(Last Sunday, we had the privilege of being publicly affirmed by our church for gospel ministry. Below is what we shared on the day. The Chinese was planned; the crying was not! We’re grateful to God for His grace and mercy. Thanks to everyone near and far who have journeyed with us. Please pray that we’ll keep magnifying the LORD in our momentary marriage and ministry.)

Good morning, brothers and sisters, friends and family. Thank you everyone for being here today to witness our ordination. 各位弟兄姐妹,平安!非常感謝大家能够来参加今天的按牧禮。

Sometime in 2020, some friends connected me with a brother from East Asia who was willing to teach me Chinese so I wouldn’t sound like an 9-year old boy. One of my personal highlights these past two years has been reading the Word with G. Practising difficult Bible vocabulary. Praying in a foreign tongue. Appreciating the culture of the Chinese church. Learning the language of faith that millions of our brothers and sisters in Christ use today. 2020 年時候,有同工介紹一位 “東亞” 的弟兄,願意教一對一的中文課,目前是把我的兒童水平的國語補充一點。這幾年,我每週的某一個亮點是跟 G 老師 讀聖經,練習困難的和合本詞語,用陌生的方言祈禱,欣賞華人教會的文化,學習怎麼理解千萬弟兄姐妹的信仰語言。

老師,感謝你。今天是我的母語測試 ! Teacher, thank you so much. Today is my spoken test!

2003 年,有一位頑皮的青年(就是我)第一次來到這家教會的青年團契,第一次遇見了基督裡的家人。 2020 年,神呼召我們把我們一家帶到這家教會,過去兩年我在英文堂的服侍是一段很不尋常的經歷,我們很感恩,感謝你們對我們一家的特別的愛心。 In 2003, a rather rebellious teenager attended a youth group at this church. It was here he had his first experience of a Christian family. In 2020, the LORD called this same boy and his family back to this church. Serving here these past two years has certainly been an unforgettable experience! We thank you for the warmth and care you have shown us as a family.

每當我被問及我們的教會是什麼樣的,我的回答往往需要強調 和澄清 : “我們是華人教會的英文堂,不是隔壁的英文教會。” Whenever I am asked what our church is like, my answer often needs clarification. “Yes, the English congregation of the Chinese church. No, not the English-speaking church right next door.”

我們很愛這教會。但是有時後 — 可能在經歷了又一次雙語聚會的掙扎 ,或者又犯了一個文化錯誤之後 — 有時我們也會懷疑,是否有其他地方更能滿足第二代的需要?是否一個支持亞裔聲音的跨教會機構 可以解決他們的需要?是否隔壁的英文教會能做得更好? We love this church. But sometimes, perhaps after struggling through yet another bilingual meeting, or making yet another cultural mistake, it can be tempting to wonder: might a parachurch group that champions the Asian voice solve the needs of our next generation? Or could the English church next door do a better job?

無論他們多麼有幫助,我相信 “神百般的智慧”(以弗所書3:10)仍然還是藉著華人教會彰顯 出來。只要紐西蘭繼續接受移民,大使命還是需要在華人中實現 。 也許,如果我們要讓我們的下一代從這國家踐行 大使命,那新西蘭的華人教會需要有英語事工。所以我很喜樂,很榮幸的接納東區華人浸信會的按立為傳福音的事工。 However helpful they are, I believe God’s “manifold wisdom” (Ephesians 3:10) is still being shown through a church like ours. As long as New Zealand continues to attract immigrants, there is a place for the great commission to be fulfilled among the Chinese diaspora. And for the next generation among us to fulfil the great commission here in Aotearoa, we must have an English ministry. So it is a joy and privilege to be set apart and publicly ordained for gospel ministry by our PCBC family.

一位宣教姐妹曾經分享說,第二代華人學會在基督裡找到自己的身份後,會成為最有效果的宣教士和具有全球視野 的支持者。在基督裡,願神賜給我們眼光,能在我們教會的下一代身上看到神國度的潛力 。 所以我在此想鼓勵各位弟兄姐妹,為主耶穌的名,來一起 “同心合意地興旺福音”,也求莊稼的主多給工人收祂的莊稼。因為“要收的莊稼多,做工的人少。” A missions colleague once shared that second-generation Chinese who learn to find their identity in Christ become some of their most effective missionaries and global-minded supporters. In Christ, may God give us eyes to see the kingdom potential in our children, in the brothers and sisters among us. So brothers and sisters, can I encourage you, for Jesus’s fame, to partner in the gospel with us. Please pray for more labourers to join us. “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few.” (Mt 9:38)

“僅此 一生,轉眼 過去; 為主做工,永遠長存 。”
As the missionary CT Studd once put it:
“Only one life, t’will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Cheryl and I would like to give some thanks. Thank you Ps Albert, Ps James, Ps Andrew for your friendship and openness. It has been a joy to serve with you, to learn from your wisdom, and to share in the task of shepherding this church family. And thank you to the rest of our ordination council. Each of you have done far more than lay hands on us! Thank you for your teaching, prayer and example. May our future be filled with more of these unlikely friendships for the sake of gospel renewal here in Auckland, across Aotearoa, and all over the earth. 感謝鄧牧師,卞牧師,黎牧師的友誼和坦誠。這兩年當你的同工,遇見了神給你們的智慧。很感謝主可以跟你們一起牧養這個教會。 我也想感謝今天的按牧團。你們不只是為我們按手! 感謝您的教導、祈禱和榜樣。願我們以後會更有像今天看出的 “不尋常” 的關係,向我們的城市,國家,直到地極宣傳福音。

To our friends from Bible College. We still miss you dearly. Thank you for your updates, for praying for us and showing us the surpassing worth of knowing Christ. Three years to this day, we gathered for an unforgettable praise and prayer night. So much has changed since. But the truths we remembered, the songs we sang are still true. One day we will reunite and worship Jesus again as every tribe and tongue and language. Until then, let’s “declare His glory among the nations” (Ps 96:3). 我們神學院的朋友們: 我們還是非常想念你。 感謝您仍然的報告,祈禱,展示認識主基督耶稣为至寶了。三年前,我們都聚集在一處,讚美和祈禱會。 這幾年我們都遇過許多的變化。但是我們記住的真理,我們唱的歌詞還是真實的。 末後時我們會再聚集跟“各國、各族、各民、各方”的弟兄姐妹讚美耶穌。在那之前,讓我們“在列邦中述說他的榮耀!在萬民中述說他的奇事!”(詩篇 96:3)

I want to honour my parents as well, who can’t be here today. Thank you for the sacrifices you made for our family to be here today. It is a debt we can never repay. 我也要感謝我的父母,他們今天不能來到現場參加今天的按牧禮。感謝你們幫助我們移民到奧克蘭,為此你們付出了許多,受了許多的痛苦,這是一個還不會的債。

爸,我知道當牧師本來不是你對兒子的期望 。我小時候還記得你對孩子們的願望 是:健康,幸福,和成功。我想告訴你,你這些願望都實現 了,因為上帝已經給了你二兒子這三樣東西。而且上帝也可將這樣的祝福給你。因為祂將祂的獨生子賜給我們,祂的獨生子已經勝過了死亡,賜給我們:永恆的生命,永遠的幸福,勝過死亡的成功。 Dad, I know this is not the life you had planned for a son. Many times as children you told us you wanted “health, happiness, and success” for our family. Please know that your wish came true. God has already given me these three things. And He can give it to you too. Because He offered his only Son to give us everlasting joy, eternal life, and victory over death.

我們因罪而無法償還 的每一筆債務 ,耶穌都替我們償還了。 耶穌是完美順服的聖子,藉著祂的聖靈住在我心裡。 所以我希望有一天你也願意悔改信靠耶穌基督,也可以同心敬拜真神,共同的天父。“我替基督求你… 與神和好。” 下個月來時候咱們再談吧。爸,我愛你!Every debt we could not pay because of our sins, Jesus paid it all. Jesus is the perfect obedient Son, who lives in me through His Holy Spirit. So I pray you will turn and trust in Jesus Christ. I pray that we can share one Heavenly Father. “On behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor 5:20) Let’s chat more about it soon. I love you dad.

Cheryl and I also want to thank our other parents. We may be in different congregations most of the time, but we would not be here without your support, encouragement and wisdom. Please pray we will love this church family as much as you have. I’ll still gladly mow your lawns. We love you. 我和 Cheryl 也要感謝媽咪爹哋 。雖然我們不在同樣的敬拜,但是如果沒有你們的支持、鼓勵和智慧,我們可能不會在這裡。 請祈禱我們會像你一樣愛這個教會。隨時需要幫你們剪草,我還會幫你們。 我們愛你。

And thank you Cheryl. You are my biggest encourager. You are my best friend. My wisest ministry partner. My fellow language nerd. And my God-given helper. You did not sign up to be a pastor’s wife. But I’m so grateful that you are first and foremost a follower of Jesus. We said to each other on our wedding day, so let’s keep saying it: “Magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together.” (Ps 34:3) 謝謝 Cheryl。你是我最大的鼓勵,最好的朋友,最有智慧的同工。我們同樣的喜歡說各種方言。你也是上帝賜給我的配偶幫助。 結婚之前你沒有計畫當師母。非常感謝神你首先的身份不是師母,是耶穌的門徒。我們婚禮當天彼此說的經文,今天也在說:“…和我當稱耶和華為大,一同高舉祂的名。”

Thank you to our children. Please don’t call me “Reverend”! You bring us so much joy and we are proud to be your parents. Mum loves you, Dad loves you, and God loves you most through Jesus Christ our Lord. 孩子們,謝謝!你們不必叫我“牧師”!你們每天給我們許多的歡樂,我們很自豪能成為你的父母。 媽媽愛你,爸爸愛你,上帝通過我們的主耶穌基督最愛你。

And finally, thank you to everyone who joined in to support us today “in one Spirit”. The Apostle Paul once said: Εμοὶ γὰρ τὸ ζῆν χριστὸς καὶ τὸ ἀποθανεῖν κέρδος. “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21) So whatever calling God gives you, wherever He takes you, do it for the glory of Christ. It will not be in vain. Because to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 我們最後想感謝其他的會眾,有一樣的心思來參加今天的按牧禮。使徒保羅曾經說過: “我活著就是基督,我死了就有益處。” (Phil 1:21) 所以無論上帝給你什麼呼召,我勸你,為基督的榮耀去做,肯定不會是徒然的。 因為活著就是基督,死了就有益處。

To close, please join me in saying Psalm 117 together in your own tongues.

Psa. 117:1 Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. 2 For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD.

請各位一起用各位的語言來誦讀詩篇 117 章:

Psalm 117:1 萬 國 啊 , 你 們 都 當 讚 美 耶 和 華 ! 萬 民 哪 , 你 們 都 當 頌 讚 他 ! 2 因 為 他 向 我 們 大 施 慈 愛 ; 耶 和 華 的 誠 實 存 到 永 遠 。 你 們 要 讚 美 耶 和 華 !

May all the glory be to Christ our Lord. Amen. 願在基督裡歸榮耀給上帝真神,阿門。

(You can watch the whole service below, or the ordination ceremony itself from 1:11:49.)

“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8)