9 mins story
Photo by Nycholas Benaia on Unsplash

Min was born in a non-Christian family and he had a miserable childhood due to his tremendous loss. In his young age, he lost his beloved grandparents, and then his father died of illness, leaving only him and his mom. Suffering from the loss and living with a single mom who struggled for job security to survive, Min felt sad and helpless because he couldn’t share her responsibilities to make a better life for both of them. Min also had to face his own personal challenge. He had a stutter, which made it difficult for him to communicate with others well and even caused some children to mock him. This sense of loss and challenge led him to become anxious and insecure, and he found it difficult to interact with his peers. According to Min’s description, he was a lonely child and didn’t enjoy his childhood. When he grew up, his mom suffered from severe chronic illness and almost died. In their desperate time, God reached out to them through His faithful servants to proclaim His love and salvation to them. In hospital, they accepted God into their life and found eternal hope. God also amazingly saved his mom. Since then, God became their heavenly Father and protector, and never let them want for anything.

God’s healing had not stopped there. On their first day to the church, a gracious message came to Min and his mom—father of the fatherless and protector of widow is God in his holy habitation. This assured message spoke to them that God has a special place in His heart for this poor family. That was a life changing moment, hearing this powerful message for the first time, Min decided not only to follow God with no turning back, but to devote his entire life to studying His Word and serving God. Although God didn’t perform fully miraculous physical healing and his mom still had to deal with her disease, Min never doubted God’s unconditional love or lost faith in Him. For him, God is the head of his house and He holds them in his unfailing love, and His mercy has abundantly come to them so his mom could live with her illness. With God’s help, Min could take good care of his mom through years of hardship. When Min became a Christian, reading out God’s Word loudly and singing hymns everyday became his spiritual habit. A miracle happened to him: Min had a stutter and was afraid of reading God’s Word in front of people. As time went by, his stuttering was reduced and his speech fluency considerably improved. He can now confidently preach sermons and lead worship in the church. 

God healed Min’s physical challenge and then called him to equip himself and serve the church as a full-time preacher. That was not an easy decision to respond to this calling, since his job was his family’s sole source of income, which needed to cover the entire family’s expenses, his mom’s medical bills, and support his son who is just 3 years old. Resigning for a Bible school meant leaving home, Min’s wife has been his faithful helper, and knowing his struggle, she stepped in to take over Min’s responsibilities. She rotated 3 different jobs for living and paying Min’s tuition fees while taking care of the child and Min’s mom without complaining. After his 3-year study at a Bible school, Min was admitted to a seminary, his wife once again fully supported him without hesitation. His mom prayed hard for his study and future ministry every day.

After graduation, Min couldn’t return to his church because it was divided. While this was painful, it served a good purpose with God’s grace. Those who listened to his preaching at church and seminary actively invited him to preach at their churches. Like Paul, the apostle, Min had traveled from city to city, village to village to preach at various occasions and was hosted by warmhearted followers. Imagining in trips, Paul could have worn heavy shoes, or sandals to walk through mountainous paths and creeks, and have carried a cloak with a hood and a long staff against rain and dogs. Similarly, Min did the same thing to survive some dangerous situations and severe weather to reach rural churches. The difference between them is that Paul earned money by making tents in order to support himself in his ministry of witnessing to Jesus Christ, but Min did it by doing other people’s laundry with his wife. Min spent 4 years and traveled 9 provinces for his preaching ministry, and his preaching reputation has grown so that he is highly regarded by many. He is very gifted in preaching God’s Word and leading worship. His sermons were highly welcomed, which portrayed the lives of Biblical characters vividly and connected them well to congregations’ lives and faith practice for reflection. His testimony in belief encouraged many male Christians to serve God, his life experiences enable him to understand people’s struggles and plight empathetically and offer them tangible help.

His preaching gift is from God for sure and is also shaped by his wholehearted love of God’s Words. To accurately understand the Bible, he has collected all versions of the Bible. When preparing sermons, he always carefully checks Bible verses by comparison to read all translations side by side to ensure the accurate meaning of terms. Considering the necessity of comparing different translations of Bible passages to avoid ambiguous interpretation, he devotes his doctoral dissertation to investigate why Chinese Christians just stick with the NIV Bible and what the value is to see how other Bibles render the same passage. His research contribution is to create awareness of how to grasp the full meaning of Scripture. Not only is this the focus of his research, but he is already actively applying this into practice at the church he serves.