Friday, 13 November 2020 21:52

God is Good! God is Great …All the Time!

Written by  Rev. Ray Lee
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As a young boy, I remember being dropped off by my mom and leading my younger brother to attend a local Presbyterian church and attend their Sunday morning children's program. While we were there listening to the Bible stories and program, my mom went to work for a few hours at a nearby Chinese restaurant. Such were my first memories of church as a Canadian-born young child, raised by immigrant parents in the city of Windsor, Ontario. After a few years, our family decided to move and my visits to that church ended. My exposure to church and Christianity was put on hold for the time being.

After graduating from the University of Windsor with a Bachelor of Science (B.A.Sc.) degree in Electrical Engineering, I accepted a job offer with Ontario Hydro, the provincial electrical utility and eventually moved to Scarborough, Ontario. Now that I had a new job, a new Honda Civic, a new apartment and living on my own, I thought life was great and I had it made. After a few years of working, a sense of loneliness began to creep in, and I started asking myself if this was all there was to life.

As time went on, I decided to investigate the area, did some research, and decided to visit the Toronto Chinese Presbyterian Church (Agincourt Mission). It was a small congregation of about 30-40 people with worship service conducted in Cantonese and translated into English. The minister was Rev. C.C. Hoh, and the sermon was translated by Miss Maureen Chung. As my Cantonese was not good, I really needed the English translation. After service, there was a time of refreshments and I got a chance to introduce myself to the minister, Maureen, and a few others. We chatted a bit and Maureen invited me to join their career group the following Saturday for a BBQ.

I did visit the career group that Saturday and it was led in Cantonese. Even though the group spoke to me in broken English, I felt they were genuinely trying to care, be friendly and help me feel welcomed! I enjoyed the time due to their friendliness and openness and kept attending that career group every Saturday morning. The fellowship eventually did start an English-speaking group for a few of us who spoke English and Mandarin. As I attended that church fellowship career group, I came to understand more and more about Jesus and the Bible.

At one summer retreat, I came forward to surrender my life to Christ - Praise God! It was a wonderful time as I had a desire to learn what it means to be a follower of Christ.

The baptismal classes that followed helped me understand the meaning and significance of baptism. I was baptized that Christmas as part of the Church. God is Good, God is Great.... All the time!

In 2008, the Lord 'whispered' a challenge to me to leave work and my job and career as a Senior Technical Engineer with Ontario Power Generation. The more I thought and prayed about it, the more it became a firmer possibility for me. I began to reflect upon the meaning and purpose of my life as a Christian. I remember the beginning and formative years in the Toronto Chinese Presbyterian Church (Agincourt Mission). I remember the joy, fellowship, and discipleship in being called to serve as the youth group chairperson, vicechair, treasurer, youth group Coach, Sunday School teacher / Superintendent, and serve on the Board of Managers as a Deacon.

I remember the years of outreach and mission with Jaffray Chinese Alliance Church. I remember the times being called to serve as the youth fellowship Coach, youth Sunday School teacher and elder responsible for English Ministry. I remember being part of the building project, the core group in planning and starting our English Youth Service and seeing the lives of many young people committing and surrendering their lives to Christ!

I remember when my wife and I started attending Richmond Hill Christian Community Church in 2000. I Pastor Ray Lee, his wife Rita and son Rob remember serving as a youth fellowship Coach with BASIC junior-high fellowship in 2001 and later AGAPE high school fellowship in 2004. I remember the many years serving on the Young Life Development Committee and the experience gained on the English Ministry Committee in 2003 focused on Christian Education. I remember the excitement and enthusiasm of my Grade 12 students over the years as I taught my "Preparation for University & College 201" course and shared the challenges of campus life with them.

By faith, I left my job at OPG, enrolled in the Master of Theological Studies degree program at Tyndale University College and Seminary in September 2009. After graduation in May 2012, I joined Richmond Hill Christian Community Church as a Pastoral Intern for YLD youth ministries and have been serving as a Youth Pastor to impact and disciple youth and young people ever since.

I am grateful for the many students, volunteers, parents, and leaders that I have served together with, learned much from and who have provided much support

and encouragement. I am also grateful for the many servants of the Lord who have provided much care, counsel, and friendship to me: Rev. C.C. Hoh, Pastor Maureen Chung, Rev. Tom Eng, Rev. Gabriel Tsang, Rev. Sam Chan, Rev. Irene Cheung, Rev. Steven Folts and Rev. Ho-Ming Tsui. I am especially grateful to my wife, Rita and my son, Rob for always loving and supporting me through this journey of life and ministry together. God continues to shower me with His love, grace, and faithfulness.

God is Good, God is Great.... All the time! “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

(The author is YLD pastor of RHCCC. He is ordained on Nov 12.)

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