The Greatest Prize

Keeping the faith.

Mrs. V. Kuhn is the Shepherdess Coordinator at Maluku Mission Region and &so the BWA/Children/Adventist Horne Director, Her husband is the treasurer for that region in Indonesia,

I have fought a good fight, I have fin­ished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous judge, shall give me at the day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7.

In April 11, 2004, the shepherd­esses and members of the BWA (Bakti Wanita Advent), the Seventh-day Adventist Women's De­partment, from the whole Ambon Is­land held a meeting at Suli congrega­tion. This congregation is known as the EWA congregation because most of its members are women. According to the schedule, that program would start at 11:00 a.m. The first program was worship, and the second program was a skills training program which would be presented by the BWA Skills Training Section and the Ambon In­dustrial Department.

We planned to leave Wayame at 10:00 a.m., since it takes about 45 minutes to get to Suli. Besides, we had to travel with sev­eral other groups. But, as we were getting ready to leave, unexpected guests arrived. We had to host them because there were some important things to discuss. Our travel was delayed and we arrived in Suli at several minutes before noon.

When we arrived, the BWA mem­bers who had been waiting for us looked disappointed. We tried to ex­plain the problem, but some of the la­dies could not hide their disappoint­ment. We first started with the wor­ship and went on with the skills train­ing program.

The first skills training, making cakes, was easily followed and practiced by the trainees. The trainees enthusiastically practiced the recipes they had gotten from the first trainer. The second trainer then explained how to make plates us­ing palm leaf ribs. The trainees listened enthusiastically and followed the direc­tions given until they started to make plates on their own. At first everything went smoothly but they kept asking their trainer for help. However, as the activity went on, some of them stated that they had been left far behind or gotten bored. Several of them even left the place and went home with other excuses. I then noticed the rest of the trainees. Some­body asked her friend next to her for a further explanation, but she looked un­satisfied and consulted another friend beside her. I also noticed some other trainees who were standing in a line to ask their trainers. I really admired and appreciated the patience and diligence of the trainer to answer all questions asked of her. She sometimes had to break the palm leaf rib plates made by the women and rebuild them using the true steps. She kept on giving instructions though she had to say and do the same things repeatedly. Sometimes she had to direct the trainee's hand so that the person knew what to do. Finally, two women successfully accomplished this task. Both of them confidently showed their hand­made plates to every woman and even to the men who were there.

Our spiritual life journeys are much like the above story. We might think that the relationship between God and us is very well-done. However, stumbling blocks suddenly appear in that relation­ship. We might have committed to do something, but when the results do not occur as what we expect, we start com­plaining. But remember this: those who neglect to build a good relationship with God would be considered late. There maybe times when we want to quit. Yet, we should not forget that we still have people around us who are willing to help us. Above all, just as the instructor helped the ladies in the story, God will surely help us. He holds us, protects us with His angels, enables us, and gives us strength to end this competition. Some­times Jesus has to block our ways in this life because He knows that those ways are not the best ones. If we fully surren­der to the Lord, we will have great joy just like the two women (the members of BWA) who successfully accomplished their work.

Sometimes we fail or do something wrong, but Jesus humbly and gently helps us improve all our weaknesses, as long as we always depend on Him.

Surely God will help us to finish the competition and have a victorious crown on our heads, along with all His chosen people. It will be our greatest prize. Amen.