My mother passed away January 2008 in Chicago where my oldest sister and her family live. We had the most beautiful funeral service at a Salvation Army Corps (church) building where my sister and her husband serve as captains (pastors). As I was standing outside the sanctuary to greet the guests who were coming for the funeral service, I was shocked and amazed to see one particular woman walking in. She was my fourth grade classmate and used to live right next to my house. She didn’t seem to have changed a bit. I immediately called out her name to greet her and thank her for coming. It had been 31 years since we last saw each other. I didn’t get to see or talk with her after the funeral. But I felt very thankful to her for coming to support and comfort an old elementary school friend who was grieving over the loss of his mother.
My family and I went up to Chicago last week to spend some time with my aging dad and other family members. We had a lot of fun together. I also wanted to meet up with this friend just to catch up so I contacted her. My wife and I were able to get together with her at a bakery and we spent nearly three hours sharing about our lives. It was quite fascinating for me to see her because it felt almost as if we were traveling back to the past.
During the conversation, I was able to find out that she is a Buddhist who practices Buddhism as best as she can. However, her husband’s side of the family has many Christians even though he doesn’t believe and practice anything. Interestingly, she has a circle of friends whom she meets up with regularly and many of them are Christians who attend churches in Chicago that are doing house church ministry! Some of these friends are actually shepherds’ wives who have come down to our KSC side for the House Church Seminar for Lay Leaders! What a small world! So my friend was familiar with terms like “house church,” “shepherd,” and “shepherd’s wife.”
Knowing that she has Christian friends who are also part of the house church ministry network gave me much joy and hope. I told her with a big smile, “Now, it’s a matter of time before you become a Christ follower!” I also said to her that it would be so awesome to see her in Houston for our house church seminar. I have begun to pray for my friend and her family that they would all come to know and receive Christ as their Lord and Savior.
It is such a blessing to lead Receiving Jesus Meeting each month for those who are brought there by our house churches. This is one of the greatest joys that I get to experience in doing pastoral ministry. However, it would be quite an experience for me to be able to share the gospel with my old friends, help them to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior, and possibly baptize them or see them get baptized. Then I will experience what you experience through your house church as you reach out to your VIP friends and family members.
For now, I praise God for the house church ministry network that is spreading slowly but surely all over the world. It is because of this ministry that my friend in Chicago has a chance of hearing the gospel and becoming a child of God.
New Life, let’s continue to pray that God will give us the privilege of being used by Him as a resource church in helping other churches become healthy and strong through house church ministry. Your long-lost school friends might possibly come to know Christ if churches all over the world become strong and healthy through house church ministry!
No Comments to "I met an old elementary school friend in Chicago"