When a person has just received Christ, no matter the circumstances, their faith may not be so firmly rooted. In the bible, Jesus mentions in the Parable of the Sower that there are many distractions and temptations; such as suffering, worldly cares, and deceitfulness of riches; to pull people away from the Christian faith (Matthew 13:1-23). Even if seeds are sown in good soil, there must be good gardeners to diligently nurture them for the seeds to grow, bear fruit, and multiply.
Over the past few months, I joined BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) regularly for their Zoom discussions. The focus of the study was on the book of Acts; through the study and discussions, I got some new insights of this book, especially on the apostle Paul’s missionary journeys. After studying the three mission trips of Paul, I noticed that Paul had the practice of returning to the places he had preached at in the past; to revisit the new believers and strengthen their faith in Christ. Paul deeply understood that there were many other anti-Christian influences which would persecute these “lambs left behind among the wolves”. So even though revisiting those places may have caused him much inconvenience and even endangered his life, he still went the extra mile for those new believers. (Refer to the map of Paul’s first missionary journey together with Barnabas – it was easier for them to return to Antioch in Syria from Derbe through the imperial highway, however, the two missionaries made a U-turn and revisited the places they had passed).
Reflecting on my own Christian journey, there were many people who went many extra miles to help fortify my faith. The mentors in Charis fellowship were very devoted in taking care of the mentees not only in our faith, but also in our daily lives. They are the ones who led us to faith in Christ, and slowly built our faith through their love for us. We like to call our mentors “man tou”（馒头), which mean steamed bun in Chinese. Like man tou which is a staple diet for many Chinese, they are essentials in our life. Their love for us not only warmed our hearts, but also gave us a glimpse of God’s love and encouraged us to pass this love to other new believers, and to go the extra mile for them.
By Brother Joseph Li Jie (YCKC Bulletin 12 July 2020)