To see how one complements the other in a marriage, look at Pastor Patrick and Bee Long. Most are familiar with Pastor Patrick because he is at the front in ministry. Let me introduce Bee Long. Apparently at the back, she is by no means a laid back person. She is a very effective professional teacher and is at the top in her profession. Very thoughtful, stable, faithful and dependable in anything entrusted to her.
Both pioneered our first two NLRC Chinese churches. Both are pastoral at heart and are still at it since their early start with us in 1980’s. Bee Long is one of our first converts in her university days. I still remember how she was “matched” to Patrick in the church that was in Damansara Utama by the Lord in an interesting way. We “gave her away” on her wedding day from our home to be married to Patrick. This is special and it brings back a good fond memory. It is great to see the family has grown up. Enjoy their testimony on kingdom family…….
Pastor Jeremiah Yap
Kingdom Family Culture
By Pr Patrick Lai & Bee Long
In our world, all earthly kingdoms indicate a measure of either past or present possession of real power or control over a domain. And since God called us a “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9), there must be some real substantial power innate in us, his children, and we are called to possess and inherit the nations (Psalm 2:8). In the Kingdom of God, we have only ONE KING – the Lord of Lords and King of Kings- the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are to surrender all our rights and wrongs to his sovereignty. For us, the little ‘royals’, herein lies the work cut out – how do we live out a surrendered life in the kingdom?
As Pr Jeremiah has proclaimed Kingdom annual themes, the deeper one delves into the subject of Kingdom Life, there is no escaping the reality of spiritual power and warfare. When our daughter Grace was born, as a young father, I had to learn to exercise my responsibility as the spiritual headship over the family especially when my first born was very ill while in infancy, very much related to the onset of haze, a new phenomenon in the 1990s. Sensing there was a tussle in the spiritual realm, Pr J and leaders rallied in prayer with Bee Long and me as young parents, fighting and asserting our authority in Christ, and Grace recovered from prolonged bouts of coughs and pneumonia. Those were early days of Kingdom reality.
But Kingdom parenthood was not without some fun in everyday life. In the early days of our bi-vocational ministry, we travelled weekly with our babies, Grace and Elise, in Klang valley and sometimes further afield, on week nights and Sundays. For mobile convenience, we had the biggest and sturdiest baby potty which travelled with us when the girls were young. Although Patrick was not much of a driver, but for family reunions on Chinese New Year, we travelled from Johor to Perak every CNY, and we had worship song sessions in the car as they grew up on those trips and we listened to our favourite cassettes, CDs on songs and musicals. Bee Long was good with babies, remarked some other ladies. It was no wonder the girls had good early childhood. And I (Patrick), on the other hand, had to learn fast as a father as the years flew by, when babies turned into young ladies almost overnight.
On hindsight, we have much to be thankful for, Grace and Elise learnt much about God and his presence in the local body of believers, built friendships, found their spiritual mooring as they commit themselves to Lord, the church, be it at children church or youth church level. They learnt discipleship through participation and leading. And each has found her niche in church ministry and has her own mission stories to tell. Grace went on mission to Sri Lanka in her teen years without us when the Tamil Tigers were still a real military threat with their suicide bombers, and Elise had one month teaching experience with Peribumi children, living among the Penans in Borneo jungles. Bee Long and I can’t emphasize enough the role of parents – working with the local church leadership and body of believers that has benefited our family – to be found in the family of God.
(Psalm 84:10) Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
1. What do you understand from the verse 1 Peter 2:9 about who we are in God’s eye?
(NIV) But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
2. What are some fun memories for your family when children were growing up?
3. How do you think 1 Peter 2:9 & Psalm 84:10 apply to you personally and in your family life relating to church life?