This testimony was written by Commander Aggie Chan, Outpost #11 | Faith A/G
From 8 to 11 Sept, 33 RR cmdrs from different churches came together at Vision Farm, Chua Chu Kang for Advanced National Training Camp (ANTC) and the theme passage was from John 15:1-17. We were drilled and reminded constantly through various activities, programmes and finally, the sermons. Rev Dowdy was our speaker for the first two nights.
I really want to thank God that He allowed me to attend this camp. I’ve been looking forward to attending this camp ever since last year. I looked forward to meeting friends I’ve made over the years from other churches and refreshing my skills as a commander too. Thus, when I caught a fever last weekend, I was quite upset and worried that I won’t be able to go.
This camp is very special to me in different aspects. Let’s talk about the social first. I was very comfortable to the patrol that I was assigned to. One of my patrol mates was in the same team as me when I attended NTC in 2006. Maybe because most of them are married and some are mothers, I felt they were very open and friendly. Throughout the four days, we had to build certain structures with logs, made creative cheers, yells and songs. Everyone was sporting and willing to try. They were very understanding when they knew I was recovering from a fever. I was in the shelter, away from the hot sun making the flag and bolo ties for the patrol while they built the structures in the sun on the first day. I was coughing badly throughout the camp and still am but they didn’t ostracize me, especially those who slept in the same tent as me. I really thanked God for that. In turn, I didn’t volunteer to prepare or cook the meals for the first two days because I didn’t want to pass my virus to them. We shared about our ministries and personal lives and became an encourager to one another. I was so blessed by their lives and dedication to God. Thank you Lord, for Fancy Herons. I love this song we created.
(Sing in the tune of “Oh My Darling Clementine”)
On day One, on day One
Fancy Herons went to camp
We are so young and so youthful
Fancy Herons went to camp.
In the evening, in the evening
Fancy Herons start the fire
Cook the beef stew
bake the peach cake
It’s so yummy
Want to try?
On day Two, on day Two
Fancy Herons went to hike
Saw the fruit trees
and the spiders
and the ants’ nest
It’s so fun!
On day Three, on day Three
Fancy Herons did lashing
We built the rope bridge
Walked across it
It’s so steady
Praise the Lord!
On day Four, on day Four
Fancy Herons built the tower
We are good at
tying clove hitch
Now we can climb
Physically, it’s definitely challenging but team work made it easier and fun. I couldn’t sleep on the first night, sleep for two hours on the second and about three hours on the third. Most of the time, I couldn’t sleep because I was coughing. I woke up choking on my phlegm. I learnt to rely on God for physical strength and good health. Nothing could stop me from having fun, really. I think have good team mates really helps. =)
Finally, I guess that’s the most important aspect too. We were told to read the passage beforehand and write three themes from John 15. God started speaking to me then.
The first two nights weren’t significant to me because I haven’t heard God speaking specifically to me. On the first night, we were taught to remain in Christ if we want to bear fruits. During the altar call, as I continued to worship God, I asked God to fill me more. As I asked repeatedly, the Holy Spirit fell on me and God’s presence was warm. Then I knew, that all I needed to do was ask.
On the final night, God finally spoke to me during the worship at the dedication council fire. You know, it’s really difficult to worship God and cough at the intervals. My voice was still rather husky and hoarse. There were times I felt my lungs and insides churning as I coughed. Breathless type. But that worship was special. God allowed me to worship Him and I sang my heart out. The speaker was our camp commander Mike. He challenged us to cross the Rubicon River which was crossed by Caesar.
“Roman law forbade any general to cross the Rubicon southward with troops; any Roman soldier south of the Rubicon became automatically a civilian and was no longer bound to obey his military commander’s orders – rather he was obliged to obey the law. When Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his army in 49 BC, to make his way to Rome , he broke that law and made armed conflict inevitable. The phrase “crossing the Rubicon” has survived to refer to any individual or group committing itself irrevocably to a risky or revolutionary course of action, similar to the modern phrase “passing the point of no return”.” (Excerpt taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubicon)
Here, the Rubicon symbolised making a decision that could change our lives. We were challenged to serve God in this ministry with a greater commitment. As I took that step of commitment, I was opened to His leading for me in RR in whatever areas or capacity of needs. There and then, God reminded me of why I left full-time teaching. Ever since I came back from Japan last year, I have been praying and waiting for God’s next step for me. Many current colleagues encouraged me to return to taking up full-time load since they felt I have been coping well. There were other factors as well.
But the truth is, I realised then in 2006 and was reminded during the dedication council fire, that I wasn’t after the race and competition in this profession. My heart was in serving Him, to please my Maker. That’s why I left because my career was draining me dry. Thus, God the gardener has to prune and cut this branch of my life off so that I can bear more fruits for Him in the area of Missions in church and in Rangers where nurturing and mentoring lives are required. Wait, I love teaching. That’s why I am doing it as a flexi-adjunct teacher now. As I commit myself once more to RR and with GOSEA, which is my church’s goals for missions in the years ahead, I know that I won’t be able to cope if I return to full-time teaching. Yes. I can’t. I salute to all full-time Christian teachers who served the Lord both in school and in church. May you continue to shine for Jesus in the education system! =)
I have faith that God will provide for my needs because I have not been in lack ever since I quit. In fact, I was more blessed in many ways. As 2010 is coming to an end, I know for sure that the option of returning to full-time teaching is closed for me during the worship service. I will continue to pray and wait for the next option. Since God is not in a hurry to tell me what my next step is, I’m not in a hurry to know too.
For now, I’ll simply abide and remain in my Vine, and sink my roots deeper into His living waters.
To God be the glory!