|The Covenant Renewed (standard:Creative non-fiction, 1995 words)|
|Author: Mookoo Liang||Added: May 05 2009||Views/Reads: 2298/1103||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|This story was originally written by my wife in Chinese; a week later, I translated it into English. We would like to share our . . . with you!|
The Covenant Renewed by Jean Huang; translated by Mookoo Liang = = = = = = = = Both my husband and I were born in the traditional families, his parents believing in the deity En-Zhu-Gong and my parents in Ma-Zu. When we were young, it seemed to us that "God" was only an abstract noun and "Christianity" was just a name for one of the religions in the world. So, quite naturally, our wedding ceremony took place [on January 30] in accordance with the traditional Taiwanese folk customs, with a male pig sacrificed especially for blessings from gods and goddesses. My husband Jerry and I have been richly blessed indeed. Although we lived in poverty in the beginning, we worked very hard, and we truly loved and helped each other. In order to make Jerry's dream come true, I encouraged him to quit his job at the elementary school where he had taught for seven years, and to apply for the English department at National Taiwan Normal University. Then, he became a student again! It is then that God made Jerry know him much better. Inspired or motivated by something Jerry says he didn't know clearly at first, Jerry took a selective course called "Biblical Literature." Jerry loves literature very much. God must have known that this subject would be a perfect key to open Jerry's heart and mind with. In the end, Jerry was so much moved by Jesus Christ that he decided to become a Christian and was baptized. Oh! How amazing it is that not only Jerry but also I and our son Tony have been Christians . . . for years! On January 4 this year (2009) we attended a special ceremony at St. James' Church, in Taichung. It was Fr. Charles Chen and his wife Mary Jo's 50th wedding anniversary. To celebrate it, the congregation had arranged a cheerful party; yet more significantly, Bishop David Lai came and conducted a Christian matrimonial blessing at St. James'. This was extremely surprising and exciting to Fr. Chen and his wife, for 50 years ago they could only have a traditional wedding party, just as Jerry and I did 30 years ago. This year, Jerry and I joined a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. (How grateful we have been for God's amazing grace!) The group of us, 27 persons in all, including Fr. Chen and his family, was led by Bishop Lai in person, happily visiting various places in Israel, Egypt, and Jordan from January 26 through February 5. Incidentally, weeks before we set off, we heard that war broke out around the area of Gaza. Like many members of the group, Jerry and I prayed really hard for this trip, which we had very much wanted to join. The fact is the group set out on time, as scheduled; we had a meaningful, enjoyable, and memorable journey; and all of us were spiritually strengthened during the trip. With Lord God blessing us day and night, our heart and our mind were repeatedly renewed, and even our physical strength was improved to some extent. Now it was January 30, the day for some of us to climb the holy mountain Mt. Sinai. This mountain is 2,285 meters above sea level. It is not as tall as Yu-Shan, the tallest mountain in Taiwan; however, it is totally made of rocks and stones, without any trees or green grass on it. And it is very steep. You could freely choose to climb it or to stay downhill. But Jerry and I decided to celebrate our 30th anniversary in a special way. We walked toward St. Catherine Monastery, at the foot of the mountain. The mountain-climbing group, 16 or 17 of us, left from St. Catherine Monastery at 2:30 p.m. As it was recommended, each of us rode a camel on the first half of the uphill journey except Rev. Sam Cheng and his wife, who were strong enough to cover the whole journey on foot. Well, it was my first time to ride on a camel. A camel that was almost too small and thin to carry me! (Jerry told me later that those Bedouin boys were smart -- they gave me a smaller animal just because I looked thinner than others.) I was excited. And I was a little scared whenever my camel suddenly moved quickly or swayed to one end. Click here to read the rest of this story (122 more lines)
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