Peace with you, Jun
Thanks are to God!
I mentioned in the letter to you last time, I was attracted by the goodness expressed in the lives of the brothers and sisters in the church, which was the reason for me to stay. I wanted to know and understand what caused them to act the way they did.
After spending time with the folks at the church, I was also invited to have meals and testimonial sharing.
There was an old lady in her 70s or 80s. She was about 1.85 meters in height. She sang and played music at every gathering. As soon as she sat down at the piano, a beautiful melody would emerge between her fingers, it was obvious she played the piano professionally. From the first time I heard her playing the organ at the church, I paid her particular attention. With the solemnity, interpretation, professional skill in music, and the way she presented herself in her life, all of these I see how she was different from everyone else. Throughout the time I learned that her full name was Effie Jean Lanman Corbitt, and everyone called her Jean. She was the mother-in-law of Nancy Clay, who helped us during the typhoon, and brought us to this church. When I got to know her, she told us her testimony, which shook my heart tremendously.
After graduating from high school, Jean attended Judson College, and then entered the piano department of the Juilliard School of Music in New York, studying in playing piano and organ professionally. Her outstanding grades have earned her several positions as an assistant professor in the music department of several prestigious universities before graduation. However, she began to struggle when she learned several churches in her hometown was lacking pianists. But taking a position as a university professor would be a great achievement for her professional career. After a period of prayer, she made a decision that is different from ordinary people. She gave up the opportunity to be an assistant professor at universities, obeyed God’s calling, and returned to her small town to serve God as a pianist for several churches there.
Throughout her time from high school to return to her heavenly home at the age of nearly 90, she played the piano in several churches for about 70 years. But when I asked her why she was able to let go of the pursuits of the world and choose to come to small-town churches to serve God, she said, “Jesus the Son was born in eternity and history as a human being, he was incarnated in the flesh to save the mortals. We are to let the life of Christ magnified through our lives to lead people to the Lord. Therefore, the need for church pianists reveals a special burden for me, to release the light of God through our lives, to allow more people to sense the warmth and love of this light, and encourage people to turn to God. My obedience compared to what Jesus Christ has done for us is nothing at all. She said it so naturally and calmly, without much change in her tone of voice. But my heart was pounding when I heard her
This incident completely overturned the concept that I held on to on my way to knowing God. It allows me to see how Christians have completely different perceptions of the world’s reputation and status than the world. On earth, although she went to a prestigious school and was offered the assistant professor positions in prestigious schools, in the eyes of God, she said, she was an ordinary person and had equal status with others. As God’s chosen people, she must live out the “mission” of the Lord Christ; giving up her position as an assistant professor at a university is not for her to show off, but to obey God’s calling and leading. God also prepared for her an earthly spiritual companion, Roy, who shared with her for sixty-four years of her life. Through her decisions and her 70 years of service, many people’s lives were changed, but also they touched the many seekers around them. She said her God is the God who is in charge of the future ahead of her, and she can only obey God and follow the path guided by God. All she wanted was to satisfy God, and this gave her peace and joy in her soul. ” You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.” (Psalm 139:2- 3) This has also become a beautiful example for me to learn to obey and enjoy the sweetness when I became a Christian.
May God bless you! Jean’s testimony of obeying and choosing God all her life helps us understand more about God. See you next time.
Eric and his wife Ping are missionaries sent to Cambodia by Gospel Operation International (Canada) gointl.ca. At present, they are in a remote mountain village in Pursat province in northern Cambodia engaging in frontier missions. To learn more about them, visit their mission journal pilgrimontheway.home.blog