Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Find Us Faithful

Pa & Ma
Originally uploaded by LeeFamily
On the 28 Jun 2009, Pat and her siblings, the Goh (Kao) family celebrated the lives of their late parents the Rev and Mrs James Kao by remembering the 20th anniversary of their deaths. Both had died of cancer within 6 months of each other in 1989.

Coming together in family worship, we reminisced about Pa and Ma; what we knew of them. Rev Kao was a Methodist Pastor for 40 years. In his career he was the pastor to many churches ranging from small village congregations in Malaysia to large urban churches in Singapore. He was known as a church builder, having raised funds and organised the development for at least 7 churches in Singapore, Malaysia and China. Mrs Kao was ever the dutiful pastor’s wife who cared for 7 children and ever the present companion at his side.

We talked of how both were so committed to the Lord and faithful in ministry. It was not easy to be a minister of the Gospel in the 1940s. My father and mum in law were sent to village churches that could ill afford the minister’s salary, much less feed seven children. Ma would relate how these churches pay Rev Kao in kind, mostly by giving them “kampong” chickens. But they soldier on, faithfully serving God. They were both prayer warriors, noted for spending the early morning and late night hours on their knees, praying. We recalled the many miracles surrounding them wherein God answered their prayers in the difficult circumstances of their lives and ministries.

Considering their testimonies, struggles and service, the advice by St Paul to young Timothy comes to mind 1 Tim 6:6-8 ‘A devout life does bring wealth, but it's the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that's enough’.

They are fortunate, my in-laws. They found their calling early in life and lived lives of service, godliness and contentment. Ravi Zacharias states “We often find out too late in life that attaining a pursuit and finding fulfillment are not necessarily the same thing. It is surely possible to find meaning without extraordinary success. Many people do. But conversely immense success does not always bring meaning and fulfillment. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to recognise God’s calling.”

Richard of Chichester prayed.
may I know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
follow you more nearly,
day by day

St Paul’s advice to Timothy in 1 Tim 6:11-12 ‘But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this (that is the pursuit of wealth and worldliness). Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.’

What should occupy our lives? Do we pursue wealth, happiness, popularity, acceptance? My guess is that the pursuit of godliness is the best path to follow. It was the path chosen by the Rev and Mrs James Kao. I hope that my life will be lived such that long after I am dead and gone, my children and grandchildren would one day sit in conversation and sift through our lives, Pat and I. My prayer is that they would have found that we’ve have kept our Christian faith and have made a difference for them and others. May they find us faithful.

“After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift through all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful”


Ref Ravi Zaccharias, “The Grand Weaver” Zondervan 2007


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hi Lionel

Thank God for Ma and Pa's faithfulness to God.
Indeed, may all who come behind us find us faithful too.
Thanks for sharing your well written article about them.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your blog with me. It's so encouraging to read of the impact of Pat's parents' lives and ministries.
Belinda Goh