About the ministry of a friend of mine


I don’t talk too much about my own church on this blog, partially because this site is intended to be for all Christians and not those of a particular denomination, but also because while I love my church, I haven’t been very happy with its leadership in the last few years. I won’t get into the grisly details, but one thing they’ve done that has really, really gotten me ticked off is how they’ve treated a man I admire more than just about any other person in the world.

He was an ordained minister in our church, who worked tirelessly for God, and whom, every time I hear him speak, I can feel the power of the Spirit in his words. And while I don’t speak the same language he speaks (he speaks Mandarin and French), and we only see each other maybe once every few years, I consider him a dear friend.

Last year, my friend was suddenly fired from his post as minister. To this day, I don’t understand what happened. His only crime, it appears, is that some of his preaching veered off from the very strict orthodoxy that our church “officially” approves of. It seems that few “wise” men in the leadership of the church decided that it was “heresy” and worse, those who were in the church who should have spoken up on his behalf were silent.

In all honesty, I’ve heard his so-called “controversial” preaching. His is a preaching style that encourages people to think, instead of just indoctrination by repeating the same things over and over. That’s what makes him “dangerous”, I suppose. But as I think about it, to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, what shows the greater lack of faith–those who encourage people to question with boldness or those who encourage people to stay silent with blindfolded fear?

What I admire more about my friend is that he continued to serve the Lord. He’s not a rich man (none of the ministers in our church are), but he continued to preach the gospel in China, in the French-speaking parts of Africa, and in his home of France. And the remarkable thing is, he hasn’t let himself be overcome by evil, but he is overcoming evil with good.

I don’t get to hear many details of my friend’s ministry, but a few days ago another friend of mine posted letters he received from my friend while ministering in the regions of Rwanda and the Congo. These are areas of the world that have been racked by poverty and war, and to this day it’s dangerous to go there, especially for a foreigner. But my friend still goes there because our church members there are desperate to hear the gospel.

Usually, reports of his trips are in Chinese, but in this case they’ve been translated into English. You can read them here:

http://www.seventhousand.net/en/node/482

I feel amazed and in some cases ashamed when I read the accounts of his ministerial trips. Here I am in my air conditioned room, with my white-collar job, and complaining every day about minutiae. But my friend (whom I think is in his 50’s, pushing 60) works with a cheerful heart, even amid oppressive weather, mosquitoes, poor living conditions, and the daily presence of danger, even a death thread. And he does it because he himself is inspired by the young men and women in the church who have committed to living as Christians, even as their homes and families have been torn apart by war and poverty. And they walk for hours and hours just to hear the Word of God.

I share the link above with you so you can read his accounts too (albeit most of the entries are in Chinese). And while I never put up this site to make money, I do have a favor to ask. If you’ve ever been blessed by this site or by the lyrics in the forum or in the Classic Hymns section, and if after tithing to your own church or favorite causes you still have some left to give, I would ask if you can consider a donation to a fund that’s been set up to support my friend’s ministry. The fund is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) organization, meaning that donations are tax deductible.

The address is:

Lily of the Valley Community Outreach
10007 Harbor Hideaway Circle
Frisco, TX 75034

Phone (USA): 214-770-4350
Email: contact@lotv.us