Seeing God's Plans after 25 years
Linton, Judy (林奐均) to Friends, April 9th, 2007
We have various stories to share with you: Seeing God's Plans after 25 years...
First, yesterday was Easter ( April 8th.) 2007. After our service in the morning at New Hope Taipei, we rushed home to get ready to go to an afternoon service. This service was in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Gi-Kong Church.
A little history first. The site of Gi-Kong Church was my (Judy's) old childhood home. It is actually the only home I remember as a child. It is the setting for many of my happy childhood memories. It is also the same place where I was stabbed six times and left to die and where my sisters and grandmother were murdered, 27 years ago.
Most native Taiwanese knew that the assassinations upon my family were ordered by someone in the KMT, the ruling government of Taiwan at that time. There are many reasons to substantiate our belief, especially since the assassinations took place when my home was under 24 hour government police surveillance. Back at that time, the country was under martial law and there were no political freedoms.
After the assassinations, my home became labeled a murder site. Nobody wanted to get close to the place and even neighbors wanted to move out. My family was in dire financial situation. My father was being tortured in jail at the time along with mourning for the loss of his own mother and two daughters. My mother was left all alone to deal with her grief of losing her daughters and the task of taking care of me with no source of income.
Many brothers and sisters in the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church had been praying earnestly for my family. It was during prayer that many of them were moved to purchase my old home and to turn it into a church. This would be the way to help my mom financially and to redeem what had been a place of tragedy.
So a few brave men took on the task of fundraising for the purchase and building of Gi-Kong Church. It was a brave act, because everyone was afraid of being associated with my family, lest they themselves be arrested or harmed by the government. During yesterday's service, the man who was in charge of fundraising talked about how some people would show up at his house in the middle of the night to give him contributions so they wouldn't be seen. He also was careful to not have any list of contributors in case the police were to get a hold of such a list. And it was under such conditions that the funds came in and Gi-Kong Church was established 25 years ago on Easter Sunday.
The first pastor of Gi-Kong church was a pastor who had formerly been arrested by the government in the middle of his preaching a sermon. Following his release from prison, he bravely took on the role of being the first pastor of Gi-Kong Church. All succeeding pastors also took the position with courage, instructing their family members what to do in case they were arrested or taken away. We heard some of their stories yesterday.
So that's some of the history of Gi-Kong Church. By the way, "Gi" means "Righteousness" and "Kong" means "Light", testifying to how "righteousness" and "justice" are the foundation of God's throne, and how blessed are the people who walk in the "light" of His countenance (Psalm 89:14-15).
And isn't it interesting that 25 years later, I, the sole surviving member of the assassination attempts, would be inside what used to be my childhood home, sitting in the pew with my own three little girls, listening to my American husband preaching his first Taiwanese sermon. Can anyone ever imagine the plans of God?
So, yesterday afternoon at three, we celebrated with hundreds of others God's goodness and faithfulness to Gi-Kong Church for the last 25 years. Joel had the great honor of preaching his very first Taiwanese sermon at such a special occasion. I had never seen Joel prepare so hard for a sermon before. He was practicing his Taiwanese day and night. The sermon was a clear Gospel message: Are we still in Adam or are we in Christ (I Corinthians 15: 21-22)? And his Taiwanese was very good. I was very, very, very proud of him.
Thanks to all of you who prayed for Joel's first sermon in Taiwanese. It was a major hurdle and by God's grace it was accomplished. One couple in particular came up to say they really liked what Joel said in his sermon. We pray that people will be affected by the content of the sermon, and come to believe in Jesus.