Agape Church member reflected on a leadership training



Agape member Chris finished Oivet Leadership Insituation (OLI) training and came back home church, he received a lot of grace and training in OLI last month. Pastor Haiyan appreciated OLI training so much to equip member very well. The following is his testimony of joining OLI in June.  

Chris shared that "A month ago before I went to Dover, my heart was searching for so many answers and my mind was full of doubt. When I arrived in Dover, there was a complete change of pace. For once in my life there was peace and there was freedom. However, when my pastor recommended me to go to Dover, I was afraid that I would not belong because I know that my faith is lacking and shaking. I knew that I was weak and nothing. I do not have anything to offer to God, my life was a mess, and to be honest, I have never done anything to God.  I knew, that I would be with people who have been walking in the path of faith for a long time, and someone like me who was just recently reborn would probably just a burden or would not be able to keep up with the other students. However, one thing I learned from the lecture was that, God never look to our past experience, physical appearance, our weaknesses, our shortcomings, our sins, and what people would normally look at, but rather God looks into our humble heart and those to people who want to know the truth. As an example; God chose Abraham to be the father of nation even though his family is an idol worshiper, or David who is a shepherd whose appearance is short, weak, and shabby but was chosen as a lineage for Jesus Christ, and Paul who breathed murderous intent towards Christians and a persecutor towards to those people who ever believe in Jesus Christ but was chosen to be an apostle of Jesus and to converted gentiles into following His name. I am longing and seeking for the truth for a long time, I appreciated this opportunity so much.

I believe that OLI changed me, not just spiritually but also my mentality. I started to look things more differently. I used to dream of having a beautiful house, a better car, a better education, a better job, a better status, more money, a better health, and more love, however that is the temptation we humans have. I have learned from Pastor John that even though we get all these worldly things, we will still want something more and more and more, an unending and unquenchable desire of flesh. But in the end, everything is meaningless. We can never be filled with flesh desires and worldly things unless by the love of God. With this mind, only by admitting  that we are nothing without God, we can fully understand that only through seeking Him we will find true peace and completion. Even in death, we feel that we are blessed and rich because the kingdom of God is upon us and the richness in heaven last for eternity but the richness here on earth is bound where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

One thing that I would carry on my life from what I learned from OLI was the foundations of our faith. First, would be the justification through Jesus Christ. In the Book of Romans 3:10, it is written that, "none is righteous, no, not one", however, because of the love of God, we are justified through Jesus Christ. To be honest, I feel unworthy because I know in my heart that I am a sinner but because of God's love, I am saved from all eternal condemnation. Next is the path of sanctification. The only to walk the path of sanctification is by knowing the heart of the Father. We humans are known for carelessly sinning, and sometimes we take the love of Christ for granted. However, if we really know true love of our Father we won't sin carelessly. If you know someone who loves you, why would you sin against the one you love and hurt them? Because if we truly love God, we will avoid sin no matter what, but if not then our love towards God is shallow and meaningless. Why do we keep sinning if we were already been justified? We tend to forget that God is not just the God of love but also the God of Wrath. Finally is the glorification in heaven. This is the awaited moment of all Christians, where we are finally free from our sinful body that breaks our connection to God. I am longing for this moment where the real treasure of God is awaiting, where there are no pains and sufferings, only love and joy, and where God is waiting for all of us."