Testimony of My Life and Call

2009/01/28 at 1:52 上午 發表留言


Testimony of My Life and Call

 

I was born and raised in the suburb of southern Taiwan until I
finished grade school at the age of twelve. Overall speaking, I enjoyed my
childhood and pre-teen years. I had top grades in elementary school and did not
lack any material provision. However, even at that early age, I often had
questions about the deeper issues of life, such as where did life originate,
what happens after someone dies, and tried to probe the mysteries of human
existence and suffering in a childlike but very inquisitive manner.
Furthermore, my parents did not seem to get along very well. Memories of their
quarrels and disharmony in the home have affected me greatly at the
subconscious level without me realizing it much as a kid. Our family practiced
the customary folk religion of Taiwan,
which is a blend of Buddhism, Taoism, and traditional beliefs and
superstitions. Nevertheless, we were never really into religious and spiritual
matters.

 

When I finished elementary school, my Mom, older sister, and I
immigrated to Vancouver, Canada in 1993. My teen life was
filled with a lot of unhappy events and recollection. Being in a complete new
environment, culture, and language, I was feeling more and more confused and
misplaced as time goes on. My parents divorced and I gradually lost contact
with my Dad after high school. I had a bad relationship with my Mom and social
life. I developed a very low self-esteem. Deep in my heart, I was searching a
meaning in this life, but could not find any satisfying answers—the answers I
got did not make much sense to me scientifically and to my heart. The void in
my heart continued to intensify as all the questions I had from childhood were
left unanswered. I lost motivation for studying and doing all the things of
this life. I felt afraid of all aspects of life. Above all, I was craving for
genuine love and acceptance. I may seem normal like all my peers on the
outside, but I tried so hard to hide all the great fear and confusion on the
inside where nobody sees. I was desperate and saw no point and purpose in this
life. Thoughts of suicide have even lingered in my mind at times, but I knew
very well that I was terrified of actual pain and death, and the unknown
consequences of it. To me, “love” was always conditional and fickle. This life
was miserable, and I did not know how to continue or terminate it. During those
times I often saw myself being all alone falling in a dark void when I close my
eyes. Somehow I knew I would not die in that state, but I would never stop
falling or cease to exist either. I could shout as loud as I want, and do all
kinds of things, but I would never be able to stop falling or even end my life.
The greatest fear in that picture was that no one would ever know that I have
ever existed because I was all alone. This picture frightened me to the core,
and it seemed to be a representation of my life in those years.

 

It was in this dark valley of life that a high school friend invited
me to church. It was there where I first heard about Jesus. I was so ignorant
to the Christian faith that I thought Jesus was a character in some fairy tales
or something of that sort. I never gave much thought to religion prior to this
point. My traditional folk religion and Buddhism, for instance, never made much
sense to me. Many so-called gods were even dubbed from the characters of
fictional stories, I wondered how can anyone really believe in those things.
However, my experiences with Jesus were so different as I felt something in my
heart that I have never felt before in any secular or religious experiences. I
was not only real, but it was a spiritually tangible sensation of love and
peace, the things that I have sought so hard for all my life. This caused me to
continue to attend church, read the Bible, and fellowship with Christians. I
got to know more and more about who Jesus is and the Bible, both in knowledge
and personal experiences. To my surprise, they answered the most significant
questions that I have had ever since childhood. The issues of life and death,
human existence and suffering, and the purpose of life are all addressed in a
way that made very good sense to me. Most of all, my inner world was
transformed completely. I felt the love of God in times of worship, prayer, and
also demonstrated in the lives of pure-hearted Christians. My own prayers were
answered. All these real testimonies and encounters got me very serious about
knowing more about Him. I also witnessed miracles and mighty demonstrations of
the Holy Spirit with my own eyes. It did not take long for me to believe in the
reality of Jesus and all the truth revealed in the Scriptures, but more than
that, my heart was so convicted that I had determined to live a godly life and
explore God’s destiny for my life to the fullest possible.

 

I prayed the sinner’s prayer in June 1997, and was baptized two
months later in August of the same year. God had restored my life from the
inside out. I saw my life’s worth and value, thus, overcoming my low
self-esteem problem. As my Mom and sister also came to know the Lord, my
relationship with them improved to a great extent. Through the message and love
of the Cross, I was able to forgive all those who have caused hurt in my life.
Jesus healed my wounded soul with His tender love and power. I realized that
God has given me life and a purpose on this earth to fulfill His plan for me. I
knew I have been saved in the most literal sense, and my life has been changed
forever because of Jesus. This transformation process was not an overnight
instant change. Though it took place gradually, it was sure and solid. There
were also still times when I doubted or failed in the process, but God’s love
and faithfulness picked me up time and again whenever I turned to Him. There
are also still areas of growth and weaknesses to triumph over even now, but God’s
grace has proven sufficient always. It is not by my own righteousness, merit,
or strength, but solely God’s power by His Word and Spirit. All the glory
belongs to Him and Him alone, and my life is a container and reflection of His
glory. It is impossible to describe in great detail all that God has done in my
life, but suffice to say that I am born again, a new creation in Christ, and a
royal child of God, as the Holy Spirit bears witness with my spirit that this
is true (Rom 8:16). I have come to know and relate to the God of love, my Abba
Father. His perfect love has continued to drive away all my fear (1 John 4:18).

 

Throughout the past fourteen years of my Christian journey, I have
been in spiritual mountaintops and deep valleys of the shadow of death.
However, the constant through it all are the steadfast love that God has for me
and His call in my life to the ministry. I still remember very vividly that the
day I received Jesus into my heart, it passed by like a surreal day. That night
I could not sleep and I lay wide awake on my bed contemplating the wonderful
things that have happened for the past few months. Then I got off my bed, knelt
down and prayed. Although in my heart I knew He is real, I still wanted to
confirm that everything I experienced was true. So I prayed that if He is
really real, He would show Himself to me in some ways. After I offered that
prayer, I went back to my bed, lay down facing my bedroom window. Suddenly I
saw a bright yellow light flashing quickly twice from top to bottom outside in
the sky. I was actually too scared to get up from my bed during that moment,
but managed to gather enough courage to get up and peek out the window. I did
not spot anything peculiar, but the sky just looked as normal as it could be. I
called my sister to my room to check the sky, and she saw nothing abnormal as
well. Somehow in my heart I knew it was an answer from God. Whether the cause
of the light was supernatural or not was not the most important thing. After
that incident, I knelt down again and thanked God for His prompt and clear
answer. At that instant, there was a subtle but firm “voice” in my heart
telling me that one day I would be serving Him fulltime in the ministry. I did
not know back then that it was the call of God because this thought has never
occurred to me in the past. With the many problems in my life at the time, I
could not conceive the idea of seeing myself being a Christian minister. So I
simply ignored the prompting. However, as I continued to be changed and began
to serve in my local church, that call not only stayed in my heart, but also
grew stronger and stronger. When a prophetic minister visited my church, he
also prophesied that God has called me to the ministry. I knew the word was
from the Lord because he also spoke some of my other heart conditions
accurately and we never knew each other from Adam. This minister also
prophesied over my other fellow church believers correctly one after another.
To this day, I still have the cassette tape of these prophecies in my
possession.

 

After many years of serving the Lord in the worship team and cell
group, the pastoral leaders have reaffirmed my character and giftings. They also
sensed the call of God from the fruit of my life and ministry. Therefore, after
my university graduation from UBC (University
of British Columbia), I seriously
considered going into a Bible college, but went back to work in Taiwan at the
end in 2004. I had an opportunity to work fulltime in church ministry while I
was back to my home country. I came back to Vancouver some time later due to health
concerns. Then I enrolled in a seminary and completed my Masters in theological
studies in January 2009. I continued to serve in my local church directing an
ESL ,ministry, pioneering a young adult cell group, and translate sermons. I
worked part-time and engaged in Bible school studies the rest of the time. My
pastors have also affirmed my gifting and call to the ministry. Besides my
Masters program, I also studied under another online Bible school. The teacher
of that Bible school also confirmed my call to the fivefold ministry of the
church (Eph 4:11). God has given me a ministry emphasis to build His glorious church,
His healing love and restoration to the whole person: spirit, soul, body (Luke
4:18). He has mandated me with a vision to prepare the Bride of Christ, to make
Her ready as the most beautiful and glorious Bride for the Bridegroom, “not
having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that She should be holy and
without blemish” (Eph 5:22-32; Rev 19:7). More than all the external
confirmations, as I grew in my spiritual walk with the Lord, I now can
confidently say that God has indeed called me to the ministry. Since May 2009
to April 2010, I worked fulltime in a local church in Vancouver as a student pastor. It was there
that I started preaching almost every week in both Mandarin and English. Other
responsibilities include leading the youth group, being a worship leader and
musician, and other pastoral-teaching services. My ministry there was affirmed
by the church very positively and spiritually fruitful.

 

I sincerely desire with all of my heart to live purely for the
ministry that I have received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of
the grace of God. My ministry has always been built upon the greatest
commandment of God: to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength,
and secondarily, to love people as He has loved them (Mark 12:30-31). Whether
one is called to the Christian ministry or not, it is irrelevant to one’s
spirituality. All believers have a ministry and call in the Lord (Rom 12:2).
The greatest calling to us is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Rom
8:29; 2 Cor 3:18). All our earthly vocations are just the means to achieve that
end. It is not a selfish pseudo spirituality where one is constantly focused on
oneself. But true Christlike transformation will naturally lead to loving God
and men, for God is love (1 John 4:7-21). I thank God for His destiny for me
planned before the foundation of the world. May He receive all the glory and
honor in all that I am and accomplish in His grace. My life and ministry are
for the love of God and Man.

 

 

“By this we know love,
because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives
for the brethren” (1 John 3:16 – NKJV).

 

 

George Hou

spiritword@gmail.com

 

April 2010


Entry filed under: 我的故事. Tags: .

預言性話語的分類及條件性 你使我心裡快樂

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