SISTER TING KWEI-MEI
I was originally a OCD (meaning I have to make sure everything was spotlessly cleaned), I would never thought of taking part in the homeless ministry, However, when I saw the seal of God in the midst of them, it changed my life. And when I finally joined the ministry, I learned to have a closer relationship with God, ended up being a true Christian.
I had been baptized for over 20 years, I thought a Christian is equaled to attending church every Sunday; serving the Lord; reading the Bible and praying. However in 1993, I felt dried up in my spirit, it was for fear of offending the Lord that I had to fulfill my duty and obligation by attending church and serving the Lord.
My relationship with God was cold and distant; I had no way to come close to Him, this bad experience lasted for a long period of time. Until 1997, one day when I was praying, suddenly I was being filled with the Holy Spirit, I began to sing spiritual song, the feeling was just out of this world, I also felt that there was something burning hot in my belly. Just like what was described in John 7:37-38 “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ ” This experience drew me to a closer relationship with God, then I understood the true meaning of “streams of living water”.
After my spirit was being restored, I wanted to know more about God, I wanted to have an intimate relationship with Him. And so I studied the Scripture more seriously and prayed more fervently, just like Matthew 7:7-8 says: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be open.” I earnestly sought after God, I wanted to knock on the door of God, and I wanted to know what God wants to reveal to me.
When I came across John 5:39-43: “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.” I knew then that I have drawn closer to God; and I learned to focus my eyes on Him; He also taught me His Word, and opened my spiritual senses. It was a humbling experience for me. Through Hebrews 12:26-27: “ At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, ‘once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ The word ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken----that is, created things----so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” God showed me what is meant by His unshakable kingdom.
When God becomes the goal of my life, He opened my eyes to Matthew 25:42-46: “ ‘For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison, and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘ Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help You?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do to one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
I knew in a vague sense that this was what God wanted me to do, but still I did not understand what kind of work specifically that God wanted to me to do.
Some time in June 1998, one day when I went to the post office for an errand, I saw a homeless person in his 20’s reaching out his hand asking for alms. I was thinking: “This man is so young and having an able body, why does he not look for a job, instead of asking money from people?” I was thinking to walk past him. But the Holy Spirit urged me: “Don’t walk pass him, give him your love!” So I offered to take him to a fast food restaurant. In front of the restaurant, I saw another alcoholic; the first homeless person told me that this man needed help more than he does.
Since I was an OCD, I had never talked to a homeless person before, but now I had to sit face to face with not only one, but two homeless men, I felt totally uncomfortable. Nevertheless the Holy Spirit spoke to me again: “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself.” And so I decided to obey the Holy Spirit and gave them what they needed.
Unexpectedly the alcoholic frankly asked me for $5 to buy liquor, I hesitated for a moment, then again submitted to the leading of the Holy Spirit and gave him $5 to buy liquor, but on one condition, that he should come back. He was true to his word, when he came back he told me his story, that both his parents were alcoholics, they fed him and his younger brother with lots of liquor in their growing up years. And that was how he became addicted, later he got married but got separated from his wife. Although he had gone through rehabilitation, however, after the tragedy of the suicide of his brother, he was totally devastated and once again he plunged into the bondage of alcoholism.
Later he gave me his friend’s phone number. After a few days I asked a pastor and his wife to pray for him, we all got together including his friend. Originally we were praying that his friend would be filled with the Spirit to help this alcoholic. Surprisingly, they were both filled with the Holy Spirit. He was so moved he promised us that he will try to find a job to make a living. Three days later he really found a job and worked hard. A week later when we saw him again, we could see the changes in him.
After this, the Lord again showed me in Isaiah 58:7-8: “Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter. When you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go forth before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.” I knew then that this is God’s assigned task for me.
From that time forth, I could see the sign of God’s directions in my life, and I pondered them in my heart. Until September of 1999, when I met Amy Wang, the Taiwanese woman who ministers to the homeless people. She called herself the “Recycle Lady”, one who picks up the homeless from the streets, gives them food and brings them home. I knew the time has come for me to do God’s assigned task. And so we found ourselves talking freely and were able to connect with each other. In praying over this matter, we both believe this is the thing that God wanted me to do.
Since then I started to assist Amy in this ministry, acting out the role of “bridge”. Amy’s homeless ministry was mainly sustained by the money she made from working in the motel for a long period of time. And the American church has also partially supplied her with food. But the Chinese churches had no full understanding of her calling, so they did not really support her. My role then was to act as bridge between the Chinese churches and Amy.
Thank God, when the Chinese churches learned of Amy’s testimonies, many Chinese Christians showed their support to her ministry, they were instrumental in helping Amy established the Halfway House; the Azusa Lighthouse Church and Harvest Rock Foundation, the main goal of which is to help the poor and the needy.
Isaiah 40:31 says: “But those who hope (wait) in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Through this ministry and waiting upon the Lord, I am able to renew my strength, and the strength was from God.
Through Amy’s ministry, my husband and I participated in helping the poor in Thailand, Laos and Burma, we also went to India to take a first hand look at the needs of the orphans, I saw the seal of God in those orphans.
The Azusa Lighthouse Church for the homeless people in downtown L.A., supported by the body of Christ, has truly brought about great transformation for the homeless population. Whether the drug addicts, alcoholics, thieves and the like, people can see the changes as a result of attending this church, from junks and cast away of society, they become precious vessels in the hands of God, showing to all how God can change and transform people.
I thank God for the opportunity to have a part in this ministry. His leadings is truly like what I Corinthians 2:9 says: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind
has conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” Through this ministry, God enable me to have an intimate and closer walk with Him, learn to love Him and to love others as well. As the Song of Songs 8:6 says: “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm.”
This is the seal of God, and I will experience more and more of Him so that His seal will be upon my whole life.