this past weekend i had the opportunity to meet up with other leaders and board members of ECBC (eastern chinese bible conference). for the many years that ive been involved with the teen conference (TECBC), i've never had a chance to meet with the board and hear their hearts for the ministry that ECBC has. the outting was held at roy and mary's farm in blairstown, nj. roy and mary joined us for the discussion being two people who have literally seen ECBC through it's whole duration from 1950 to today (i think that means both of them are at least in their 70s... maybe 80s? i dunno!). they still consistently attend and support ECBC and it was humbling and encouraging to see how God has been faithful all these 58 years.
through the short time we had there, roy and mary had an opportunity to share how ECBC came about... where a bunch of young people from PA, not really knowing what they were doing decided to put together something to gather christians together and network churches. at the first ECBC, just 23 people attended i think. they also shared lots of episodes and stories from the past.
something i began to realize and appreciate was that whenever they spoke, there seemed to be this weight to their words. whether they'd be sharing something from their heart for ECBC or recounting a humorous story, there was something about the way they spoke that made me listen intently to them. as i listened i imagined every word they spoke being grounded on so many years of experience and wisdom. even when i might have not agreed with some of the side comments in their stories there was something about the weight in the words that made me step back and say to myself: "shut up you. there's a wealth of experience, knowledge and wisdom here that you haven't even begun to obtain. just listen and absorb. you have much to learn."
i don't often get to meet older people let alone older people who have been so faithful and have lived such full lives. and sometimes when i do, they don't speak english so it's tough. but this weekend, hearing roy and mary share was the highlight for me this weekend. i wish i could just gather people i know around them and just have roy and mary tell us stories because it's difficult to express the feelings i had just listening and i'm still humbled by them now as i think and write about them.