My wife, Anita and I came from Hong Kong and our church speaks Cantonese. Cantonese is one of the dialects in China and one of the official languages in Hong Kong.
In the early 1980s, Pastor Stephen, Sai-fung Lee travelled from Vancouver, Canada to San Francisco to share with me a vision from the Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference which was to build a Chinese church in San Francisco area. With two months of fervent prayers and dug deep into the fundamental faith of the Mennonites, I was happy to accept Pastor Lee’s invitation and started the San Francisco Chinese Mennonite Church at the same location until now.
Looking for new church location, printing out flyers and many days of heavily sweat and tiredness preparation but we saw the hands of God through many prayers. November 9, 1980, came as our first Sunday worship and we worshipped with a thankful heart. On November 16, 1980 as the Conference planned to come to present our church with a certificate, I got an emergency call from my father in Hong Kong. It was heartbreaking to hear that my beloved grandma was seriously ill. My family earnestly urged me to go back. I should go back but how about the new church? It was tough! I called every day to check on grandma’s progress only to find out that she was not getting better. I cried out to God in my prayers, brothers and sisters also walked with me in prayers. Until one day, I picked up the phone and told my father that I planned to stay because the church needed me, then my father responded with relief that grandma was no longer in life threatening condition. Praise the Lord! He let me make the decision and he took care of my worries.
With God’s many blessings, we celebrated our 39th anniversary this November with Pastor Jeff Wright among us and also grateful to be part of the Franconia Mennonite Conference (now the Mosaic Mennonite Conference). Our church has many ongoing programs like Sunday Worship with Sunday School & Prayer Meeting, Bible Studies, Small Group Fellowship, Special Outreach Events, Festival & Holiday Celebration, Churchwide Retreat, Nursing Home & Hospital Ministry and Intergenerational Church Members Care Ministry to equip and nurture our congregation. More than a dozen of brothers and sisters joining hands in hands to serve the hospital ministry with joy.
Lately, our church had a new vision, it was to be the salt and light for Jesus to a group of Chinese restaurant workers in San Francisco area. The Chinese Restaurant Workers Fellowship was born. This ministry first meeting was on December 10 and followed by the Christmas celebration on December 24. Unfortunately, there is no other church in San Francisco area also serving this group of workers and that also reflected the significance and importance of this ministry. Restaurant workers absolutely need the gospel due to their emptiness mind, boring and long hours working condition and many of them are addicted to bad habits. Even though we acknowledge how hard it was to reach out for this group of people, we assured ourselves that their heart need Jesus the most. We believed God loves to save their souls and this ministry is consensus with the vision and mission statement of the Mennonite belief.
Please pray with me for our financial need and more willingness heart to share our vision down the road for this new workers’ ministry. We appreciate all your support, cares and prayers for the future of our church.
*Updated in June 2022
This post is also available in: 繁體中文 (Traditional Chinese)