Mesona CHAN, Acting Director of Inter-School Team
Adrianne LEE, Assistant Staff, Inter-School Team
What would it be like to face the training of over 100 Zoomers for fellowship ministry?
It is ironic that with this year’s Inter-School Orientation (ISO) theme of exploring the “truth”, the event was unable to see the participants’ actual faces and hear their actual voices. However, in the midst of all these limitations, it became even more apparent how much we crave the truth.
Gospel, which asks us to be ‘true’ to ourselves, is at its heart about relationships, relationships between humanity and God, and between one and the other. Through this interaction, both vertically and horizontally, Gospel is presented in a more comprehensive way. This was the message of the first event of the day: The Community of Truth— what the Gospel is.
We used six terms connected to “truth” as a series of the six workshops to show our commitment to finding the “truth” that is so desperately needed in these times.
Truthfulness and Sincerity: exploring the practices of prayer spirituality and listening.
Real meaning and Reality: Exploring the credibility of truth and the need to discern the true picture.
Sincerity and Authenticity: Exploring Fellowship in transition and wider Campus Life.
We closed with worship at the end. After all, our ultimate purpose is to bring glory to God and the most “truthful” expression of this is to bow down and worship Him!
In the beginning, most of us in over a hundred of grids were unknown to each other. After small group workshops and short prayer sessions, we anticipated to see that the grids would no longer be individual bodies, but be joined and pieced together to form a beautiful picture of God’s presence in the process of finding the “truth”.
This was the first time I had participated in and prepared for the online version of ISO. I still remember that just two weeks before ISO, there were only about 20 or so applicants, but it turned out to be more than 80, which was not as many as in previous years, but still surprising. As I heard the sound, “ding” entering the little grids in Zoom, I felt that each and every one was a gift from the Lord.
What would come to mind today when we think about the word “fellowship”? How do we define “fellowship” in the new normal of school life and life on campus? How could we “run fellowship together”?
Although ISO was considered as a “training day”, the whole sum of these over hundred grids was actual a “fellowship”. We saw the cups or bottles being lifted up one by one, from grid to grid, then we drank from the cup (of water) together. During the worship we sang together, “Lead me through death and through the stormy seas, God’s hand of grace keeps me hidden.” // “Lord, give this generation a vision of what is to come…… It is only by your grace that we have fought faithfully in this wilderness”. We meditated on God’s deliverance of the Israelites from their hardships and asked God to give us a vision that we all share the same difficulties, the same hopes and the same sufferings. It is invaluable for us to gather around to support and learn from each other’s experiences. In preparing for the workshop on “What is the Truth”, I have also been reflecting on why “Christians” want the truth. How do we find the truth? Although there is no standard answer, we need to be truthful, to protect the truth and to confront lies with the truth. It is not just that the Bible has been perverted “then it became something that matters to you”, but because the truth about our society has been perverted, making it all the more important for us to do our civic duty to defend truth and freedom. Faith cannot stand alone. I pray that every secondary school student and young person will serve faithfully and courageously for the Lord!