Archive for the 'cccc' Category

21
May
08

Feeling Sichuan, One Week Later

Yesterday at 2:28PM (1428 (0628 GMT) in the first of three days of national mourning a week after the earthquake struck south western Sichuan Province, there was a three-minute observance of silence. A nation of 1.3 billion people paused. I wish I could be there to experience some of this. Air-raid sirens and the horns of cars and buses sounded in memory of the dead. During these three days, flags are to fly at half-staff and public entertainment is canceled — it’s the first time China has declared a national mourning since Mao and Deng Xiaoping. Some people have commented at how remarkable it is that the government is honoring average citizens and not some great leader. This is a much softer and compassionate image of China isn’t it?

Together they also rallied great cries of rebuilding China, “Long live China.” Even, “Let’s Go Team China!” in light of the olympics. This was real national pride and unity if we’ve ever seen any. Regardless of what position or class they were in the streets of Chinese cities they cried out in unison. Some have started calling May 12 their 9-11. This of course has stirred up a bit of criticism from some but in regards to a national response to a tragic event regardless of the cause you can’t deny the emotional similarities.

We can witness regular Chinese mourning traditions such as the pervasive use of black and avoidance of red. Newspapers will be doing this on the front pages. I wonder if it’s happening here with the Chinese newspapers. No celebration or entertainment for at least a month I think. So radio stations and music programs will be suspended. This is a very interesting time for China especially for their media.

As a church in Philadelphia’s Chinatown we responded over the weekend as many other organizations had as well. Every corner in Chinatown had some group raising relief support and awareness for the earthquake. Our Cantonese congregation got right out there and did an amazing job after Sunday service and in the rain.

Here’s an article from Benjamin Chan (Area Director of East Asia and India International Ministries, ABCUSA),

“We love China. Please help our fellow people.” Chinese-American Christians spoke a loud voice in the Philadelphia Chinatown last Saturday and Sunday.The Elim Fellowship of the Christian Church and Center in Philadelphia conducted a two-days fund-raising campaign in Philadelphia Chinatown for the earthquake relief in China. They raised more than US$12,000. The money will be sent to the Amity Foundation via American Baptist International Ministries/ World Relief Office to support the relief effort.

Dr. Eugene Young, Chair of the Elim Fellowship who initiated the campaign, praised Elim members of how they mobilized their families and friends in the fund-raising “You are a role model for them.” Daisy Wong, an Elim member, reflected on the experience, “My whole family is involved, and there is no greater joy than serving God and helping the people who are in such a desperate situation.”

Alice Hau, another key player in the campaign was touched by the overwhelming support of the donors of different ethnical backgrounds, and said, “We are thankful that God uses us. The love in the donor’s heart shines across to the other side of the planet.” Another two members of the church who sent the first check shared their thought, “Sometimes we take everything for granted, especially our good health and all the blessing in our life while staying in our comfort zone but still complaining most of the time. Pray that we all treasure what we are given and give to help the needy with a heart of thanksgiving.”

Dr. Michelle Sun, another Elim member, shares a poem “Sky Howls” to tell the terrible situation of the earthquake affect areas, and yet shows the light when we extend help and love to the victims. (See the English of the poem below)

Rev. Leslie Leung, pastor of the Cantonese speaking congregation of the church supported the campaign, and encouraged the church members to continue the effort. “The need is great, and we welcome every dollar to bring hope to the earthquake victims.”

View pictures of the fund-raising campaign here.

Relief updates are posted in
1. Amity Foundation homepage (Chinese and English versions): www.amityfoundation.org.
2. International Ministries East Asia and India homepage: www.eacinet.org.
3. Judy Sutterlin (American Baptist personnel in Nanjing) homepage: http://www.sutterlinmpt.org/.
4. International Ministries homepage: www.internationalministries.org.

Sky Howls
Michelle Sun

Sky howls from the quake
Sichuan bleeds still
Scenic Sichuan bleeds still

Sichuan at shock bleeds still

Cuehe* has its waterway barred
Wenchuan* faces all collapsed homes

A town mourns with no next generation
School children with red scarves buried alive
Schools, villages, cities
All buried, fallen, sieged and dead
No more hate and strife

Look, dear ones breathed their last, still holding hands

Fingers interlocking tight at the loss of hope
Gripping tight, didn’t let go
Clutching tight, didn’t let go
Grayish black, ice-cold palms
Wouldn’t let go

Rubble mountain-high, in valleys and up the peaks
Yet a twilight of life’s there
Lost children in lonely tents wait for Mom and Dad
Amidst the chills the sun comes and cares
Devouring earth sends kindred love
Arms of strangers show up from afar, from all paths
Descend from the sky, come with winds, dart over
God of providence grabs you tight
From the arms of Death
Pulls you to Him

Chinatown CCCNC (Elim Fellowship) Earthquake Relief Fundraiser

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14
Jun
06

feeling the letdown . . .

finally a break to find my breath and transition back to everyday life. i’ve been operating in high gear for the last few weeks – retreats, funerals, interviews, preaching, teaching, husbandry and fatherhood all rolled together like a nasty chalupa.

when i’m in a quiet moment i think back to when i was growing up and i remember simpler times. now that’s sounds old. but really the world has changed dramatically in 20 something years. communities and our sense of community have been altered. some good things and some bad. i miss the way things used to be. i didn’t have to worry about too many things.

i used to sit and spin around on these vinyl mushroom seats at my uncle’s luncheonette in east flatbush, brooklyn. they would grill me up some tasty burgers every time i visit. those burgers were famous in flatbush. my uncle and aunt’s luncheonette was a pillar in the community. folks made it a point to stop there. you can always expect a smile. everybody knew each other. you don’t get that same sense with all those chain franchises. usually people go and just consume. it’s all very two-dimensional. that’s part of the complexity with gentrification and big businesses moving in.

i got to spend the past weekend in philly. thanks to my good friends at ccc&c for making me feel at home. so much has changed. what does God have in store for philly?

about those quintessential neighborhood shops, not all stories are that great.
here’s one: “This Is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING `SPEAK ENGLISH.'”
at geno’s, famous for their cheesesteaks alongside chief rival pat’s in south philly they’ve instigated a speak english only policy in the midst of the national immigration debate. here’s my two cents: ok, speak english in america? hmmmm…is our allegiance to america or england? get real.

refl3ctions.
i’ll be here…so show your face. or at least let your prayers represent.




abcpastor
[american born chinese pastor]
seeks to be that third place for those who are american born chinese [abc] in ministry.
[i]
here we may explore issues unique to the chinese church and doing ministry in that context
[ii]
expand the intersection of asian american culture and christian faith
[iii]
or simply expose what goes on in the mind of this abcpastor

this may be a bit ambitious or even naiive but i do hope that through the posts we can bring together different faith communities, passions for the advancement of the Gospel and the equipping of the body of Christ.

if you are an abc pastor or have any suggestions or would like to contribute to make this space evolve, just comment.

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