Written by Ng Zhiwen
When the Courage Calls conference ended, I immediately took off for a break. It had been an intense 10 weeks of organizing this missions mobilization event. We’d thought we were all set to hold it on-site with all the safe management measures in place. But then news of the Stabilization Phase came just one week before the event itself! We scrambled and pivoted most of the activities online, while onsite gatherings (only one a day) were run in hybrid format – not live-streamed but on ZOOM with 2-way communication.
In the light of the disruptions, we didn’t know how many would decide not to come. From the get-go we were already not seeking a large turnout. There was no publicity blitz, and no mention of who the speakers would be. And to ‘turn people away even more’, the express theme of the Conference would be about Suffering and Persecution for Christ, and about heeding God’s call to serve Him in the ‘hard places’ around the world. I reckon we wanted only as many as the Lord had prepared and within what we could take safely. We had to just trust and obey.
I can’t give you the details of all that had happened at the Conference, but let me just mention the final gathering. We heard an elderly woman, who got called to serve in Southeast Asia at the age of 70, share honestly about how she was scared when she received the call, but God gave her courage and she has been pressing on over the last 8 years.
I witnessed dozens of people in the sanctuary, getting down on their knees – the pew they had been seated on became a prayer altar. Those joining in on Zoom likewise got down and prayed upon their chairs. And when the altar call came – a call to full obedience to the Lord wherever He would send you – almost everyone on site responded. Those on Zoom were invited to join a breakout room, where a prayer minister would be available to pray with him or her. I was at the PA console hosting the Zoom meeting and urgently moving people across breakout rooms to ensure that everyone had someone to pray with. I’d never seen an online altar call before, and much rarer have I witnessed such a response.
I needed the break time to reflect on all that had happened. What had just happened? I think it’s simply this, that in spite of the pandemic the Lord has been preparing the hearts of His servants of all ages (but especially young adults) to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. It was our blessing to play a part by hosting Courage Calls and to see God at work. It helped make the book of Acts come more alive! Some of our members attended, and I am praying for each of them, that what God had planted in their hearts during those days will bear lasting fruit wherever He leads.
Courage Calls was a missions conference held on 30 Sep – 2 Oct 2021, organized by the Fellowship of Missional Organisations in Singapore and hosted by Zion Bishan.
More about Courage Calls: https://thirst.sg/blog/courage-calls-5-things-we-learnt-about-suffering-in-missions/