As time passes quickly, I've been serving God for five or six years. I still remember that summer when I was 19 years old, I had always wanted to make a living away from home, but I finally gave up my childhood dream. I cried and hesitated until I got involved in a ministry and gradually realized the meaning and pursuit of life.
I started my ministry with passion, but I have experienced countless hardships, such as being looked down upon by others, reprimanded by elders, ridiculed by peers, and indifferent by relatives. I know it's not the end of the road, my hope is always ahead.
In 2018, I was dedicated to serving, with strong support from my parents, without any hindrance or pressure. When I first started to serve, I realized the hardships of serving. I not only had to do well in preaching but also had to visit believers and help with farm work in my spare time. Many people did not understand my work when I was 19 years ago. They kept saying: "You can do a lot of things at a young age, and you can wait until you retire to serve". As a young person, I felt heartbroken because I always cared about others' judgment and criticism.
Since then, I have crucified my uninhibited inner self and gotten involved in the ministry in a down-to-earth manner. On the one hand, I was constantly equipping myself, and on the other hand, I understood the gap between myself and others. I once tried to imitate others' preaching styles, feeling that theirs were better than mine, but eventually, I realized that serving is not about imitating, but about experiencing God.
One of the things that made me feel bad about myself was my zits which were all over my face. Seeing this, some female Christians would ask me what was wrong with my face and if I needed treatment, saying it looked serious or something like that. My fragile psychological defenses just burst.
With these external problems affecting my mood in the ministry, I was forced to rest for some time. My parents took me to get treatment, medicine, cosmetics and take Chinese medicine. Now think about it, these detours may be part of our life and we must take them. Without those detours, you might not have experienced so much in life; God puts problems on you, reminding you not to forget to rely on Him.
I’ve encountered many problems in the ministry, such as marriage, family, children, relationships between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law, peer relationships, lack of wealth, problems in my team, the church model in need of transformation, and lack of responsible workers. Sometimes I can do nothing but pray.
Especially in this post-epidemic era, we always feel that the biggest obstacle is the pandemic, and the biggest problem is outside. But when we look back, some of the problems in the church are caused by people. It may be due to poor management, lax governance, lack of direction and goals, no sense of responsibility and mission, and mainly cherishing their own gains and losses. We blindly “take care of ourselves”, which is a crisis within a crisis.
Having not been involved in ministry for long, I have come through many lows. Sometimes I desired to carry out a ministry, but I was rejected as they thought I was not qualified; other times I made some suggestions, which ended up being a one-vote veto. Admitting my own problems, I try to find a way out, as I don't want to suppress myself. I also constantly remind myself that the motivation for serving is from God and that if I look to people, I will stumble.
May God guard my eyes and heart. What the future holds, I ask God for his mercy that he will always lead me when I walk through mountains and valleys.
- Translated by Leo Liu