Connecting to Self, Relating to Others, Living Out Our Faith – “Heart-to-Heart: Loving God” Series

It has been seven years since we first launched the “Presence Life Planning Curriculum”  (PLPC) in 2017, and we have served 487 participants; 11 further participated in the Certified Trainer Program. Through the curriculum, we have helped the participants and trainers examine their lives, listen to their inner voice, and achieve breakthroughs concerning relational blind spots. They have been equipped to see the world, others, and themselves from a new perspective and to live out their faith at a deeper level. Through the testimonies of a participant and a trainer, we have a glimpse of how God has been using PLPC to help one connect to self, relate to others, and live a more vibrant life of faith.

A Participant’s Sharing                 
Winnie Yau

The topic I chose for the PLPC B2 Module “Rising Above Limitations: Living a Proactive Life Despite Limitations” is, “Despite the limitations to my expectations regarding different aspects of life, how do I find hope amidst it? Then design a resolution plan to address the limitations/difficulties I am facing now.” The assignment helped me discover that I have high expectations for myself, though not all are from the Lord. Sometimes I feel so exhausted and frustrated with these expectations that I can’t control my tongue and say what I should not say to my loved ones, like my mother, and hurt our relationship. This topic made me reflect on my expectations, trying to identify which ones are from myself, from others, and from God. I also came up with a  resolution plan for the difficulties and limitations that I was facing. For example, as a member of the family, one of my expectations is to keep my living environment clean. However, it is very time consuming and overwhelming to always keep my home sparkling clean. My resolution plan is to accept the fact that my home won’t always be very clean; I lowered my expectation from 95% clean to 60-75% to give myself a break. 

During this process, I discovered that to a certain extent I too have expectations toward my loved ones and my best friends, though I never realized it before. Now I hope to explore and pay more attention to this area. For example, I expect my daughter to occasionally initiate conversation and share her life with me, I expect my mother to receive Christ one day…, etc.

A Trainer’s Sharing               
Pastor Joan Lee

In the Chinese church, it is not uncommon to assume that one’s level of Bible knowledge is used to determine whether a Christian is spiritual or not. I have been praying unceasingly that I can help believers get their head knowledge into their hearts so their faith can be deepened.

Since using PLPC as my fellowship group’s study material, I have been glad to see the participants experiencing a breakthrough in their own blind spots, discovering their inadequacies, and seeking transformation through the Holy Spirit. I have witnessed the process of how head knowledge from the Bible gets deeper into their hearts. The participants, through discussions and games, have subtly come to understand their own inner or spiritual condition, and have boldly faced their life circumstances in an accepting and safe environment.

For instance, the “Managing your Life” Module has helped participants examine and understand their positive and negative emotions. I remember one time a participant shared that when she read the description of negative emotions, her first response was “I don’t have any.” However, when she pondered more, she realized that she has a lot of negative emotions, which have just been ignored or suppressed. She was kind of shocked by the discovery.

In fact, I experienced the same shocking discovery when I was taking the trainer program. After pastoring for so many years, feeling hurt or being wronged is inevitable. However, I could only tough it out in the moment; and as time passed by, I just buried those negative emotions. Through the reflection time in class and the acceptance of other participants, I have started to boldly face myself.

The teaching style of PLPC is not traditional. The trainers need to put on a different identity depending on the subject material and response of the participants. The trainer can take on the identity of a teacher, a mentor, or a facilitator to better guide the participants to reflect. I learned how to make good use of these different identities from the trainer programs, and it helps me to better connect with the congregants when pastoring.

I truly believe that the PLPC is a powerful tool a church can use to build up healthy believers.

Written/Edited by: Presence Editors

Presence Hong Kong Limited is a non-profit organization that has supported Christian and family values since 2012. We aim to raise up a new generation for the cultural mission — equip individuals and families to bridge the cultural and generational gaps and to live a unique life with wisdom. 

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