施,乃不能迴避而必須按部就班去完成,這也是最需經費的。阿比西尼亞營工,從10年前註冊成立時的宗旨至今不變,就是專心倚靠耶和華的供應,不募捐不借貸 (no solicitation & no loan)。這與埃賽一般教會差距很大,傳統上他們用各種途徑去籌款得錢。我常用戴德生 (Hudson Taylor) 的名言與營工的埃賽兄姊共勉:「神的工作,用神的方法去做,必不缺乏神的供應!」19世紀差戴德生到中國那位莊稼的主,至今仍是一樣的,祂是耶和華以勒,是全然真實可靠的!

專心倚靠主使營工走上軌道:

  我們營址的遠近周圍,有著較富裕的住宅村,及許多政府為廣大群眾興建5層高的民屋村稱Condominium,這些都是營工尋找少年營友的地方。最近我們開始了的Genesis clubs便已有兩個少年來自不同而不遠的Condominium 屋村。將來我們第一個半曰營,亦盼從Condominium得著20-25 男女孩參加。至於英語學會或英語營,他們多會來自較富裕家庭。(註:首都Addis Ababa一般程度高英文強的學校,收費高昂,非中下家庭所能負擔的)

  比營友更重要的是我們需要同工,他們都是志願投入的,扮演著大哥哥、大姐姐的角色,或體娛活動或營工其他各方面如營址更新(upgrading)等。經驗告訴我們,用人的方法得著的同工,往往不持久或帶來了長久的問題,非營工之福。所以箴言説不可倚靠自己的聰明,我們必需專心倚賴耶和華,方能獲得合適的工人。

  營工不但求主從本地預備工人,也求祂從外地感動祂的兒女前赴埃賽,投入這青少年的禾場。營會事工(camping ministry)表面似活潑多姿,其實絕不容易也不簡單,少年人有著比成年人敏銳的觀察力,男孩女孩從單純心靈知道那個大哥哥、大姐姐是喜愛神話語的、是清潔的、是真正關愛他們的……我們仍然持定以祈求主為本,去尋覓工人,因為無論短期或長期,凡神所感動所打發出去的,主必使用以成就祂的美旨!

把申請karta交託給耶和華:

  Karta在埃賽是很重要的土地租約契,由於埃賽所有土地皆為國有,無論私人住屋、工商大樓、工廠、教堂、學校、醫院……都需有karta。有了karta,就可正式發展土地,如從政府得著建築准許証(building permit)等。Addis首都某些地區的租金,近年每平方米價格大幅度上漲,可媲美世界大都會。教會租地並無折扣,近聞某上千人教會,就在我們租屋的Ayat Villages 地區,從政府租了5,ooo平方米地土;又另一間中型教會,就在我們Ayat 租屋的路口,以每平方米10,000 birrs市價,租下了一千平方米,有效期 60或99年或其他都有,長老説他們先繳交總額之20%,以後每年交租一次。

  由此可見,karta對我們營工是重要的。迄今從Sub-City區政府土地署給我們的指示,乃是向首都市政府(Municipality)的市長室(Mayor office),投交申請karta的文件。我們計劃先以目前2,500平方米的營址,去申請karta。以後按需要可向市政府再租地。營工乃服務青少年的,雖註册於Federal Ministry之宗教局,然內涵與教會不同,所以營工是有機會得著免費租地的(free land leasing)。請兄姊用禱告托住我們,讓父神在karta 申請事情上,步步牽引,直到成就!

肇平 於香港

附件1:工場照片簡介

附件2:為香港某教會30週年差傳特刊寫短文「舉目望田」,欣得他們同意,與你們分享。


 工場照片簡介

 ChuSiuPing1503_1

女嬰平安誕生之喜樂

  Heywot(名義乃生命之意)經歷了長時脊髓問題之苦,吃藥打針,到臨產前幾個月才被發現有身孕。政府醫院醫生們都擔心長期藥物對胎兒之影響,又讓連行幾步也不方便的她,做好切腹取嬰的準備。然而神是聆聽了我們的代禱,竟使Heywot順利快速地生產第二個嬰兒。這叫周圍的親友又驚又喜,她那東正教的丈夫,早期逢在其家禱告便會迅速離開,現亦承認這是禱告的功效,說「…惟獨向Yesus Kristos 求」。
照片Heywot右乃其母,來自南部Bale 風景山區,其左乃家翁,屬Gulagae 族。

 ChuSiuPing1503_2

朝著基本設備步步邁進

  看見最近才完成的短石堤, 圍繞著兩個中至小型的運動場地(Arena & The future Red Sand Playground),我們是欣喜的。照片中的鐵管及鐵板欄(fences),乃經濟又耐久的保安設施,是不能或缺的基要營址裝備。我們全心倚靠耶和華的供應,一段一段(section by section)地去完成它。

 ChuSiuPing1503_3

營工的事奉

  這是我們在二月間用 Amharic 語的 Genesis Club 一景。求恩主步步牽引,使營工事奉穩健增長,從 Amharic club 到English club,從半日營 (Half-day camp)到一日營(One-day camp)。
  我們更求主恩助,於2015年內,能開始長時期盼的住宿營(Overnight camp)!

 ChuSiuPing1503_4

Arena 運動場的多元性

  看到少年營友打排球或拋手球,甚至踢足球,叫我們為這中至小型的Arena場所感謝主。將來Arena亦可供有限度的騎馬活動,由於場地以泥土為基,到雨季將受泥濘限制,故我們求主供應,能於雨季前用火山石紅沙(volcanic red sand) 舖好隔鄰約 12 x 20 平方米的 Red Sand Playground,乃睛雨(all-season)皆合用之場地,不僅可打籃球、排球、甚至迷你網球,亦可作適度的乘騎(mild horse-back riding)。

 ChuSiuPing1503_5

埃賽華人禾場的呼聲

  埃賽俄比亞與中國的關係密切, 愈來愈多的華人,從中國來到埃賽,投入各行各業。聞今日已有約廿餘萬華人,在埃賽從事工作 。然而絕大部份的華人,如迷失羊群,雖住居薪酬等皆優於周圍一般的人,然無喜樂無盼望因為沒有神。
此照攝於2014年聖誕期間,大部份乃中國信徒,三位乃香港的姊妹。

 ChuSiuPing1503_6

向莊稼的主懇求工人

  這是去年一個聖誕聯歡會,乃由中國來的信徒籌劃舉辦,為首都 Addis Ababa華人,借用此間一韓國醫院附屬教堂的副堂舉行。 埃賽韓國人比華人少得多了,然已有兩間韓人教會。 長年來從未有宣教士長期投入此地華人的禾場,當然沒有華人教會。 所以讓我們逼切向莊稼主求,呼召兩對宣教士夫婦,將他們差遣到埃賽華人禾場,收割祂的莊稼,直到永生!

 


 舉目望田

朱肇平牧師

  在21世紀這資訊年代,一般教會對宣教並不陌生。年復年的宣教年會,有主題、有講員、有認獻、有短宣等等。不少差會亦提供了豐富的海外各工場各群體的資料,讓有志者可參與可體驗。然而這外在的一切,都不足以使我們真正投入主的禾場,去實踐祂的大使命。

異象必須在前

  我們的主就清楚指出異象的重要性,祂對門徒們說:「你們豈不說『到收割的時候還有四個月嗎?』,我告訴你們,舉目向田觀看,莊稼已經發白了,可以收割了。」(約4:35)

  當時的門徒雖跟隨主已有時日,雖聽到不少主訓,但對已熟莊稼,心眼仍未打開,靈裡仍缺負擔。直到主的復活升天,聖靈於五旬節降臨充滿信徒,他們才真正看見熟莊稼的異象,真正體會主交付的使命,並真正從耶路撒冷開始,進而猶太全地,和撒瑪利亞,直到地極,作主的見證。這個非常重要的屬天次序,我們必須先看見莊稼,就是主要我們看見的,靠著聖靈的能力,才能進入那已熟透發白的禾場!

收莊稼的逼切性

  當日主對門徒的心聲,莊稼已熟必須收割,至今這迫切性仍是實踐主大使命的不能或缺的動力。19世紀的戴德生(Hudson Taylor)看見了中國千萬生靈日日趨向滅亡,第一次回英國向教會發出呼聲,向青年信徒發出投入中國禾場的呼召,結果開始了「中國內地會」,並發展為當代在中國最大的差會。

  再看華人宣教的崛起,亦不能離開收莊稼的迫切性。20世紀20年代後期,神讓翟輔民(Robert Jaffray)這位傳奇宣教士,看見南洋千萬靈魂失喪,一對血手的異象,而向華人青年信徒呼召,結果差出了第一批華人宣教士,如朱醒魂、林証耶、莊澤之等等,成了我們今日華人宣教的楷模。

  反觀今時我們對莊稼主的反應,往往以個人為中心,定下個人的時間表,要差會遷就要到自己認為最適合的時間,才肯上工場。請問這樣的工人,對主禾場這種冷淡無熱心無託負的心態,能被神使用嗎?請聽一下主自己的見證,祂知道必須在父給祂這段時日,作成父的事工:「趁著白日,我們必須做那差我來者的工;黑夜將到,就沒有人能做工了。」(約9:4)

流淚撒種必歡呼收割

  有人認為屬靈的莊稼是巨大的,在非洲各地常看到這種報導,上千上萬的人群蒙醫治,接受靈恩,成了基督徒。然而究竟多少人真正從天國而生,在基督裡成了新造的人,這往往成了大大的問號。主的話清晰指出,跑在滅亡大道上的人群眾多,而尋找到永生窄路上的人卻是稀少。所以,我們的心志目標不可偏離主言的啟示,認定去收取主而非我們的莊稼。或多或少,或長時或快捷,主的工人靠著聖靈,必全心全力以赴。

  奇妙的主在舊約詩篇126:5-6給祂禾場工人這何等確切的大應許:「流淚撒種的,必歡呼收割!那帶種流淚出去的,必要歡歡樂樂地帶禾捆回來!」今日的宣教士,可以超越任何時代的禾場工人,有最先進的裝備和資訊,有最快速的交通服務,亦有最豐厚的資源。然而卻沒有任何教會,或任何差會,可以將眼淚輸送給前方的宣教戰士。

  眼淚代表著聖靈所澆灌的愛,代表著對靈魂的熱盼,代表著在禱告裡的勞苦,代表著莊稼主的同在同工。故此,流淚撒種必歡呼收割完全吻合了主的話:「收割的人得工價,積蓄五穀到永生,叫撒種的和收割的一同快樂。」(約4:36)

如何向莊稼主求工人?

  最後讓我們從主的命令,去探索這對主莊稼最接連的關鍵──就是如何去求取工人?幾乎所有差會都經驗到工人如何短缺這問題。常聽到:「為何被差出去的宣教士不能持久?……為何只有短宣而無長期委身的工人?……為何這麼多經過神學造就的男女,卻只願在本地事奉而不肯獻身於主最大的使命?……」

  很多教會都說他們知道要向主求工人,但為何我們仍然如此缺乏宣教士呢?請聽主的命令說:「於是對門徒說:『要收的莊稼多,做工的人少。所以,你們當求莊稼的主,打發工人出去收他的莊稼。』」(太9:38)

  原來從希臘原文去分析打發或差遣工人出去,差遣(Send)這斯文的翻譯絕非原文的真義,ekballo 乃是強而有力地彈出去,乃非出去不可。如「新約」記載將鬼從人逐出亦用同一字源。越洲飛彈(Ballistic missiles)亦出於這希臘字根源。

  為何莊稼主命令神的兒女向祂求,將工人彈出(eject)禾場呢?因為委身於主的禾場絕非自然的事,按人的算盤去計算,去前思後想,在今時代物質享受濃烈的世界潮流,誰能甘心情願地放下一切,去到艱辛的禾場,為主流汗流淚甚至流血捨命呢?所以,主盼給我們這向祂禱求工人的指南,懇求主將祂揀選的工人,彈出去到已發白了的禾場,去收割莊稼直到永生!

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