I had this big box from buying a Philips all in one cooker. I decided to use it to store all my journals because the current box was too small. Since I was transferring it I decided to specify the years on the spines of the journals. The earliest existing journal was 1982. I had journals from an earlier period but I had somehow discarded them. The earlier ones were mainly devotional notes of my Bible meditations. On a whim, I picked up the oldest and began to read it. Surprisingly I could not put it down as it was so fun to read. I put some up on my Instagram story, and sent some to relevant individuals to affirm them, and stir pleasant memories.
I noticed that 1982 was a year that displayed some spiritual fruit ten years after the revival of 1972 caused my home church, World Revival Prayer Fellowship, to be formed. The significant fruit was the number of people who heard and responded to God’s invitation to them to serve Him in different ways. My journal recorded them.
Examples of revival fruit
There was Simeon and Jacob, two brothers who joined the Discipleship Training School of YWAM. The former went on to serve in a YWAM in Taiwan, and as a leader in two big Asian regions. It has been about 40 years, with more years to come. My journal jotting on 28 July 1982: “We prayed for Simeon Siau. The Committee sat down together to pray and seek the Lord’s will. I felt that the harvest is great but workers are few and the Lord wants to thrust him forth as a gift to the nations.”
The latter, Jacob, joined YWAM Calcutta on staff (see my actual journal entry below), and then YWAM Nepal where he got arrested with a YWAM team and spent a few days in prison for “preaching the gospel”. Later on, he returned to our home church to serve in a church plant, and later to return to the workplace. This is revival fruit.
My journal jot for Thomas Tan on 27 June 1982 was a mere 11 words: “We sent Thomas Tan with the blessings of God upon him”, but he has been serving the Lord the last 40 years. He joined Operation Mobilization Pakistan land team for two years. This was followed by WEC Missionary Training College, and then seven years with Frontiers, reaching the unreached Pushtun people group in Peshawar. After that, he returned home and has since been serving in the local church as a pastor. This is revival fruit.
My sister Joyce was not sent by the church but she felt a call to enter into the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary to live in community and service. She has taken her vows and her new name is Beryl. She served in the Australian branch and returned back to the mother house in Darmstadt, Germany. I jotted in my journal on 20 May 1982: “Went to Crest book room to buy a Bible for Joyce before she leaves for W Germany next week. There was none suitable so I decided to give her the money $200 as a gift from us.” She has been serving with the sisterhood about 40 years now. This is revival fruit.
I was called into pastoral work in 1979, and that very year attended Tung Ling Bible School. However, it was in my third year of theological education (1982), that I was officially installed as assistant pastor to Pastor P.J. Johney. Later, on the 9th March 1986, I was ordained. I served my home church for 40 years. This is revival fruit.
There are many others in my home church who went on to serve the Lord before and after 1982. Revival fruit.
Evidence of true revival
When the Spirit is poured out in mighty streams of living water, the lives of many are transformed. The desire to serve God is pervasive and is very strong and lasting in some individuals. It is like fire in the bones and it propels them into His service in the local church. Over the years of faithfulness, their spiritual gifts and strengths are identified and developed, and the passion is narrowed down and more specific. The flame does not die out, it keeps energizing them and carrying them over obstacles. When they fail it drives them closer to God and deepen their life. They respond to God with enduring faith. This is a significant fruit of true revival. Lasting fruit is one of the marks of a genuine revival. Going viral on YouTube does not qualify as revival fruit.
My journaling journey seemed to have begun as Bible meditation notes. It was Rev Brian Bailey of World MAP, who encouraged this practice of writing down the insights one gathered from Bible meditation. Then it went into simple diary-like reports of what I did and what happened around me, without much reflection of where God had been present or what he may be saying to me. This was what my 1982 journal was like. I wonder how my journaling evolved. I do not know if I will go on to read a few more journals, maybe in 5 year intervals to get an overview of my journaling journey. This sounds like an interesting project, but I do not have time for this right now. God willing, I would like to do it.