My Faith Journey

        I was born in a Chinese family in Indonesia.  My parents taught me the way of life according to the Confucian tradition as most Chinese people do.  When I was five, they got me into Petra Christian Elementary School.  That was one extremely important decision my parents made that allowed me to get to know Christianity.  Through 10 years of Christian schooling, when finally the time for me to respond to God’s invitation to accept Jesus Christ, I stood up that night Rev. Stephen Tong spoke in the crusade meeting to accept Jesus as my personal savior.  Rev. Tong’s crusade meeting that night was the second most important event in my life that formed my life.  Since then I became very active in the Chinese Presbyterian Church (Gereja Kristen Abdiel Gloria) in Surabaya, my hometown.  My faith grew in that church.  I joined their bible study, entrusted to be a worship leader, chosen to join the youth committee and lead the literature team, taught Sunday school, and became a bible study teacher.

        Then in the second year of college I felt God’s call to me to serve him fully in his ministry.  I did not know which path to go yet.  But I did not quit college to pursue theological study.  In the meantime, I took some courses in theology in a theology school for lay people at night.  The last two years of college and after college I worked as an interior and furniture designer for two years.  I went to China to study mandarin after graduation.  I was still thinking of going to seminary to prepare myself for the ministry.  After China, I resumed my work as a designer interior.  During that time, Dr. Richard Pratt, Jr. came to Jakarta to teach a course on apologetics according to Cornelius VanTil.  It was a two week intensive course, which I took.  At that time I was already advised by my pastor to go to seminary.  At that time I felt the strong calling to go into Christian education.  My pastor told me to look at Calvin Seminary.  And so I did.  After much praying, I decided to apply.  I talked with Dr. Pratt about it, and in the end he agreed to write me a letter of recommendation.  The call to serve was the third most important event in my life.  And the decision to go to Calvin was the fourth most important in my Christian formation.

        My experience at the seminary from 1998-2000 was very important for my spiritual growth.  Prof. Bob DeVries directed me and guided me as my mentor, not only in my academic study but more importantly in my spiritual formation.  I am indebted to him very much.  He is one of the most important persons that is very influential in my life.  After CTS I went to the University of Michigan for further study.  But my study at the UoM was significantly postponed due to my father being very ill in Indonesia.  He fell from the second floor and broke his neck, which caused his paralysis.  I had to go back home to tend to my father.  After I came back home, he had a critical surgery to repair his broken neck.  After surgery he had to go through a painful physical therapy for one year.  During that time I felt strongly not to come back to UoM, but instead to pursue further study in Christian education.  After consulting Prof. DeVries, he recommended me to go to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.  And so I did.  During that time I met my wife.  We got married two months before we flew to Chicago.

        My study at TEDS was also very important for my spiritual formation and my preparation for ministry.  My first child was born in the second year of my study.  Watching the growth of my own child gave me a significant understanding of how educational theories meet the real world.  During that time I reflected a lot on how God teaches his children.  After completing my study at TEDS, I went back to Indonesia to work in a university.  I faced a lot of challenges in my workplace.  It was a secular university.  Then I moved to a Christian university (University of Pelita Harapan – UPH) where I worked for two and a half years.  During my work in UPH I was given a lot of opportunities to preach, to pastor, and to be a leader.  These two and a half years were very important for my growth.  I felt God’s calling to go into preaching ministry.  During that time my second child was born.  God gave the opportunity for me to go back to CTS for studying in the MDiv program.  In 2013 I graduated with an MDiv.  In the same year I was called to pastor Neerlandia CRC in Alberta, Canada.

        God gave me spiritual gifts of preaching, teaching, and leading.  I would love to do all those in my short life on earth.  My main goal is simple, to please my God.  Wherever he leads me I will go.  Now he has led me to be equipped and prepared to work as a minister in the CRC.  I am grateful to be given both opportunities to preach and teach while in the seminary.  So two spiritual gifts that God has given me can be used to bless others.  I hope to be able to do all three together, preaching, teaching, and leading.

No comments: