Author: Kaleb Johnson | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2022-23
Estimated Reading Time: 2 min.
The Living Education students in Charlotte recently had the privilege of hearing from a minister serving as the area pastor for Southeast Asia and India, Mr. Rajan Moses.
He serves members of God’s Church in seven countries and has learned much from his experience covering such a large region. Mr. Moses began by stating that God is a family. When he came into the church 50 years ago, Mr. Moses had to prove to himself, and then defend to his family and others, that God is not a Trinity. “To understand that concept,” elaborated Mr. Moses, “it took many years to really come to grasp how God is a family.” It is a profound truth that carries many pertinent lessons for us right now. Ultimately, God is reproducing Himself to expand His family, and the physical family is a type of this. We in God’s church today are to look at one another as brothers and sisters, preparing for the coming time when we will be born again into God’s family.
Family and the Church of God Today
Mr. Moses proved the Truth to much of his family, and many of them are in the Church too. But this is not a singular event. We see through the Bible that God works with families. Today, the Church is filled with these families with whom God has worked, and the area Mr. Moses covers is no exception to this. In Southeast Asia and India, many congregations are one or two families, often large families, who strengthen and support one another. Mr. Moses then took a moment to tell the students about our spiritual family in an area quite far away from Charlotte.
The Expansive Family of God
Mr. Moses showed the students a map of Southeast Asia with all its congregations as dots, telling us about the members who were there and some unique bits about each place. He showed a map of India and Sri Lanka and mentioned the members and congregations there. We learned that these parts of the world are home for many members of God’s Church, our brothers and sisters. And here, too, God works with many unique families and people. These members of our spiritual family come out of mainstream Christianity, Isalm, Buddhism, and Hinduism, which is an example of God calling people all around the world from all backgrounds. The Work is still increasing in this part of the world.
A Challenge for Us All
Our brethren in Southeast Asia face difficulties and challenges that we may not realize. Mr. Moses told us how getting off work for the Sabbath and Holy Days can be a bigger challenge than we are used to in the United States. Even some schools require children to attend on Saturdays, so parents in the Church have to get special absence approval for their kids. But, God works these problems out if we have faith in Him, as our brethren in these countries can testify. With the recent military coup in Myanmar, some brethren have been forced to flee villages and even the country. Mr. Moses told the story of one member’s son, a police inspector who was told by the military to execute “rebels.” He was forced to flee Myanmar altogether and escape to Thailand! It is imperative for our members to trust in God. “We all live by faith…. Whenever we face these types of trials, we rely on God, and God opens doors.”
While these members face difficulties that many of us do not, we all have a common challenge. We have to fulfill the admonition given by Jesus Christ (John 13:34-35). Do we have a genuine love, like the love a family has for one another? Would someone outside the Church see us showing love for one another plainly? Or would they not? As Paul said in 1 Corinthians, we must suffer together, rejoice together, and eventually we will be glorified together (12:24-26). Mr. Moses gave a specific challenge to the LE students: “Talk to them [older church members]; ask them how they came into the Church and about their experiences in the past.” The trials the older generation faced are very similar to the ones that this generation is and will face! We can learn from their experience. We all must do our part to bring this spiritual family of God, prospective members of God’s divine family, together in unity. Mr. Moses concluded by saying we must all practice and radiate the love of God as one unified family to prepare for the soon-coming time when we will be sons and daughters in the family of God.