Following the gracious Pentecost Retreat that ended on June 4, participants shared their testimonies at the end of the prayer meeting.Their testimonies reflected the messages they received and the deep realization that came to them during the prayer time. Below are the excerpts from some of the testimonies:
"Serving is what God requires to do because we received so much so we need to give back and that is the part of the Christian walk. Understanding the grace we received from God gives us the strength to do the work God has given us. It feels awesome to give back. God came to us to serve not to be served. Fellowship, giving, loving, encouraging, and reading God's word gives me strength." -Edward
Truly I am grateful and thankful to repent through this retreat, especially through the prayer time. Before repentance, my heart was nervous and anxious. I don't know why but for sure there's something that blocks me from going closer to God, but this obstacle can be a good thing for me to search God more. Before repentance, I did not know what to repent for. I need to turn back to God but did not know where to turn back from. If I claim that I have nothing to repent that means I have no sin and make God a liar. My wrong thoughts, my own way of thinking limited God in many areas. This piled up even without my knowing. Based on my good will, I care about others and try to help, based on good goals and purposes I live in this community, but I came to realize that anything based on anything other than Christ is truly meaningless and like the building of Babel tower. It cannot but be destroyed and become meaningless. Then going back to square one, comes the fundamental question, "Who am I and who is God?"Truly, I am nothing but dust and God is the one in heaven.
It is truly amazing grace that God himself became flesh and came for us, lived for us, died for us and resurrected for us. Not only that, He gave us the Holy Spirit to remind us of his love again and again. We need love from God, and when true love comes we cannot help but repent and say that I am nothing but dust, nothing but a sinner, who is self-centered, who pushes Jesus away little by little for the sake of, "I am doing your work so can you please wait outside of my heart for a moment?"I am so sorry to God that I think no one understands my heart when in actuality I did not understand God's heart at all. When I ignored members' suffering, I actually ignored God's suffering and His love towards His people. Truly I did not know God's heart. And now I came to know a little bit of God's heart, but it is so painful. It is also painful that I did not know his heart even this much all this time.I received God's love again today and it makes me powerless because his love is so powerful. I am thankful for the invisible serving hands during this retreat such as for the children's program, prayer people and parents. For me, it was a really precious time to listen to all the messages fully being in a position of Mary. Most of all I want to give thanks to Jesus Christ who revealed his glory again today in Immanuel Church and in me. Thank you. -Sylvie