Newsletter February, 2003

ORLANDO CHINESE CHURCH MONTHLY NEWSLETTER 
FEBRUARY, 2003


Will You Go Out Without Knowing? 

He went out, not knowing whither he went. " Hebrews 11:8

Have you been "out" in this way? If so, there is no logical statement possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the difficulties in Christian work is this question --- "What do you expect to do?" You do not know what you are going to do; the only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing. Continually revise your attitude towards God and see if it is a going out of everything, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keeps you in perpetual wonder --- you do not know what God is going to do next. Each morning you wake it is to be a "going out," building in confidence on God. "Take no thought for your life, ... nor yet for your body" --- take no thought for the things for which you did take thought before you "went out."

Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you go out in surrender to Him until you are not surprised an atom at anything He does?

Suppose God is the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him --- what an impertinence worry is! Let the attitude of the life be a continual "going out" in dependence upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it which is a satisfaction to Jesus. You have to learn to go out of convictions, out of creeds, out of experiences, until so far as your faith is concerned, there is nothing between yourself and God. ---- From "My Utmost for His Highest"

My Salvation and His Calling

As a young boy, I attended a Catholic church for the purpose of collecting coupons that could later be used to exchange gifts. Sometimes I went to Buddhist temple but it was dark there, kind of scary. I liked the church better; it was bright inside and there I won't be afraid. Deep in my heart I believed in this God of creation, but I did not know Him very well. It seemed that He was far, far away and unreachable. He appeared quite stingy, because whenever I asked Him for something, He rarely listened to me. So, I decided to believe in myself after all.

While in the Taiwanese army, I once lost a bolt from my rifle in the field. The sergeant required the whole squad to go back to the field to find it, otherwise he would not give us the weekend off. Those days the only free time was the weekend, and we waited for it eagerly every week. Therefore, I was willing to pay any fine or even buy a new rifle for it, but where on the wild hill could we find a small metal bolt? When we returned to the training ground, all nine other fellows were looking for the bolt, except that I was praying with my eyes shut. I told God that if He were willing to help me that one time, I would really believe in Him. Before I opened my eyes one fellow found the bolt! It was so amazing, and with all our excitement I forgot about God right way. Quickly ten years went by.

Then my wife and I came to South Carolina to study for our doctoral degrees. When I looked at those who got the degree already and were working for a career, they did not appear happy, although they possessed everything I dreamed about. As a result, I thought about the meaning of life a lot. On the other hand, I noticed a group of Christians on campus. They shared the gospel to us frequently. In their lives there was an indescribable peace and joy, which we did not have. How I began to long for that peace and joy!

So I went to church, and found Jesus Christ. I discovered that our God is not aloft high in heaven, nor stingy at all. He loved us and gave us His only-begotten Son. The Lord Jesus came to this earth to die on the cross for our sins. By believing in Him our sins may be forgiven, and we may receive the eternal life. I thank the Lord, for He led me back to my heavenly Father. Henceforward the heavenly peace and joy have been with me always.

After my conversion I loved God and wanted to serve him, but did not know how. Someone asked me to join in the cleaning of church courtyard before Sunday service. It was a big place and often took hours to rake up the leaves. Sometimes I even dreamed of leaf raking at night. But I wanted people to come in and see a clean place, so they would come back again, to hear God's Word. Then I began to receive training and lead Bible study, learning to serve God in the church.

After graduation God led my wife and myself to Jacksonville. The church here had no minister then, but many of God's servants came to minister. In particular, Brother Ting came regularly from Orlando to do training with us, so that we began to understand God's plan from the Bible. In 1995, Pastor Pang began his ministry here. His Bible knowledge helped us greatly. My service expanded to include Sunday school, home fellowship, gospel meeting and visitation. When Pastor Pang retired for health reason, we started the pastoral search again. After more than a year and interviewing five or six candidates, we could not find any suitable person. In due process, a lot of time and money were spent with no help to the church at all. One day a small voice reminded me, "Normally only the shepherd be looking for his flock. But in your case the flock is looking for a shepherd. I have given you the gifts for the ministry. Why don't you use them?" We slowed down the search and began to set up fellowship groups. In two years many "mini-pastors" were raised up to care for these groups. Since Pastor Pang remained in Jacksonville, he was willing to be our advisor, taking up the responsibility of training us. With training, I was given the opportunity to preach.

As tentmaker, I did not consider full-time service, especially since my ministry was effective. When I visited people, they were moved and willing to accept Jesus. With my income I could tithe to help the church ministry, such as building project, missionary work and hiring pastor. But I did not reject the concept of full-time service, since I have offered myself totally to the Lord. If God calls, I am willing.

In March 2001, Pastor Pang wrote to the deacons, saying that he prayed for my full-time service, and asked them to pray for me. My father also said that he would not object to my becoming a minister. Many brothers and sisters began praying for me as well. I kept all those things in my heart, but did not feel the call. Secretly, I made a covenant with God: Let me work for at least ten years, so I will be qualify for social security benefit!

In 2002 my ten years were up, and the Spirit reminded me of this inside. I told God that my wife was not touched by this idea yet. The two should bear the same yoke, and I need her support. My wife made it clear: It has to be God's calling, then God will be responsible for our future. So, I waited for God's call.

In the meantime God took away my interest for the secular work. I began to dislike computer programming. Everyday at work I felt that I was wasting my time and my life. I heard the voice inside again, "Many are willing to offer money, but few for full-time service. I want your whole person. Are you willing to offer yourself totally?" It was a big struggle, and I begged God to appear face to face so I knew it was His calling.

On Oct. 20 Rev. Beck came to preach. He and his wife served as missionary to Taiwan for thirty years. He mentioned that some of Mrs. Beck's classmates were one time called to be missionaries also, but later gave up that idea after marriage. Although they had a good earthly living, but always regretted missing the opportunity to the mission field. The regret robbed their joy for all the days of their lives. When I heard, I knew that I had no joy but sadness. I prayed the Lord to appear to me.

[Oct. 31: The Lord manifested His glory.] 
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Zhang and his wife Guan came to me after the Sunday service of 10/27. They expressed an interest in becoming a Christian. I spoke to them about salvation, and led them in prayers to accept the Lord that afternoon.

At midnight on Tuesday 10/29, Guan called to tell me that Zhang went crazy. He went outside to cry loud for God to save him. He wrestled Guan to the ground, demanding her repentance of sin. The neighbors called the police, and he was in jail. Having learned from her that Zhang practiced qi-gon before, I thought may be Zhang was demon-possessed. All night I did not sleep well. Whenever awake, I prayed for both of them.

On 10/30 Wednesday afternoon, Guan, Zhang's boss and I went to the court, trying to bail him out. But we did not see him there. The police said that Zhang was suicidal and could not be released, lest he should hurt others. They planned to send him to the mental hospital. On the way home, Zhang's boss called again and said that the police was willing to let him out, if we would be responsible for his safety. So, we turned back to the detention center. The boss was talking to a group of policemen, but Zhang was not seen. They told us that as soon as Zhang came out he was kneeling and crying and dancing. The police sent him to the mental hospital right way.

On 10/31 Thursday evening we went to the hospital. The nurse said that Zhang went wild and caused a big disturbance the night before. They tied him to his bed, and gave him sedatives so he could sleep. Pastor Pang, Brother Chang, Guan and myself stood around the bed and talked to him. He responded in a normal manner, and the pastor repeated the salvation story to him. After that the pastor told Zhang that he was ready to pray for him. Zhang even said that would be fine. I held his right hand, and Guan had his left hand. When the pastor said, "In the name of Jesus Christ I demand the evil spirit to come out," Zhang began to tremble hard in the bed, so the whole bed was shaking. We all prayed aloud, "In the Name of Jesus Christ!" Suddenly, he sat up and cried out a loud voice, which could be heard throughout the whole building. It lasted about two or three minutes. Finally, the evil spirit left and he quieted down. Lying in bed, he praised God by repeating "Alleluia" with the pastor, then fell asleep peacefully. The next day his doctor came; after examining him and proclaiming him normal, he released Zhang and sent him home. Praised God, He saved Zhang! 
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Before we went to cast out the demon, I prayed the Lord to save Zhang and keep us safe. If so, I would offer my whole life to Him. When in the Name of Jesus Christ the demon was indeed cast out, I saw how great is this Name and how powerful is His glory. As Job said, "I heard about you, now I truly see you," I knew by then God has revealed Himself to me personally. When I went home and told my wife the whole event, we gave thanks to the Lord and praised Him.

God showed me that without God man has no hope and will die as the devil in eternal death. What can be more urgent than saving the lost souls? Like seeing people drown in the ocean, can I say, "wait till I retire, go to seminary, graduate and then come to save you?" Romans 10:13-15 says, "Whoever called upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. But how shall they call upon in Him whom they have not believed? How shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? How shall they hear without a preacher? How shall they preach unless they are sent?" I also heard the Lord say, "Whom can I send, and who will go for us?" I said, "Here I am; send me" (Isa. 6:8). Two days later, I told my wife that I decided to drop my work and begin full-time service to God. She simply asked me when, because she knew it was God who called, and was therefore willing to obey.

Nov. 10 was the pledge Sunday for our building project. When I saw brothers and sisters come forward to drop their pledges into the offering box one after the other, I was not only touched but understood the faithfulness of God. I do not need to worry about the building fund anymore.

On Nov. 16 I went to California to visit my mother because of her surgery. My father invited two ministers and two brothers to talk to me individually in order to confirm my calling, and to discuss what my next step should be. Thank God that they gave me many valuable advices and strengthened my faith. Mother is a Christian; she gave thanks when other people's sons went into ministry. But she was afraid when thinking about her own son's future suffering. When she noticed my faith becoming firmer after each conversation with those men, she decided to speak up. "People eloquent in speech do not go into ministry. From childhood you are not good at speech or dealing with people. How can you be a minister?" I told her that I do not have speech, but I have Jesus. She said, "O foolish son, how are you going to live? The minister is always the poorest in the church!" I comforted her that life does not consist of possessions; I might be poor materially but be rich spiritually. In Rev. 3:17, the church of Laodicea thought they were rich and lacked nothing. But God considered them wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.

After a week in Los Angeles I returned to Jacksonville. Upon arrival at home, mother called. As soon as I left, she began reading a book, which opened with these words: "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." "My son is not foolish but wise, because he fears the Lord and knows the Holy One," she thought. I know the Lord has spoken to mother and changed her heart.

Thank be to God for He has saved me, but even more because He has called me to serve Him. I have totally surrendered myself to God, willingly giving the rest of my life's time to Him with no reservation. May all the glory and honor be to the Lord Jesus Christ! (K.T. Wang)