‘Why I rededicate my life to serve God’
By Sharon-Anne Wong-Lee
“WHAT A WONDERFUL and inspiring example of servant leadership our Korean lady volunteers have exhibited during our stay.” “God is indeed amongst us!” “I feel encouraged and strengthened to continue my work for the Lord.”
These feelings, recorded from the various participants from more than 14 countries, representing women leaders from many churches and organisations, resonate deep within my heart as I reflect on my journey into a closer and deeper relationship with God and with my sisters at the Asian Christian Women’s Leadership Training and Dialogue (ACWLTD) 2010 in Seoul from Sept 5 to 10, 2010.
God is constantly challenging me to self-denial and obedience. I know that He loves me so much and is constantly filling me with His love so that I can continue watering whatever parched areas He sends me to.
Thus, I rededicate my life to serve God in the mission field and surrender my gifts, family, resources, my all, to Him for His use, to His glory.
I caught the first glimpse of what wonderful blessings God had in store for me immediately on our arrival at the Korean WSCS Building in Hamna-dong, Seoul. Familiar, friendly faces and enthusiastic hugs greeted me from my Korean, Filipina, Malaysian and Indonesian sisters. The love and warmth from old friends coupled with the smiles and greetings from new sisters from Mongolia, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, erased all weariness from the overnight flight from Singapore and the hour-and-a-half transfer from Incheon Airport.
Amazing is one of the numerous superlatives used to describe the great testament of God’s faithfulness and blessings as we were ushered into the main sanctuary of Yoido Full Gospel Church, the world’s largest church, for the 11 am service. Boasting a choir of more than 100 singers, accompanied by a full orchestra and with a membership of about 1 million (at 2007), it was indeed a wonderful way to start our spiritual journey.
The lesson of how our extraordinary God empowers and equips ordinary (but willing, obedient and totally yielded) people (in our case, women) to establish His Kingdom on earth and to effect change and impact our churches and societies was emphasised and experienced in all our sharings, training sessions and workshops.
Our daily dose of corporate morning devotions highlighted the beauty of unity in diversity in God’s Kingdom as different countries chaired the sessions. From the hymns and praises we sang to the prayers and sermonettes during devotions, we were all enriched by the different expressions of worship.
All of us were “transported” each night to different lands through the pictures, videos, dances, songs, challenges and joys shared by each country’s delegates. This only deepened our love for God and one another. The need for greater integration and partnership in missions and evangelism between countries was highlighted by Ms Harriett Olsen in her opening address, “Mutuality in Missions”, and further crystallised in my mind after hearing all the sharings.
Another tasty bite of experiential learning came in the form of Field Trips to nine Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), covering organisations dealing with battered women and children to youth shelters, as well as others supporting migrant workers and prostitutes and former victims of human trafficking.
We were divided into six groups. Each group visited one or two of these NGOs to better understand their work and impact on society and government policies.
My group visited My Sister’s Place, which is a shelter as well as a counselling centre for prostitutes, former prostitutes as well as women who are or were living with US soldiers who have fathered children with them. The challenges highlighted were greater than I would have ever imagined.
Many of these women were and are victims of the global epidemic of human trafficking. Those women who were kidnapped and sold or “tricked” into the sex trade often find themselves pushed against the wall with no alternative way out.
Full-time staff and volunteers comb the clubs and streets around the US bases to hand out leaflets and information to these women.
The risks the staff and volunteers (all women) take as well as their determined dedication and single-mindedness to this very cause makes me ask myself how much love I truly have for the lost and needy which Jesus reminds us repeatedly to reach out to.
Sharon-Anne Wong-Lee is a member of the Women’s Society of Christian Service (WSCS), Pentecost Methodist Church.