It is time to reflect on the first half of the year. The second half has just begun. What have I done for the Lord? It is good to have a report card out. Even cars need to be checked every few months or at least 6 months interval. Has my ministry caused an impact to those I serve? Sometimes it is not easy to answer but some measurements and proof of fruitfulness is called for even as Paul said let each one take pride in his own work and not the work of another (Galatians). Then how can one judge one's own work except to offer some reflections and personal assessment?
I began the year with some hectic activities at College with preaching two main sermons during Orientation week. Then delivering lectures for three subjects, John's Gospel, NT Theology and English. Thankfully I am not teaching English this Semester but praise God I got the ball rolling and hopefully two or three students got the vision to master the language. I preached once a month in a KK church for three consecutive months and I found it burdensome to drive 5 hours to and fro to deliver a 50 min sermon. So I decided not to accept further KK invitations unless I go back to KK for my Semester break. Except at the end of April I conducted an End time seminar in another KK church and preached on the following Sunday as well. In terms of travelling I cut down the amount of travelling into the interior. I went into one of the furtherest points in Nabawan and ministered mostly among the Murut Tagal tribe late March. I flew twice to Sandakan once in early March and went back there last week to serve a non SIB church preaching a sermon that was talked about over lunch and dinner among the church leaders. It was fresh from the oven as I don't repeat my sermons and I simply prepare fresh everytime.
As there is nothing much I could do at College except teaching my 3 papers, I found comfort serving outside. If it were not for the Pastors' Conference early June and Elders' Seminar 10 days ago I would have judged the first half of 2017 as the least dramatic of my time in ministry for the past 23 years ago. Thank God that my two sermons in the Pastors' Conference had an impact and it was affirming when one's colleagues felt truly blessed at least by their comments and feedback. The elders' seminar was no less uneventful as for the first time they listened to the denomination's Constitution explained by one who served before in the HQ and acted as one of the Trustees of the church. And to top it all my trip to Sandakan last week was equally successful as I might return there for Christmas celebration.
In terms of publication with a village setting of limited resources I will put it on hold but managed to edit and print a copy of my Memoirs of a Modern Missionary. When I shall publish it is still up for question and my close friend who gave the talk on church history mentioned that the normal time period is 25 years before one could truly write history and reflect on the events past. That means I may just have to wait for 2 or 3 years before embarking to publish my memoirs.