Jesus loves Chinatown – English group ( July 15-17, 2016)
「耶穌愛華埠」英文組— 獻出小石、換來一顆鑽石”Mission is not about Self-Sacrifice, when you offer a stone first, eventually you’ll get a diamond.
葉啟明牧師分享他在印度宣教的體會為我們揭起序幕，他說：「宣教是回應神的愛，根本不需要任何理由。當神改變你的生命，你會做一些超越自己限制的事情, 這樣的生命自然會感染他人。宣教不是自我犧性， 而是當你先獻上一粒小石，最後你會得到一顆鑽石。Mission is not about self-sacrifice; when you offer a stone first and eventually will gain a diamond 」
猶太人牧師 Pastor Andrew，過去六年他都是耶穌愛埠英文組的講員，所以與參加者，有點像一年一度的師生重聚。活潑開朗的助教 Jenifer 使課室內外充滿歡笑聲。最後一天出隊，她與其他隊員在唐人街的公園內派發”A Million Dollar Tracts”福音單張，吸引了一群小孩，更讓她有機會即場教導甚麼是十誡和諾亞方舟的故事。這樣自然地，將教會的主日兒童崇拜帶到戶外進行。
擁有30年在街上傳福音的經驗的Pastor Andrew，帶著學員到十四街Union Square,派發福音單張及與坊眾談道，實踐課堂所學而他自己及和首次參與助教工作的Anthony，站在人群中，作Open-Air Preaching露天公眾講道，宣講福音，勸人悔改。雖然，有時他們會被途人針對和反擊，他們卻不慌不忙、耐心地解答他們的問題。他們不就像昔日耶稣的門徒彼得、保羅等為道逼切嗎？學員看在眼內都深深被他們對福音的熱誠所打動，激發大家不斷裝備做好護教的功夫。最激勵我們的是, Pastor Andrew 、助教們和一些經常在紐約出隊的同僚，晚餐之後再回到十四街Union Square， 繼續與途人傳福音、解答他們的問題直至零晨時分。願我們也學習到他們的心志，散播福音種籽，不分晝夜。
英文組今年首次安排關懷露宿者的行動，當晚70多位弟兄姊妹出席，喜見其中不乏青少年參與。先由Pastor Kenny AuYeung 分享D15:4關懷事工，然後分組，四出到華埠不同的街頭角落，關心露宿者，送上慰問和食物。如聖經馬太福音 25章35節：「因為我餓了，你們给我吃；我渴了，你們给我喝。」盼望明年的耶穌愛華埠，有更多弟兄姊妹參加，接受裝備挑戰自己！在這黑暗、動盪不安的世代，為主燃點更多的燭光，照亮華埠社區！
“Jesus loves Chinatown” English group (July 15-17) – “Mission is not about Self-Sacrifice, when you offer a stone first, eventually you’ll get a diamond.
This year’s Jesus Loves Chinatown English group was completed on July 15-17. A total of 22 participants, half of them are first time participants. Some even spoke English as their second language; they were willing to step out their comfort zone and took the challenge of evangelism in English. We give thanks to God for their boldness. The other half had participated for two years or more, we are thrilled to see their commitment of the Great Commission, May Glory be to God!
Pastor Billy Yip at our opening ceremony has shared his ministries and experience in India. He said that “The mission is to respond to the love of God, it does not need any reason to do so. When God has changed your life, you’ll do something beyond your own limits and your life will be contagious. Mission is not self-sacrifice, when you offer a stone first, eventually you’ll gain diamond”.
Our chief instructor, Pastor Andrew Rappaport, has been training us in the past six years, so it seems like an annual reunion between students and him. A cheerful assistant, Jenifer Pepling who made inside and outside the classroom full of laughter. The last day of the outreach was in a Chinatown park, she attracted a group of children when she gave out a million gospel tracts, giving her a chance to share the teachings of the Ten Commandments and what is the story of Noah’s ark. She spontaneously brought the Sunday children’s school to the outdoors.
With 30 years of experience in open air preaching of Pastor Andrew, took the participants to 14th Street, Union Square, handing out the gospel tract and practicing what we learned in class. Our another assistant, Anthony Silvestro, who joined us for the first time in JLC, took a turn to do open air preaching with Pastor Andrew in the crowd and preaching the gospel, advising people to repentance although, sometimes they would get verbally attacked and challenged. However, both of them calmly and patiently answered their questions. Don’t they look like exactly the former disciples of Jesus, Peter and Paul by book of Act? Our students looked in the eye that they were deeply impressed by the enthusiasm of the gospel. We need to continue equipping ourselves and strive to do apologetics effort. We are most excited and moved by knowing Pastor Andrew, his assistants and outreach teams headed back to Union Square after dinner to continue in preaching and answering peoples question until mid-night. They did inspire us and learn from them, spreading the gospel seeds no mater day and night.
JLC English group for the first time this year arranged care for homeless actions. That night about 70 brothers and sisters attended, many of whom are youth participation. Pastor Kenny AuYeung shared D15: 4 ministries then grouped into four to different areas of Chinatown corner, send a condolences and food such as the book of Matthew chapter 25 verse 35: “For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink.”
Next year at Jesus Loves Chinatown, we hope to see more brothers and sisters participate, be equipped and challenged! In this dark and turbulent generation, light up more candles to illuminate the Chinatown community!