February 11, 2006—

I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil…

Crying is such a funny thing. It is something that is usually avoided as much as possible, considered by others as an expression of weakness, and an action that most people are embarrassed to be caught doing. However, when I stood beside my co-staff members tonight at the end of the final day of the final seminar, eyes full of tears while attempting to sing in front of 300 children, I was filled with a strange mixture of sorrow, joy, peace, and fulfillment.

Truly I have seen God's hand at work throughout today. On the one hand, it was one of those dreaded and incredibly long Saturdays. The kind where you wake up in the morning at 6:00, and then you spend 10 minutes calculating in your head whether or not you can sleep a little longer. One of those days where it is all you can do to stay awake, while the children have in turn become a little bit too comfortable with their teachers, thereby making them incredibly bouncy. One where the noise level in becomes louder in each successive large group.

Student Assistants receiving their recognition during our Parent Presentation

Happy Birthday Karen Chen!!

While that may be the case, compared to other years, this seminar has been the crème de la crème in Taipei. Usually, there are two seminars to be dreaded: the ones where the children are complete devils, the others where they are the most apathetic angels who behave yet do not learn anything. What makes this year special is that the children have been incredibly receptive. This could be seen in the enthusiasm of the student assistants as they wrote assignments about the principles they learned. This could be seen in the way the children listened raptly during the stories in large group. This could be seen in the way the children knew the memory verses by heart and quoted them wonderfully in the Parent Presentation.

This is why in the closing large group when we sang "When Jesus Came" for the final time together, almost every teacher and staff members' eyes were filled with tears. We had experienced God's power through the past four seminars, were bound together by His love, and were filled with both sadness and eternal hope as our ways were about to be parted.

This is why I will treasure this past week in my heart for the rest of my life.

—Tim Chen