Written by William L. Ko, Ph.D.
When I was a student at Taiwan University, I stayed at my uncle´s home. He and my aunt loved me as if I were their own child. We became very close. He left some important footsteps for me to follow and influenced my life to a great extent. The following are some of his footprints.
1. Spirit of Sacrifice for God
For a period of time, my uncle served as a general secretary of the Presbyterian Church in North Formosa. He restored some important church properties from the hands of the Japanese Government after the end of the 2nd World War. Because the church was very poor, he served with almost no pay. His goal was: God first, self second. His sacrificial spirit for God´s work deserves high praise from all of us.
2. Bach´s Music
After dinner, he used to play Bach´s music on the piano to raise his spirits and to inspire his listeners. His love of Bach inspired me to take piano lessons from a 6th generation Bach disciple. I am now a 7th generation disciple from Bach himself.
3. Healthy Living
My uncle taught me how to swim in the open sea. During the summer, he would gather all his children, nephews and nieces, and would take them to the beach to take in natural vitamin D from the sun, to breath the ozone-rich air, and to swim in the ocean water. He used to say “To let you dip in the ocean salt water.＂ After swimming, while the tide was low, he would initiate claming. We would then dig for beach crabs hiding under the sand.
4. Healthy Diet
My uncle inspired me to eat the proper foods to stay healthy. He advised me to stay away from the “Three Evil Whites＂, namely, no white sugar, no white flour products, and no white rice. Today, we all know that rice bran is rich in fiber, vitamins B & E, and is an anti-cancer food. I am so happy that my uncle led me to walk the healthy pathway.
5. Theological Research
My uncle had a lot of theological books in his study. When I was staying under his roof, I used to read them. This led to my interest in bible research which brought me closer to God almighty.
6. Guest Chaplain for the 7th Fleet of the United States Navy
In the 1950s, the 7th fleet of the United States Navy was patrolling the Taiwan Strait. During the weekends, some naval vessels (including the flag ship), would anchor at the Koelung port. Through contact with American missionaries in Taiwan, my uncle was invited to serve as a guest chaplain for the 7th fleet of the U.S. Navy. This was the greatest honor to my uncle and to all of us. A Taiwanese minister delivering sermons in English before the U.S. Naval brassband and young U.S. sailors! What a glory!! He was the only Taiwanese minister receiving this highest honor. He said to me “William, the first time I stood up to preach, my two legs almost buckled.＂
Because of his 7th fleet connection, Enchin had the first opportunity to come to the States to study at San Diego State University. (San Diego was the home base for the 7th fleet). Later Enchin arranged for me to come to San Diego, then to study at the California Institute of Technology. Next, H.O. (Anthony) came to study followed by other nieces and nephews to obtain advanced degrees.
Our success today stems from the 7th fleet connection established by my uncle. For this, we are all forever grateful.
Now my uncle has reached the end of his long life given by God according to his word as stated in Psalms 91:16, which says:
“With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.＂
My uncle has just finished his long earthly life, just like a very ripe apple falling to the ground. Is this the end of this life? Never, the best part of the next life is yet to come. Why do I say this? Let us listen to what our Lord Jesus Christ said in John 5:28 which says: “Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his (Jesus) voice. And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evils, unto the resurrection of damnation.＂
My uncle will be resurrected again by Jesus into an immortal body to live forever. When will this happen? At the sounding of the last (or the 7th) trumpet. Namely, at the 2nd coming of Christ to this earth. Let us listen to the scriptures in Thessalonians 4:16-17 which say: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.＂
Now after resurrection, what will my uncle do? His next job is far more exciting than the previous one. Jesus said in Revelation 3:21: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my father in his throne.＂
Thus, when Jesus returns to this earth to set up his kingdom, my uncle will sit with Jesus in his throne!! What a glorious job Jesus is preparing for him!
Finally, in the book of Revelation 20:6 we read: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection, on such the second death had no power, but they shall be priest of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand year.＂
This is the “blessed hope＂ provided by Jesus our Lord for his saints including my uncle. Because he will rise again in the near future. I shall not say “good-bye uncle＂ but I shall simply say “see you later uncle＂. At the resurrection, he will continue to call me “A-lim-a＂, and I shall continue to call him “Toa-ku-a＂. What a glorious day of reunion lies ahead of us!! Blessed be the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave us the blessed hope, and turned our tears into joy. Amen.