URS “LORD, GIVE US 100 CHILDREN” “上帝给我们一百个小孩” (Amy Zhao翻译)

In January, 1981, the brothers and sisters of the Cincinnati Chinese Church felt God’s burden on their hearts to have a Vacation Bible School of our own. Many years ago we had helped our Caucasian brothers and sisters in their Vacation Bible Schools, but over the years, this interest and involvement had dwindled. “Start our own Vacation Bible School?” “Who’s going to volunteer?” “Who’s willing to take off from work to help?” Thus said, I took a straw poll of twenty or so “workers” at our monthly workers’ meeting. To my surprise, a dozen hands shot up. “I take it you’re serious!” So we began praying, praying that God would indeed give us the wisdom and love for the task. We bought a series of “VBS” materials, invited an experienced VBS leader to speak to us, prayed for teachers, asked for volunteers to be drivers, and on and on it went. It was just amazing to see how God opened door after door. There was the entire Church working together, praying together, planning together, and we could feel the excitement in the air.


一九八一年一月,辛城华人教会的弟兄姐妹们感到上帝交给了我们要创办自己的暑期儿童圣经学校(VBS)的负担。 很多年前,我们曾帮助过白人弟兄姐妹举办的VBS。但是这么多年过去后,帮助和参与的 兴趣逐渐降低了。 “开始我们自己的VBS吗?”“谁来做自愿者呢?”“谁愿意请假来帮忙呢?”于是,我在我们教会有20位同工参加的每月同工会上,非正式地测试了一下。 很意外, 有12双手举起来了。 “我假设你们是认真的!”所以我们就开始祷告,祷告上帝实在在这件事工上赐我们智慧和慈爱。 我们买了一套“ VBS ”教材, 邀请了有经验的“VBS ”领导者给我们讲课,为我们的老师祷告,请志愿者作驾驶员,。。等等。看到上帝是如何帮我们把门一算一算地打开实在是很奇妙的事。那时,整个教会都协同工作,一起祷告,一起计划,我们能感到在空气里的那种兴奋的气息。



We prayed for forty children, double the size of our Sunday School classes. We started to make phone calls. One sister invited seven or eight families. “Would you like to have your children come to Vacation Bible School?” “How much will it cost?” “Nothing! And we will pick up your children and return them to your home!” “Oh, that’s too much of a burden for you: bu hao yi si.” “We want to share God’s love with your children and with you!”  And two weeks before the VBS opening date, God had already given us forty children. We were overjoyed! “We should pray for more – let’s pray for sixty!” Unbelievably (if one is permitted to use such a word), more than sixty children came to VBS!

我们为40位孩子祷告,是我们主日学班级人数的两倍。我们就开始打电话。一位姐妹邀请了七八个家庭。“你愿意让你的孩子来参加暑期圣经学校吗?”“多少钱?”“不用钱!而且我们来你家接送你的孩子。”“噢,那太麻烦你了:不好意思。”“我们想与你的孩子和你分享上帝的爱!” VBS 开班日前的两个星期,上帝为已我们预备了40个孩子。我们太高兴了!“我们应该祷告要更多的孩子-让我们祷告60 个孩子吧!”  难以相信(若允许使用这样一个词),60多位孩子来了VBS!


Thirty-two helpers called, drove, smiled, comforted, laughed and had some of the most meaningful moments of their lives. Snack time staffed by a group of mothers, game times led by the teenagers, crafts times assisted by a team of workers, singing time mixed with “Buzzy Bee”, a fictionalized puppet show, and bible lessons plus a tension-packed missionary story kept the pace moving rapidly through the day.

三十二位同工打电话,开车,微笑,安慰,欢笑, 过了一个他们一生中最有意义的时刻。点心时间由一群妈妈队负责,游戏时间由青少年队带领,手工时间由同工队协助,唱歌参合小故事型“ 嗡嗡蜜蜂”木偶表演,还有圣经课加上一连串排紧的宣道故事使一天过得好快。


Children are just lovely to watch. Day one, everyone was quiet and well behaved. Day two, they began to “learn the system”; not very quiet. Day three, they were ready to accept the Lord. Day four, they wanted to come back to Sunday school. Day five, all were excited about their evening performance, hoping their parents would come to their “graduation ceremony”, and singing their hearts out, shouting their heads off in response to the puppets – “hello Buzzy Beeeee”. The lovely smiles and warm hearts melted even unemotional Chinese hearts. It was a taste of heaven itself!

观察孩子们实在很可爱。第一天,每个孩子都很安静很乖。第二天,他们开始学到了“系统”,并且不太安静了。第三天,他们已经准备好要接受耶稣为他们的救主了。第四天,他们想要上主日学课。第五天,他们都为晚上的演出而十分激动, 希望他们的家们可以来参加他们的“毕业典礼”,而且尽他们的心唱歌,大声地,前仰后合地回应木偶 – “你好,嗡嗡蜜蜂”。可爱的笑脸和热烈的心以至熔化了不惯显露感情的中国大人心。这是 一个天堂的尝味!


February, 1982: “Do we dare ask for more children this year?” “Lord, could we have a hundred children?” It was indeed an “unbelievable” number. An 80% increase. We would need 25 cars and more workers. Several key workers were in the middle of praying about moving out of town. Were we too “ambitious”? But again and again that number recurred. We prayed, but only “half-believing”. Two weeks before the VBS only 60 children had registered. Had we asked for the wrong number? We kept praying. The day before VBS, 101 children had registered! The announcement brought tears to our eyes. God is indeed so good!

一九八二年二月:“我们今年还敢求更多的孩子吗?”“主,我们可以有一百个孩子吗?”这实在是一个“不可信”的数目。增加了80%。 我们需要25辆车和更多的同工。其中已经有好几位同工正在搬出城的祷告中。 我们太“雄心”了吗?但是一次又一次地,这个数字出现了。我们祷告了,但还是“半信半疑”。到了VBS开学前的两个星期我们有60个孩子报了名。我们求了太大的数目吗?我们一直祷告。到了VBS开学前一天,101个孩子报了名!这个宣布带给了我们眼泪。 上帝实在是太好了!


“The fields are indeed ripe unto harvest.” There were so many families whom we could never reach before, who refused to even come close to a church, who now gladly let us take their children to church, who let them stay at times the entire Sunday afternoon at Church, who even let the children come to “Friday School” (“Sunday” School on Friday night). The children brought home their Bibles, their memory verses, their prayers, and what they learned at Sunday School.” “Mom, don’t be so sad, you can pray to God, He’ll help you”, is a recurring testimony of many mothers. And they have invited their friends to come to Church. When we drop the children off at their doorsteps, many parents will welcome us into their homes and allow us an opportunity to share a moment of God’s word with them. The doors that had been shut for years and years miraculously opened. Why didn’t we do this earlier? Why did we waste all those years? Why didn’t we believe our Lord when He said, “Forbid not the little children from coming to me. For such is the kingdom of Heaven.”?

“田里的庄稼已经熟了到该收割的时候了。”有很多家庭我们以前从未接触过。他们甚至拒绝与教会接近。现在他们很高兴地让我们把他们的孩子带来教会, 让孩子们整个下午来教会, 甚至让他们的孩子来“周五学校”(在周五晚上的“主日学”)。 孩子们把他们的圣经带回家,把要背诵的金句,祷告和在主日学学到的东西带回家。“妈妈,不要难过,你可以向上帝祷告,他会帮助你”,这是很多妈妈们的见证。并且她们又邀请了她们的朋友们来教会。当我们把他们的孩子带载回到他们家门口时,很多家长会邀请我们进他们的家, 让我们有机会与他们分享上帝的话。这些被关闭了很多年的门奇迹般地开了。为什么我们以前没早点儿做呢?为什么这么多年来我们浪费了这么多时间呢?为什么我们不相信我们的主当我们说:“不要禁止小孩来到我这里来,因为在天国的正是这样的人?”


Closing ceremony VBS 1982. Ten classes “graduating” songs, puppet shows, bible verses, prizes. A twelve-year-old girl shared her lovely testimony, “At first I was scared to come up, but since the Lord wanted me to give a testimony I want to do so. When I came here to VBS last year, on the first day the Holy Spirit touched my heart, when I heard all the wonderful stories of Jesus, I accepted the Lord as my personal savior. I thank God for loving us so much. My little brother and I are grateful that the big church family accepted us as family members.” Tears of joy mixed with songs of joy.

在1982 年的VBS结束典礼上,有十首“毕业歌”木偶表演,圣经金句背诵和奖品。一位十二岁女孩分享了她可爱的见证:“开始,我怕上台,但是因为上帝要我做见证,我就想这样做。去年VBS的第一天,圣灵感动了我。我听到这么多美好的耶稣故事后就接受了主耶稣作为我的救主。我感谢上帝如此地爱我们。我弟弟和我很感激这个大教会接受我们成为这个大家庭的成员。


As we look to the years ahead, we pray for God’s continued encouragement to us to look to the fields – the vast numbers of children that have ready, receptive hearts for the Lord, which will keep God’s love and presence in their hearts, who will serve Him to the ends of the earth. May that vision touch the hearts and minds of all Christians all over this land, to reach out and bring those lovely children into the Lord’s presence! The joy and the challenge are before us!