Come, Holy Spirit: A banner at Victoria Chinese Presbyterian testifies the hope we have
Victoria BC — Rose Lum points to a collection of photos hanging on the wall on the lower level of Victoria Chinese Presbyterian Church.
“My father,” the elder says proudly. Lee Woo was also an elder, back in 1923, when the congregation’s current building was built.
Rose was baptized here almost 90 years ago. While it was a vastly different time, she looks to the future with their minister, Rev. Vincent Tan.
A small group is gathered in the church hall on a Thursday morning to hear the Renewal Fellowship message and engage in a wide-ranging discussion, followed by prayer. We are graced with the presence of three members of Knox Victoria, including retired minister Campbell Smith and his wife Ruth. We agree that the church needs to be bold, its leaders visionaries and its members equipped to do spiritual battle for God’s will.
Victoria Chinese: From left to right are Jeewan Tan, Ruth and Rev. Campbell Smith, Rose Lum, Rev. Andy Cornell, Dennis McMunn and Victoria Chinese minister Rev. Vincent Tan
Over lunch, Vincent and his wife Jeewan describe their passion for ministry and their hope for renewal. While the congregation offers worship in Cantonese and English, most of the younger Chinese speak Mandarin. That doesn’t get them down. The Tans live right next door to the church and are well aware that several thousand people live and work within a few blocks of the downtown Victoria property. Open the back door of the church and you see the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, which can hold 7,400 hockey fans and several thousand for a concert. People = souls. The Tans are well aware that they live in a mission field ready for harvest. They know they are being called to be the church. But how?
Their passion for Christ and the Kingdom is real. I can feel it. They are on fire and I can relate. Like me, they were called to ministry in mid-life.
They ask me to pray with them in the sanctuary. Gathered in a circle, we ask the Holy Spirit to put the lost in their path. Show them what to do. Give them the words. Open the doors.
Directly over the pulpit and facing the congregation is a large, wide banner in Cantonese and English: “To God be the glory.”