Recently I attended a reunion dinner for MYFers from a Church where I served for 6 years. The gathering was for these youths that I knew some 30 years ago.
I almost didn’t go. But the organizer, a former MYFer (name for Methodist Youth Fellowship that is now defunct) was most persuasive and insistent.
I had no regrets for attending. It certainly brought back flood of memories from the 80s when I was pastor to these young boys and girls.
I still remember their names. Thank God dementia had not yet set in. These boys and girls are now mature men and women. Most are married with grown up children. Some have morphed in shape and size. Others have hair naturally dyed in grey and silver. Thank God they still have hair on their heads. One had long white shoulder length hair that makes him look like Gandalf, the character from Lord of the Rings.
But they are mostly still recognizable to me. In fact I told some that I saw Jesus in them. They asked, “How so?” I said, “They look the same yesterday, today and … not change one bit.” They unchangeable like Jesus. And they said, “You too!”
It is most gratifying to see all these youth grew up. Indeed the Lord has blessed them and kept them (MYF Benediction). They have become responsible adults. One of them used to help clean the mess in the parsonage where I stayed. He is now a magistrate judge who sentence criminals to the gallows. You better not mess with him now.
But there was one young man whom I could not quite recollect. He was the worship leader during this reunion.
He approached me and said, “Do you remember who I am?” “Sorry no …” “I am Edmund. You know my mother, Mary Ong.”
Suddenly it all came back. Mary joined the Church when I was the Pastor. She was someone then I thought would have a hard time fitting into a church that is demographically highly educated and professional. But she was spiritually enthusiastic, devout and sincere. She had wanted her son to share her faith.
“You remember my mum brought me to see you and asked you to pray for me to be a Christian.”
How could I forget that day when I struggled to share the gospel to this eight year old? But he did say the sinner’s prayer with me. And that was it.
Fast-forward 30 years later. This small boy is now a tall gentleman who loves the Lord, a gifted worship leader in his church and doing fabulously well in his workplace at Perth.
It is such a joy to see that the simple telling of the gospel, the plain act of leading the sinner’s prayer and the mustard seed beginning of faith in Jesus have bore such lasting fruit thirty years later.
I went home, amazed that a seed sown has reaped such a harvest of joy.
“ … For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap … he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary … for in due season we shall reap …” (Galatians 6:7-9)