A glorious church starts from a glorious marital relationship. Thank God that this Sunday we will commission our beloved disciples, Pastors Kelly and Johnny to Tainan 611 Bread of Life Christian Church, building a Tree of Life church.
Looking back, for many years, their commission didn’t look possible at all. Their marital relationship has been difficult and yet their marriage struggles have made them the in-charge of church couples’ camp. Johnny is like an iceberg whereas Kelly a volcano. Johnny struggled to give any praise or make an apology to his wife. Overall, he considers himself a good and dutiful husband and father, totally unaware of how lowly he was. During a co-worker retreat in Taiwan when I celebrated my 60th birthday, they were invited to share. There and then, I could tell that they had come out of pr evious confrontation and deadlocks.
After many years’ discipleship and countless couples’ camps, they have begun to understand each other better. In 2015, through a cartoon movie “Inside Out”, we were able to illustrate and communicate our emotions through five colours. Kelly is like the yellow “Joy” whereas Johnny is the blue “Sadness”. C-Mo has taught Kelly to be red (Anger) and green (Disgust) when she needs to express her discontent and needs and not just to cover up her inner emotions by Joy.
We have witnessed how our heavenly Father has been leading them onto their destiny. Over forty years ago (1978), studying in Taiwan, I met Johnny at the Mustard Seed Fellowship for Undergraduates in Taipei Bread of Life Christian Church. Twenty years later, I met him again in Hong Kong when he was on the verge of losing his faith. His subordinate brought him to 611. A man who almost left God is now commissioned to pastor a church today. Truly, it was God who sought him out.
Johnny was by himself in Hong Kong. He came to church because of C-Mo and I who were his old friends and Mandarin is widely spoken in this church. Gradually he senses the Presence of God in this church. As he experienced first-hand how God worked in Hong Kong through the 611 church during SARS in 2003, he decided to stay and follow, as well as to receive our discipleship and teachings. Despite all kinds of difficulties, he moved his family from Taiwan to Hong Kong to join him. Experiencing the work of God, his life and marriage have been adjusted and his emotion has been unblocked.
Today, Johnny and Kelly are sent back to Taiwan, with the covering of the Tree of Life, a wonderful marital relationship and the heart of a father and a mother. Blessed are the brothers and sisters of Tainan 611 Church! They are the first couple pastors to be commissioned during the pandemic. Even though we shall miss them dearly, we are pleased to see the growth in their lives. It’s truly by the grace and guidance of Father God that they can undertake the planting of Tree of Life. How grateful and thankful we are.• [2020.09.06]