如明光照耀 – 賴建鵬牧師與賴羅聰慧師母的人生

December 22nd, 2016 Comments off


勵元達

你們顯在這世代中,好像明光照耀,將生命的道表明出來

腓立比書2:15b-16a

身爲《殉道者之聲》的受訓義工,我從那些在敵對上帝的環境下堅持站在祂一邊的人身上,看到神奇妙的恩典。就如主在哥林多後書12:9對保羅說:

我的恩典夠你用的。

因爲我的能力,是在人的軟弱上顯得完全。

從賴建鵬牧師與賴羅聰慧師母身上,上帝也清楚地顯明祂是又真又活的神。他們經過一個困難又一個困難,面對一個苦難又一個苦難,幾十年來,他們繼續忠心地走在神所安排的窄路上,殷勤地服侍祂,帶領多人歸基督,還帶著微笑地抬起頭來。

感謝神給我機會,1978年到1986年,跟賴牧師與師母在渥太華華人宣道會一起事奉神。在這8年,他們的牧養深深地影響了我的人生與事奉。有3本書*分享他們的生涯經歷和多人的回應(一些被他們觸摸到的生命),讓我們較全面地瞭解神如何在他們的身上動工。在這裏,我要分享一些事件。願神的名得著榮耀。

*1)雨后彩虹;(2)微笑暖心窝;(3)谱出缱绻聪慧情

1. 在加拿大渥太華開荒

1973年,賴建鵬牧師蒙香港宣道會希伯崙堂差派到加拿大渥太華宣教。賴牧師深受邊雲波弟兄所寫的〈獻給無名的傳道者〉所激勵,立志忠心地一生爲主傳道。當時希伯崙堂的主任牧師是 李非吾牧師。他的兒子李思敬博士(現今中國神學研究院院長)回憶說:

七十年代,在我們希伯崙堂一群大男孩心目中,賴建鵬牧師簡直就是一個傳奇… []是教會每周代禱記念的名字,更是我們蒙召獻身的信心典範。

賴牧師回憶當時開荒的情形:

第一次的兒童主日學是帶一群小朋友去釣魚,然後由〈五餅二魚〉的故事講起;青年人事工是由機場的接送,接待到舍下小住,輔導他們等服事開始;成人方面則主要關顧肢體的生活所需,如協助搬房子,教駕車,協助他們入籍,看醫生時翻譯等,然後才逐漸引導他們認識真神。

滌然女士對當時情形的一些觀察:

我隨外子史祈生牧師,去加拿大的渥太華中國教會,領一個夏令會。教會的牧者是一對年輕的夫婦。只見他們輪流抱著一個嬰孩,一個要主持聚會,一個要司琴,嬰孩就傳來遞去的…

當時有很多弟兄姐妹被神的愛,藉著他們,深深地被觸摸:

縱使千言萬語,也難以描述內心對賴師母的感激。無論我到哪里去,都必與人分享她是上帝扭轉我生命的一個重要人物。過去,我是一個極度缺乏自信的人;因著賴師母悉心及愛心的開導,讓我的生命一百八十度被改變與被發掘! 談張堅愛師母

三十多年後的今天,我仍然記得那一刻–我痛哭地奔跑賴師母家,她以溫柔的心靈鼓勵我… J.So

在渥宣的日子…您都帶著笑容迎接我們,就是雖然室外下著大雪,您親切的笑容和關懷使我們這群學生都感到溫暖。我信主已40年了,我在渥宣信主,受造就,被呼召,您和牧師就一直悉心提點教導,在我服侍的路上支援我和丈夫Patrick。每次回去都十分享受與您和牧師的相聚,在牧師身上我們看到神僕人應有的忠心和堅持,在您身上,我們看到神的使女應有的順服和喜樂。您倆的生命影響了我們。 R.Tong宣教士

2. 小兒子出生與師母患了類風濕關節炎

感謝上帝,在渥宣開荒期間,祂賜給賴牧師與師母兩個孩子。但很多時候,神的安排卻與人的期望不同。當《小兒子明哲出生時,雙腳朝天而出。第一天就需要接受矯形手術。一周後,又出現不能進食和排泄症狀,情況甚爲令人擔心幼年時持續有數年雙腿需要打石膏。兩個星期就要更換一次石膏,需要用鋸子鋸開石膏,有時甚至會割傷皮肉。我感到十分害怕,害怕電鋸會鋸傷他的小腿…》

賴師母:《生了第二個孩子以後,就得了類風濕關節炎開始時一個個關節輪流痛三年後才查出原來我是患上類風濕關節炎。那位醫生很仔細地爲我檢查,並把此病的症狀告訴我說:“你將會很痛很痛,痛到你死那天”。我笑笑地說:“不要緊,我禱告,耶穌會幫助我”。那位醫生不是基督徒,他說:“你禱告也沒用,禱告一百次也沒有。因爲神造你的時候,造錯了一點,現在你就病囉!”我聽了很生氣,因爲他說神造錯。接下來那幾天我就笑不出來了,因爲心裏很難過,但是神給了我一首詩歌:〈當轉眼仰望耶穌〉…》

賴牧師:《有一天,當我靈修誦讀詩篇十三篇時,看到詩人受苦的痛苦心路歷程與掙扎,讓我再重新思考自己心中的苦情與疑惑詩人向神求問:爲何忘記了他?神爲何轉眼不顧他?令他終日愁苦,仇敵又勝了他內心的掙扎與痛苦,苦情與埋怨,是不能與信徒分享的,只能在禱告中向神求問神讓我從詩篇十三篇學習到:

1. 眼目不要停留在〈近〉處,而是要向〈遠〉望,繼續仰望上帝;

2. 眼目不要只著重〈現在〉,而是要看〈將來〉,對上帝常存盼望;

3. 眼目不要停留在〈環境〉如何,而是要看〈神的屬性〉,深信祂的愛與公義從沒改變。》

《縱然聰慧罹患類風濕關節炎三十多年 [接受了換關節手術十三次,不能自己行動,又經常痛得要命],像是一根被壓傷的蘆葦 然而,她效法主耶穌特別關愛弱者。她的身邊經常出現一些<被壓傷的蘆葦,將殘的燈火>般的人,卻因遇見她,生命從此得以扭轉。》

我在十四歲時正是需要被肯定的年代,那時賴師母正是用充滿確定和平穩的聲音帶領我們賴師母是我的第一個主日學老師,爲我的信仰成長打下了基礎雖然我只在活泉教會三年,在二十年裏,我仍然每天都在實行她的教導方式我立志在這一生中要把這份遺産傳遞下去。 Abraham L

他的媽媽後來告訴師母:“我的孩子十二歲時,父親離家出走。我帶著三個兒女到了加拿大,正在爲孩子們憂心忡忡之時 …”

Henry本來是一個很孤獨又很傷心的青年人 但經過妳的耐心勸導,他終於接受了救恩 他對向中國傳福音很有負擔,有一天他告訴妳,他準備修讀英文教師文憑,然後前赴中國一年,透過教授英文來傳福音 賴牧師

她無論在何種情況下都表現出對神的愛,並一心想要侍奉主 從不說:“我身體不好不方便”,相反,我記得她總是在微笑 Rev. R. Manickam, Cambodian Min. for Christ 主任

二十多年認識的賴師母,已是一個需靠輪椅代步的師母,行動顯得甚爲不便,且經年累月生活在疼痛的折磨下。然而二十多年來我從未看見她有沮喪的面容。每次見到她,都被她那燦爛的笑容所迷住;心想苦難不是和眼淚併行嗎?但在牧師和師母身上,看到的只是喜樂的心,和完全信靠上帝的生活。 舟子

3. 在師母極需照顧時,賴牧師得了末期癌症

1997年,在賴牧師正準備赴機場飛往洛杉磯前十分鐘,醫生好辛苦才找到他,在電話裏告訴他患了末期鼻咽癌。後來看到統計,這種末期癌症病人得醫治的機會極微。當天晚上,他們一家人度過一個非常不愉快的晚上。

內子心裏難過,想到自己這麽多年來的病痛都是丈夫扶助她。他是一家的支柱。大兒子還可以自立謀生,但小兒子何等需要他啊!想到此,淚水就奪眶而出賴牧師

那天晚上,他們還是照常一起靈修。當天Upper Room的經文是希伯來書4:15-16

因我們的大祭司並非不能體恤我們的軟弱。祂也曾凡事受過試探,與我們一樣,只是祂沒有犯罪。所以,我們只管坦然無懼的來到施恩的寶座前,爲要得憐恤,蒙恩惠,作隨時的幫助。

這正是他們需要的資訊。他們的回應是:

主啊!我要向山舉目,我的幫助從何而來,我的幫助從那創造天地之主而來。

兩位姐妹先後探望他們,要安慰他們。但一見面說不到兩句話,淚水就奪眶而出。牧師對她們說,有時確是很難明白神的旨意,但必須學習完全接納,完全順服。神如今允許這事來臨,我們也深信神從來作

事沒有絲毫差錯,所以我們要學習完全順服,看祂要我們學習的是甚麽功課。她們聽了之後立刻停止流淚,面上浮現喜樂之笑容。

從問:“爲甚麽是我?”到問:“我可以爲神作甚麽?”

師母對牧師說,可能神要他實際地在癌症病人中事奉祂,向他們傳福音,真正關懷他們身心靈的需要,讓他們都得著永生。感謝主,在短短的兩個月中,帶領了數位癌症病友及患關節炎的病友歸主。後來更投入向癌症病人傳福音的事工,帶領多人信主。

在溫哥華癌症中心向一位資深的華人教授傳福音,但遭他立時反擊:“我是不信的,陳方安生曾是我的學生,金博士曾是我的同事…”言下之意,就是你不用多說了。

我對他說:“你不是不信,乃是未信,有一天,你明白及體會神的大愛時,你是會信主的。”以後我們就不常見面。

有一天,他的侄女邀請我探望他。經過3次的探訪,分享,神的靈感動了他們夫婦,兩人謙卑地接受主爲他們的救主及生命的主。 賴牧師

賴牧師接受了35次放射治療,199839日醫生檢查時,體內沒有癌細胞。他就繼續赴加州柬埔寨難民中牧養及傳福音。當地車輛廢氣較多,因電療副作用的影響,晚上睡眠時感到相當吃力。感謝主,蒙祂保守,在他侍奉的那一年间,信徒從十多位增加到五十多位。

滕近輝牧師的評語:

病痛是試金石,許多基督徒一試即倒,滿口怨言,滿腹疑惑, 但賴牧師在癌症多次襲擊之下,仍堅心順服與依靠主,向病患誇勝, 作了美好的見證,榮歸主名。

4. 師母得了癌症

賴師母在20141115日確診患上癌症,2015920日主懷安息。她說:

在我最憂傷痛苦時,神的話是我的安慰及力量。有一首詩歌:

我的心哪,你爲何憂悶,爲何在我裏面煩躁。 應當仰望神,因祂笑臉幫助我,我還要稱讚祂。 42:5

我很喜歡這首詩,當我憂悶時,我就仰望神,因爲祂用笑臉幫助我。

大兒子銘德的分享:

母親對癌症的發展,一直都是十分的平靜祥和的面對。不論從起初忽然知道自己罹患癌症,數月後進行了切除腫瘤手術,再數月後腫瘤科醫生向她展示癌細胞已擴散至全身部位時,她仍是表現得非常的平靜;未幾,醫生指出她的癌症沒有醫療的機會時,她仍是平靜面對;最後,醫生說她剩下時日不多,生命面對倒數餘下日子,她,依然是完全的平靜!一連串翻天覆地的負面消息,她竟然如此的平靜祥和的面對!對我,這真是一個生命存活,生動而又滿有感染力的楷模!

母親在她人生最後的十一天,被送進列治文中央醫院的舒緩病房,每個晚上,我都與她在床邊共語,母子間的對話,都使我感到母親何等的祥和平靜。她向我強調,她對自己的理解,比任何人更清楚,她的確是在天父的手中,而她深信天父終會對她全然的醫治!

她最後一次的分享鼓勵:

從她身上看到神的愛,更開心感受到被愛及被鼓勵的甜蜜。直到最後一次因她身體太虛弱,不能回教會聚會,於是我們跟十多位弟兄姐妹,到她家探望她及一起唱聖詩。師母當時身體雖已很不舒服,但她仍然微笑著,對我們作出最後一次的分享及鼓勵。恩主解除師母地上的勞苦,將我們這位完滿有神樣式的師母,接返天家了。我們帶著萬般不捨的心情在地上暫別這位不一樣的師母。 R. Wong

賴牧師的分享:

她最後一次在家中與我們教會弟兄姐妹分享見證時說,在前一天晚上睡覺時,心中忽然想起一首<祂必預備>的詩歌,似乎主賜給她感動,因她知道她要返天家了。晚上半夜在床上她要與我一同唱這首詩歌,特別第二節:

或這時,或那時,主必定預備,

雖不照我時候,也不照你時候,

主自有祂的時候,主必定預備。

我所有靠主,因祂必預備;我一生靠主,因主必預備。

… … … …

他們的見證告訴我們,上帝明顯地活在他們的生命裏,勝過幽暗的權勢。在這黑暗的世界裏,他們如明光照耀。讓我引述《殉道者之聲》一篇文章的一段作爲結束:

這世界不需要多一張身處順境者的快樂臉龐,

但卻需要一個在生活支離破碎時,仍然滿有喜樂的面容。

《喜樂》證實有一個更偉大的生命與我們同在;

一個能勝過人生痛苦和折磨的《永恒盼望》。

… … … …

(筆者是<殉道者之聲> (VOM) 受訓的義務同工, 樂意免費到各教會或查經班分享有關世界各地基督徒爲主耶穌受逼迫的見證,激勵信徒,並推進自由世界的信徒與受逼迫的信徒的團契。)

Categories: 彩虹見證, 生命再思

MY LOVE FOR YVONNE WAS MET WITH STRONG OPPOSITION FROM HER FATHER

September 25th, 2016 Comments off

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By:  Rev. Paul Lai

 

Translated By: Stephen Li

 

I Love Yvonne:

 

Yvonne’s father was a church deacon.  In the early days when the church was constructing its building, he volunteered as construction supervisor.  As a deacon, he very much loved the Lord and loved people, and was an elderly man with spiritual depth.  He was honest and frank, having lost his wife in middle age.  For the sake of four young daughters, he insisted on not remarrying.  I admired him a lot and got along with him very well.  We often did visitation together, and I often went to his home and talked and shared about God’s word.

 

Every time I visited him, I chose the chair facing the front door, so that when Yvonne returned home from school she would immediately see me.  Every time she returned home, she always glanced at me with a smile.  Her pure and silent smile plucked the strings of my heart.  Sometimes I intentionally delayed my departure just to see her smile.  The moment when our eyes met, it was so romantic!  As time went on our love for one another grew, and the flame of love burned in our hearts.  It was a pity that we did not have the opportunity to be together by ourselves.  I could only silently love her in my heart, and dared not express it openly.  Firstly, her father was strict. Secondly, girls in those days were reserved and conservative, unlike young people today.  Lastly, she was still a student, and was also busy serving as a French tutor. 

 

Once I waited until she finished tutoring and accompanied her on her way home.  I invited her to dine at a restaurant serving Western food, but she refused, and would only accept a glass of 7-up, pointing out that I just graduated, had not found a job yet, and that I was not rich.  We rarely had the opportunity to be together by ourselves, and did not have time to talk deeply.  We could only chat a little, as she had to rush home, in order not to be reprimanded by her father for returning home late.  I remember one night I waited until Yvonne finished her English night school and accompanied her on her way home.  When we were close to her home, Yvonne suddenly realized that it was the time her father walked his beloved dog.  We immediately took another route, or else we might be discovered by her father and be scolded.  Every time we only had ten to twenty minutes of walking together.  Even though it was not under romantic circumstances, we treasured that very much. 

 

Chinese people in Cambodia in the sixties were quite conservative.  If a male and female walked together, or if one rode on a bicycle with someone of the opposite gender, people would think they were lovers.  People would gossip that they were dating and discussing marriage.  Therefore, parents would not casually allow their children to date. 

 

Met with Strong Opposition from Yvonne’s Father:

 

Over ten years ago, Yvonne and I went to Paris and visited some brothers and sisters whom we had grown up together with.  One of the brothers said to me: “Mr. Low (Yvonne’s father) was very strict, so no one dared to pursue his daughter.  You had the courage and were not afraid of being scolded by him.  Only you had this courage and perseverance, waiting for love to blossom over a long period of time.”  I immediately replied with humour:  “If others had the courage to pursue her, then my pursuit might not have succeeded.  It was because no one else had the courage to pursue her, while I had, so I was able to get her!” 

 

In fact, her father had scolded me!  As a result, I dared not visit her home for a long time.  One day her father angrily said to me: “My daughter is focusing on her studies, and this is not the right time for romance.  I have asked Yvonne about you.  She said she has no intention of taking you.  (This was because at that time Yvonne was very afraid of her father, and did not dare to admit.)  Do not continue to  unrequited love’ in  At that time I felt really bad and could only leave feeling dejected, not daring to step into her home again.  This was especially so, because just before this incident of being severely rebuked by her father, two pastors had come from the Philippines to Cambodia on a tour, and I brought them to Yvonne’s home as guests.  The two pastors asked me to serve as their tour guide for them to see the palace.  When Yvonne’s elder sister heard that, she kept saying she wanted to come along.  At that time Yvonne was at school.  During the sightseeing tour, the two pastors asked me: “Is she (Yvonne’s sister) your girlfriend?”  Immediately I denied it and said: “No, it’s her younger sister.”  Good grief – her sister also heard that and told her father after she returned home.  After he learned about that, he was furious!  He immediately tried to clarify with Yvonne, and mercilessly rebuked me,

 

 

Categories: 生命再思

SWEET REFLECTION

September 15th, 2016 Comments off

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By: Sinn Yos

I met Yvonne in Cambodia. Her father was very close to my cousin. I was invited to her home several times. She gave me a dress as a gift and I wore it for a photo taken alongside my late husband. That was before I was married. I would stay at Yvonne‘s house because she lived in Phnom Penh, which was closer than Ta Kmao to my husband who was courting me at the time. We go back a very long way. She was a very sweet person and a good Christian. She always had a smile on her very pretty face. I will never forget her. She was a very good friend.

Categories: 生命再思

LIFE IMPACTS LIFE – KEEP THE TORCH GOING

September 15th, 2016 Comments off

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By: Rev. Paul Lai

 Translated by Stephen Li

 

My life was deeply impacted over 50 years ago by a missionary couple from North America who were sent to Cambodia by the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The love they manifested and the message they preached greatly encouraged and changed me.  Just as the Bible records Paul’s words to Timothy, this couple greatly influenced me and Yvonne into stepping into this way of full time ministry.

 

Rev. Thomson’s preaching greatly touched and moved me into experiencing salvation and new birth, into experiencing the joy that came with forgiveness from the Heavenly Father, and into tears of repentance before the Lord.  In 1960, Cambodia no longer allowed American missionaries to stay, so Rev. and Mrs. Thomson had to move to Vietnam to share the gospel, and were later martyred for the gospel, being killed by Viet Cong machine guns.  Their son, after completing his medical studies, continued the heritage of his parents, and became a missionary doctor in Africa.  Rev. Paul Ellison and Rev. Merld Graven were my spiritual counsellors and spiritual fathers, and served in Bible College.  Mrs. Thomson, Mrs. Ellison and Mrs. Graven all taught me piano.   Because of their instruction, I was able to do music evangelism on the streets of Cambodian villages and played accordion in Chinese school in Trinidad, attracting village children to come to hear the gospel.  This was very effective.  Thank the Lord, even though these 3 missionary couples have rested in the Lord, their ministry in Cambodia and among Cambodian refugees in North America bore much fruit.

 

Another person who impacted me deeply in my ministry is Rev. and Mrs. Gentle Lee.  Thank the Lord, I was able to pioneer and pastor in Ottawa, Canada (1973-1986), due to the fact that Rev. Gentle Lee and the Hong Kong C&MA Hebron Mission sent and supported me.  Rev. and Mrs. Lee were my life exemplars in missions and in nurturing youths toward full time ministry.  Therefore, while at the Ottawa Chinese Alliance Church, I established a Dedication Fellowship, and over time 15 youths dedicated their lives to full time ministry and missions.

 

Yvonne and I served in OCAC, establishing the church for the Lord with brothers and sisters for 13 years and 8 months.  There were periods of sowing in tears and there were periods of reaping with joy.  By the power of the Gospel, we witnessed so many precious souls released from the power of Satan and enter into the loving care of the Lord.  As their spiritual lives grew, many of these youths then dedicated themselves to the Lord, entered seminary, and are now serving diligently and faithfully both locally and overseas.   We watched as many of these new young believers started sharing the gospel and serving so soon after receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord.   Their vigorous lives and beautiful testimonies were most moving and brought many friends and family members to Christ.  Brothers and sisters of OCAC loved one another and fervently shared the gospel.  In addition to supporting evangelism in neighboring towns and missions overseas, the church sent short-term mission teams to France twice (1979 and 1984), as well as partially supporting the two of us for 6 months as we helped Cambodian churches in California to share the gospel with refugees. 

 

 

Because of the influence of God’s faithful servants described above, I gladly followed their footsteps and dedicated my life to the Lord.  Upon entering this life of service, I then continued to imitate them in the way.  Life impacts life.  The passing on of the ministry torch from one to another by sharing the Gospel with lost sheep and pastoring flocks is like providing the nurturing care of a loving father.  This bears much fruit, showing increases of thirty-fold, sixty-fold, or a-hundred-fold, as more and more people can both hear of and experience the sacrificial love of God.

Categories: 生命再思

YVONNE’S LETTER TO HER LOVING FATHER 

September 5th, 2016 Comments off

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By Yvonne Lai 

Translated by: Agnes K Y Tai 

Dear Father, 

How many times have I picked this pen up wanting to inform you, father, and yet couldn’t put even one word down, being too perturbed that it will hurt your feelings! How amazing! How God has moved me to accept Paul, and following that, He moved Samuelle (younger sister of Yvonne) in the same way to agree to our marriage. I would believe, father, you will no longer object to our marriage?! 

Paul is presently a missionary of the Christian & Missionary Alliance Hebron Church in Hong Kong, serving in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, where English and French are both used.  He works on thefrontier establishing churches for the Chinese people for amonthly pay of 400 Canadian dollars.  He was introduced by Pastor Philip Teng to Hebron for missionary work. Father, truly I don’t know how to explain this to you, but all I hope is that you will joyfully agree and approve of us, or else I fear I may become quite dejected and also worried! 

In the Western world, a preacher doing holy work is a vocation normally more highly regarded by people in general, the salary also being higher than in SoutheastAsia.  Hence, there is no need for you to worry about our livelihood, and I can get a job as well!   I don’t like living in Paris where everyday everyone works like a ‘donkey’from morning till night — (in Chiuchow dialect ‘donkey’means working extremely hard non-stop daily till late).  I was thinking that it is difficult for those who have never personally experienced it to understand what living in a big city is like.  So often I whole-heartedly thank and praise the Lord for you father, for your life in Phnom Penh is truly under the Grace of God and filled with God’s blessings; you don’t have to work as hard as the people here.  Last Sunday I said to Mrs. Chan that although the weakness of her physique is so evident, yet she keeps on laboring so hard each day. I was so saddenedfor her.  She answered me with a weary smile, “In this big town the living standard is high and everybody works like this, don’t you do the same?” 

Last week I went to Paris for exams and had a chance to stay for a week with Samuelle.   She said to me, “I’m so much happier while you are here!”  So many times Samuelle confided to me that she wanted to stop working as a nanny for others, as she suffered much wrong.  I often said to her, “God will prepare what you need, just stop then!  Don’t let work affect your spirit.”  I hope I can continue to help Samuelle with her living expenses here, so she might be able to finish her studies at ease, for I understand very well that it is difficult for a working student to succeed in her studies.  Although my own intellect is only so-so, I continue to thank God all the time.  I ask God only to give me a pure, clean heart so that I may always live in the Lord’s love.  Living for the Lord with a pure heart is good enough, don’t you agree?  I very much wish that you will not be angry with me when you receive this letter, but rather that you understand me and guide me, or else I may become so fretful, for I have always been a good and very obedient child!  I am also a good girl who loves you, father, the most. 

 Madame Blah (mother of Rev ? wife’s godmother) is still bed-ridden in illness, and every night I’m sleeping right next to her bed so that when she needs anything at anytime I get up to serve her.  That’s why I said I am busy from morning until late with her and caring for her.  She said I am her super-capable servant, providing nursing, cooking, and doing household chores… that’s why I have not rested since the exams are finished.  I’m a little tired, yet body and spirit are quite fine, so please don’t worry! I’ll be going to Paris to see Samuelle this coming Saturday again.  We are so happy when we meet up!  

The writing is done, and I’ll now be rushing out to post this letter – please give my regards to Uncle and Shalom to our relatives. 

Daughter Yvonne   June 10, 1973

 

Categories: 生命再思

THE CROSS AND THE CROWN — DEAREST MRS. LAI

September 2nd, 2016 Comments off

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By:  Rose Yu 

Translator: Agnes K Y Tai

We are thankful, beloved Mrs. Lai, that the passion, commitment and purpose of the great commission in sharing the gospel is again lucidly presented to the brothers and sisters at Newbern Memorial Chinese Alliance Church because of you.  You let us understand that sharing the gospel is not only a life line in His work, but it is also a battle line.  At times, it’s like gazing at a vast ocean, feeling like we can’t proceed.  Yet your courage and your persistence tell us that steps protected by our Lord are not to stop at the rim of the waters.  We must go forward, and when we courageously take that step, God responds to our faith and the ocean parts for us.  

I recall how when your physique was weakening day by day during the harsh illness, in complete trust and reliance you quietly waited with hope, and each day was more than victorious!  You replaced sighing with praise, groaning with gratitude, so that every person who was with you felt the love and act of God.  And the most touching was that during this very difficult time, you were still selflessly concerned with the mission of evangelism, with special emphasis on the younger generation’s participation in His work.  You offered money, strength, prayers, asking God to keep clearing and unblocking all the barriers that prevent their progress, to allow all that is fully offered sacrificially be pleasing to the Lord!  

As the Lord has now carried you back Home, your weary burden on earth is no more.  Although waves of grief fill our hearts with reluctance to part, yet your glorious contribution in Christ’s Kingdom shall be in our remembrance!  You let us understand how to appreciate valuable experiences every single day! Even though at this moment we still stay at our desire for glory rather than the cross, the want of being fragrant without the burning, we seek the Lord’s forgiveness, because of your precious testimony, we are led to see : Today’s cross is tomorrow’s crown!   In anticipation of tomorrow’s glory we must calmly and fearlessly submit to the trials and tribulations of today!  “His love is unchanging!  His grace is ever-lasting!  His mercy is endless!  To all those who call upon Him, He gives love and eternal life!”

Categories: 生命再思

THE MOST TOUCHING WORDS IN A WEDDING… “I DO”

September 2nd, 2016 Comments off

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By :  Paul Lai

Translator: Wings Yeung

One day I received an e-mail which read:

It took me a long time to finish your book, “Rainbow after Rain,” because every time I read it, tears would come because I am so touched by it.  I would have to stop.

It is painful to read about the daily suffering that Mrs. Lai goes through.  I truly believe that it is because of the reliance the two of you have in God that the physical pain was bearable. Compared to Job in the Bible, the two of you are more blessed.  Job had to face all his suffering alone as his wife did not have the same heart as him.  She asked Job to turn his face away from God.  But you and Mrs. Lai share each others’ burden and suffering.  Though you may not have the material reward that Job received from God, He has definitely poured His blessings out upon you two.  And wherever your work has taken you, it has also become a blessing to believers and non believers alike. We cannot imagine the number of people who have accepted Christ because of it. 

Back to myself, my life is not exciting.  My father passed away before I was born. I have always been by myself ever since my birth.  I do not have a place I call home.  I never complain, nor have I felt like anything was missing.  Looking back, I know that God has prepared everything for me.  After working for 20 years, God has helped me make the decision to take an early retirement.  Whenever I am in pain, I will remember the suffering that you and Mrs. Lai have been through, it will give me strength and faith to experience God.” 

I read this letter, and have read her praises, but I felt horrible.  Why did she say we are more blessed than Job?  How can she compare us to Job!  Then I realized that what she meant was that Job’s wife and my wife are very different.  Seeing Job’s body filled with boils, Job’s wife told him to leave his God and die.  But my wife and I are able to walk together in our misery, sharing our burdens together.  This after all is what a marriage is, and so to love each other the way we did was a most natural way for us; it was not difficult.

I remember my wife always telling me that the most touching moment in a Christian wedding is when the officiator asks, and the couple replies that together they vow “for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish…” and then saying “I do”. This part always touched her heart and tears would flow.   

She said that for two people with different personalities and different backgrounds to be united in God is truly a miracle, but for the two to hold onto the love ‘til death is even more of a miracle.  Without God’s guidance or His will that the two are united, then it would not be a marriage blessed by God.  She is right and I agree with her completely.  This is the truth

Categories: 生命再思

HYMNS AND THE TWO OF US

September 2nd, 2016 Comments off

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By: Paul Lai

Trainlated by John

Yvonne lived in a small town about an hour’s drive from Paris while she was a student.  Being the only Chinese person, she would feel lonely at times.  She would then speak Chinese in front of a mirror.  She loved to sing and sang gospel hymns every day.  Soon she could memorize the music and the words of a lot of hymns.  One day an elderly lady in her neighborhood heard her singing and came to see her.  She was one of the very few Christians in town and she loved the Lord.  From that moment on, the two of them became great friends.  She would invite Yvonne every Thursday afternoon to have high tea with her and her husband.

Praise the Lord!  The Word of God and the hymns became our support, particularly through the trials of sickness and pain.  The hymns became our comfort.  At times I would play the piano and Yvonne would sing.  Other times we would sing together.  We expressed our love to God through hymns.  We sang loudly; we sang softly.  We listened to hymns on tapes.  These hymns drove away our loneliness, our despair and our worries.  When we felt that our lives seemed to be totally burned out, the melodies and words of the hymns restored the spark and vitality back into our lives.  The object of our praise was the only God, the Almighty, Holy, King and loving God.  The Holy Spirit helped us, through these hymns, to get close to God, to be joyful and to grow spiritually.  All worldly things, including the pain and tears, will disappear in eternity.  Only the love of God and our love and praises to Him will never end!

The Lord is my Song” is a beautiful testimony of the poets.  Let us proclaim: God is His songs; He is the source of inspiration; we get strength through hymns; and only God is our never ending and beautiful song of life!

Categories: 生命再思

HE SETS THE TIME AND OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE

September 2nd, 2016 Comments off

HE SETS THE TIME AND OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE

By:  Paul Lai

 Translator: Agnes K Y Tai

Mrs. Lai and I took a flight to France over ten years ago.  The outbound trip was very smooth, but due to a hurricane on the return leg, we had to stop at a place near Portland, USA to wait out the storm before getting a connection to Vancouver. The flight we’d arrived on was a small US airline and they provided us with accommodation and a simple meal.  We waited for quite a long time without any certainty of when the next flight connection would be able to be scheduled and so we ended up having to stay at Portland for one to two days, awaiting a smaller airplane to take us back to Vancouver.  

As we were waiting the first evening, we thought of a young brother from Portland by the last name of Leung that we were previously acquainted with and so we attempted to look him up in the local Yellow Pages.  Since this stopover was not in our plans, we didn’t carry too much hope.  But amazingly we found brother Leung’s phone number!  When we called him, he himself picked the phone up!  I thought it would simply be a greeting between friends within the Body of Christ but to my surprise brother Leung told me that he was also trying to contact me through various means, including seeking out Truth Monthly to no avail.  Since the Pastor of brother Leung’s church had to go to China for a short mission that would span several months, he hoped that I could stand in for three months.  I was convinced this was no coincidence but the loving arrangement of Father God.   Father God let our trip be hindered, but by so doing He led me to have the opportunity to work and serve Him.  

(Due to the condition of Mrs. Lai’s health, we could not be away for a continuous three month period, so I went for a month first and then went back to Vancouver to bring my wife to Portland again.  Compared to others, we needed several more hours to drive from Vancouver to Portland, because my wife required stopping on the way for some rest.)

Brother Leung was working for an organization that served overseas Chinese at Portland and helped a good number of people.  By God’s plan, during my three months’ service at Portland, I had a chance to preach the Gospel to a cancer patient by the last name Choy (Choi).  When he heard the Good News he believed right away and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord.  

After leaving Portland, I learned that brother Choy requested his wife to read the Bible to him, and this brother Choy passed away around half a year later.  I learned that his son is now preparing to be a Pastor and studying theology, thanks to the Lord!  Mrs. Choy is ministering at the church zealously as well.  While my wife and I were in Portland, brother Choy allowed us to stay at his deceased mother’s home.  At that time I was visiting patients frequently and preaching the Gospel to them.

This interruption of our plans turned out to be a Divine arrangement by Our Lord:  He ordered the circumstances into place by His timing, allowing me the opportunity to serve!

Categories: 生命再思

A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE OF GODLINESS

September 2nd, 2016 Comments off

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A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE OF GODLINESS

By:   Paul Lai

Translators: Floy Wan/ Stephen Lai

Earlier this year, our little granddaughter invited us to her school, Richmond Christian Elementary, for a preschool Easter presentation in which she was taking part.  More than 17 children were involved, singing and performing actions to go with the songs.  During the performance, many young parents hurried to get photos of their children with their iPhone cameras.  The 10 minute program was well arranged.  It started with a prayer and then was followed by choral songs and a short but clear Gospel presentation – the birth of Christ, His completeness for our incompleteness, His dying on the cross for us, His wonderful Salvation and His forgiveness of our sins.

At the close of the presentation, the teacher led the children in a prayer.  During this solemn moment I saw mothers continuing to photograph their children.  Among all the children there were few who truly bowed and prayed.  Other children were looking around or towards their mothers’ cameras.  Then I saw another most touching and beautiful picture: my granddaughter with her head bowed and hands folded together.  Because of her long hair covering her face I didn’t have a completely clear view of her, but that image of her total devotion to God made a great impression upon my heart.  

Like many of the little children in the performance, we often want others to look and see us only:  “I am so important, so rich, so good and so talented.  Look at me, not Jesus.”  But if we were to really let Christ live in our heart and transform us to His Character and Godliness, our lives would not be centered around this ‘me only’ thinking.   Rather, our lives would demonstrate a living out of renewed ‘Jesus only’ thinking.  Whereas people tend to put most importance upon outer appearance, God looks upon and values the inner being.  His desire is to begin on the inside to beautify the soul.    Believing and allowing Him to do what only He can do within us will make us truly beautiful from the inside out.   This is essential, especially if we desire to live child-like before God, possessing the inner beauty of a child’s soul.  This is made possible through the Love from our Lord, Who is preparing a place for those that love Him. 

Comments:

Bon Chan :A camera is near to impossible to capture the spiritual fellowship with our LORD.

Holden: Thank you for sharing ‘A beautiful picture of Godliness’, men can only see the exterior but God values the inner being.

Emma: Thank you Pastor Lai! I believe both the exterior and the inner soul are beautiful, especially, the beauty of a child’s soul.  They are from our loving Lord, whose preparing a place for those that love Him.

  

Stephen Lai

 French Teacher, Grades 1-5

 Richmond Christian Elementary Campus

[email protected]

 

Categories: 生命再思