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Above the Noise April 24, 2006

Posted by peterong in Uncategorized.
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Just returned from New York City this weekend, I spoke at the Chinese Evangel Mission Church Queen‘s Coffehouse. The evening was called
Above the Noise: The theme verse was from Isaiah 30:21 “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

This is the second time I have spoken at the church (the first time was for a Teen Eastern Chinese Bible Conference Reunion) and I was amazed by the transformation from a garage to a beautiful space. As I arrived, I encountered the parents helping out with setting up and the youth who gathered in the basement to pray for almost an hour. They were earnestly praying for each other, for me and for the people who were coming. I was blown away.

As I watched the youth leading worship, perform skits and the powerful testimony by a sister, I felt so undeserving of being in the presence of such saints. To be part of something so beautiful and pure…and as I spoke, I felt the prayers of the youth and those of you who have been so gracious in praying for me and I spoke with such a conviction. As I invited the youth the come home…one by one, they stood…and I knew there was God there, responding to our brokenness, our ragged clothes and our bare feet and all of us were clothed in His robe and the sandals…we all were on our way home. I can’t express how much I was blessed that evening and thank God for allowing me to partner with these people. I am going to write a letter to express my appreciation and to esteem the church for their commitment to the youth and for the parents’ support. Pray for the follow up and that the seeds that were planted would come into fruition.

Please pray for my speaking engagements at:

I am looking forward to speaking at my next outreach as I head back to my High School (Brooklyn Technical High School) on May 18th and speaking for Seekers Jesus Day. Pray for this day as a working of the spirit as the students plan this day!

Teen Eastern Chinese bible Conference
is coming around the corner! I am excited that I am serving again this year as a support to the wonderful chair person Fran!

Mid-Hudson Chinese Christian Church
on June 4th I am planning on having a meeting with their leadership to see what kind of partnership could exist with PaLM.

New York Summer Conference where I will be the youth speaker for this historic conference, I am also doing a workshop and lifestyle evangelism…one of my passions!

Boon Church of Overseas Chinese Mission Church in Flushing in August. I will be speaking on engagement of evangelism and discipleship.

September I will be launching the Laity Project at the College and Career Eastern Chinese Bible Conference and will be doing a workshop there as well.

The Prayer Letter is ready, I sent it to a first group of prospective funders! Right now, my budget is about 20% raised and I need a special push in the summer to get the budget ready for the full launch by September, I know things are behind but I trust God’s provision through His people. I will contacting some churches to talk about some formal partnerships in the Fall. If you want a copy of the prayer letter it is in the yahoo groups.

Please feel free to forward it to anyone who you think would be interested.Pray for divine provision in the next few months and that I would have faith that God will move in this project. Pray that I will be able to have meaningful times with some prospective funders from missions boards and ministries. Pray that I have faith…a simple and focused faith.

I have been putting in more hours at my part-time job and I am really being challenged by the time I am putting there and the other commitments…but my finances are a concern for me…and for the summer, Jamie and I will have to pay for our own health insurance. Pray for God’s guidance and for us to lean on Him…our beautiful savior and deliverer.

Prospective Partnerships

I had a meeting with Glen Ewart who is a New York Regional Director about the possibility of serving with Intervarsity at Cornell. As I reflect on this past winter when I spoke at the Grace Christian Fellowship at Cornell, I realize that I miss the work I did back with Intervarsity at the Asian American Christian Fellowship at NYU. I am praying that God would open my heart to see how I should respond to this opportunity.

I am hoping to meet with the English Pastor at the Korean Church of Syracuse to connect with him and talk about some of his heart for the fellowship and the church. Pray for a time of encouragement and insight for the two of us and how to best serve the Asian American students on campus.

I have been approached by a church in Chinatown to serve once a month to develop their college and/or youth ministries. Pray for discernment on how to proceed and be a good steward of time and heart.

I have started working with my home church in developing their youth ministry, we will be hosting Joshua Revolution. I really love the kids but my greatest challenge is to serve the current leadership and the existing culture but I am really encouraged by the Associate Pastor’s vision for engagement and his heart for a transformative discipleship. I am going to serve through the summer for a bit and planning some prayer walks and then take it from there. Pray for opportunities for me to understand and to enter into this new place of serving with patience and also confidence of the gifts that God has given me.

Pray for the CCHC Website, it has hit a slight speed bump and I am hoping that we can complete it so we can move to the next stage of funding exploration.

Jamie and I have been more in depth discussions about our future and we are at a standstill regarding what will happen next, my heart and my desire is to come back to the city to continue ministry work, she is thinking of some overseas work but we are truly praying this through and wondering what this will all mean. A lot of factors are at hand…our families, starting a family, but overall, we want it to be focused on prayer and on the leading of God. Pray for our sincere surrender to His loving and perfect will.

MISC Prayers

Special Happy Birthdays to Amy, Glennis and Linda ! I hope that your birthday is filled with such wonder and reminders of God’s grace. Jamie’s birthday is coming soon!!! I have some ideas…but I will keep them on the down low for now.

Special congratulations to Carlton and Lauren on their new season as husband and wife. Special praises to Kuz and Peggy for their new marriage. These weddings serve as reminders of the beauty of marriage and to appreciate this institution that God has given us.

I am taking my Chinese final exam at Syracuse University next week…pray that I be diligent and pursue excellence for this opportunity to learn this language.

Pray for the Herald Youth Center as I have found out that another staff is leaving after the summer. Pray for this ministry to be supplied to the fullest for the appointed servant.

Pray for PaLM Worship Conference this coming weekend. Pray for those who come will be blessed and engaged as they seek their role as worshippers. I might make a surprise visit there…hmm….

Pray for some of my friends who have parents who are fighting cancer, diagnosed with cancer and/or awaiting results. Please pray for healing and for peace for their times of trouble.

Death Redefined April 17, 2006

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“Jesus departed from our sight that he might return to our heart. He departed, and behold, he is here…” Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

Greetings everyone! I hope your week leading to Easter proved to be filled with wonder and the awe of reflecting of the meaning of God’s death on the cross and the unveiling the transformative power of redefining the absence inside an empty tomb as presence in our lives.

I am so thankful for the profound act of “absence” to conquer our graves…we rise with Him…amen!

Thanks for your prayers everyone! Here was an email that really touched me this week…

“I hope you’ll learn to love Syracuse more, as Syracuse loves (or needs) you more. As you mentioned, you believe God called you to Syracuse…., so I’m sure God will put Syracuse in your heart.I remember my heart was in Hong Kong for years after I moved to Long Island. I don’t know how many times in my dreams at that time I thought, “Finally I’m back in Hong Kong!” only to wake up and realize that it’s yet another dream. Four years ago …I finally went back to Hong Kong in summer, and I felt like I was a Hong Kong-er again, and the 9 years in Long Island seemed like a dream that summer.

A few years later, last Spring, I remember looking at the map of Syracuse …like I was looking at the map of Paradise. (you know, I was in the… in the middle of the night, sleepy and probably a little hungry and thirsty and stressed.) My heart was in Syracuse already, even months before I finished … Transitions can be very traumatic, but the thing that’s constant is the presence of God in your life. I’m sure God is at work, in your heart, whether your heart is in NYC or Syracuse. Take care, Peter!”

It has been a busy week since my Syracuse part-time job here is picking up and I am putting in more hours…thanks for all your prayers. Thank you for all your words of encouragement and also sharing with me about your stories of how God is moving in your lives. Special thanks to my missionary sisters out there who are moving so diligently to do the work of proclaiming the gospel. Thank you brothers for constant reminders of your friendship, I find strength in your faith and most of all your service towards the work of God.

So, since I worked late today and had a meeting with our small group co-leaders, I am gonna have to keep this prayer update brief!

Prayer Support letter is coming out this week…sorry for the delay, I wanted to include some new updates but also feel the fear that is creeping up on me since support raising has never been this hard before…But God is breaking me…and God has been great in providing me a job and full funding for Jamie’s studies…Pray that God will move in the hearts and for surrendered provision! Pray for my fear to transformed to hope!

Speaking Engagements
Heading back to the city this coming weekend to speak at Chinese Evangel Mission Church Queens Coffeehouse outreach. Thankful for the organizers and look forward to speaking on “Above the Noise” For a flyer click here. Pray for the organizers, for the kids and most of all for the anointing of God as I share about the “voices” that Christ heard on the Cross and what was the voice that He ultimately focused on…despite the silence…

I am going back to my High School (Brooklyn Technical High School) on May 18th and speaking for Seekers Jesus Day. Pray for this day as a working of the spirit as the students plan this day!

Laity Ministry
There are really some exciting news regarding some partnerships that are still in the works! Praise God! Specifically, pray for a special conference where we will have a launch for the Laity Project. I am working on my website and still striving to have the website up in the first week in May 2006.

Jamie and I are in the midst of planning for our future as the year is closing…we had the wonderful opportunity to engage with campus students (Jamie has been so amazing these past weeks…seeing what God is doing in her heart for the students here…she had some great moments of sharing with student about Easter). We are ready for another season of our lives here…we want to grow in our marriage which has been such a blessing…I feel that marriage is such a divine blessing for us…we comforts each other, we make each other laugh and most of all, just taking care of each other and our moments of yearning….Pray for diligent surrender for the plans He has for us…here…overseas…and may we respond “Here I am…” (even Syracuse!!!)

We have a date and venue for our next Refl3ctions event! JUNE 17TH at Overseas Chinese Mission Church I am organizing in getting an artist and also finding a speaker for the event. I have some ideas but want to lift it up to prayer.

Ministry in Syracuse
Meeting with pastoral staff of Syracuse Alliance Church this week to continue our dialogue in my involvement with the church. I am growing more and more sensitive to what God is leading me to serve here…it is not an easy place for me…But that is when I feel safest because He works most in my discomfort…Pray for prayerful entrance into this endeavor, it is so eas for me to rely on formulas and talents…but to truly serve and to humbly submit to the leadership.

Misc. Prayer Items
Several of my friends’ parents are ill this week…pray for my brother HL’s dad as he is in the hospital for some tests, please pray for CB’s mom who is diagnosed with cancer, and for those who are sick and in need of a touch of peace.

My sister, she is still undergoing ups and downs with her new life apart from her husband. Divorce has been a tough burden for her and the kids. Pray for her to rend her heart to God…

My parents are still in Asia travelling. I pray for encounters with God as they reunite with family members and I believe that as God is working in China, He reaches His hand to them…there…

Pray for the churches in Syracuse…there is definitely a stirring and I am so thankful He is alive!

Absence of a Voice April 10, 2006

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Hello everyone, it has been a busy week and I have much to write about and very thankful for your audience and your words. Thanks for all of you who remind me that you read this blog and I hope that we continue to engage with one another to pray for mutual inspiration and encouragement. It is in this circle of friendship I feel most pointed towards God, so your presence in my life has been a true blessing in my walk with God.

Easter Reflections: Voices and Silence
Since undergoing this journey of co-leading “Experiencing God” for Grace in Motion, the college and career fellowship group at Syracuse Alliance Church, I have been focused on reflecting on the cross and the experience of Christ on the cross. It has been a difficult reflection because of the sheer brutality of it, the wounds, the voices of accusers, the presentation of Mary by John, and what strikes me most is not the voices that is present but the absence of the Father’s voice…Jesus states that “I thirst…” which water (river, overflowing, etc.) represents the presence of God (see Psalm 23). But somewhere in this moment, I find myself easily satisfied with the voices that seem to affirm who I am…the voice of my wife…my friends…the prestige and celebrity of speaking at certain venues…but I am really bothered by the apparent muted voice of God? He is easily heard in my morning devotions, on my ipod (on my “spiritual” playlist) but I don’t know if I reallly take moments of deep pause to hear Him…not just for direction but the sheer beauty of experiencing His presence.

One of the things that captivate me is the sound of birds…Bird chirping is one of the things that really catches my heart, as I am writing this, I hear the sounds of birds and I stop my typing to hear them…because it is beautiful to me…yet, do I stop to hear God? How often do we really pause to listen, to hear and discern with a sense of holy hunger for God? And yet, what is endemic to the church is the apparent “silence” of God in our lives. I wonder if the “silence” is because of what we are tuning into…what catches us when we listen…a whisper of a beloved, the sounds of the newest sports updates, the approval of a supervisor at work, or even worse, the deceit of the enemy that tells us we are so much less than what God wants us to be. So I journey towards Good Friday with a sense of expectation…To hear…to listen…and to be transformed by the wonders of His words.

Here is a quote I want to share with you:

“I’d always know, in one place in my throat, how Jesus must have cried in the garden—crying not to die, because there was no fear of death, and not to leave his friends, because he walked alone, and not to suffer, because the blood and bruises and thorns were part of his perfection—but crying because he could not find his Father’s face, because when he would suffer all that he could bear, the pain of every person, living and dead, in that dark moment, there was really nobody there.” Paul Shepherd, More Like Not Running Away: A Novel

Prayer Support Letter
I am sending them out this week and you should receive it before Easter Sunday. I will also post it on the yahoogroup site, if you have not done so already, please join the yahoogroup so that you can access the new and old prayer letters. Please pray that it will be able to communicate my calling to this new Asian American laity project and also serve as a source of encouragement.

Laity Ministry
I have made some inroads to launch the ministry in August with some assistance with IV, Campus Crusades for Christ and professors from Alliance Theological Seminary. I am also going to work with some local ministries to come together to serve the Asian American leadership through fellowship, training and mentoring. I am hoping to have a strategy and ministry vision formation at the Eastern Chinese Bible Conference in September.

I am also working together with some ministry leaders to come up with some definitive plans for ministry development for their leadership and to offer some resources and insight for implementing and developing ministry models. Pray that God will use this as a springboard for the ministry to move forward. Pray for guidance and a ministry saturated with Holy Spirit insight.

I am excited to announce that we will move forward to another Refl3ctions event in the summer! The first two Refl3ctions Events were huge successes that was part of a youth movement for engagement for witnessing and to intersect into the lives of Asian American youth. The first one was to challenge them to Refl3ct on three questions and served as convergence event for the Billy Graham Crusades of Greater New York which featured performances by Koo Chung and Jinny Kim. The second one was a historic event of having youth from all over the city and ethnic groups to gather to pray for the lost. The picture from the event was used for a New York Times article. Pray for this next event to build on what God did last year and pray for my leadership in preparing for this event.

I have been invited to serve with OneHouse event happening in the end of summer. At its core it is to bring the churches of New York City to be united and to spend an evening celebrating our unity and to challenge us towards missions and justice. Here is a mission statement from last year’s event…

One House is the celebration of our family united in Jesus Christ, embodied through the worship of our Savior and Lord. As fellow believers in a city of nearly nine million people, many of whom are squished onto an island only 22.7 square miles, Christians here have the awesome privilege of being in one of the largest communities in America.

Because we share the same devotion and commitment to Jesus, not only can we celebrate life within our local houses of worship, but we can all praise Him together as one in this city, in this world, because we all belong under One House under God. Worshipping together is just the beginning. The stage is set for a multitude of opportunities for churches within our community to partner in furthering the commandments of our Lord; first and foremost, to love.

Journey of a Servant Website
I know that there has been a delay in getting this up, but I have made a commitment to get the website up by the first week of May…no excuses…It will feature prayer updates, my venues where I am speaking and also some resources for other pilgrims on this journey towards serving.

Asian American blog
I have been invited by Blogger Dave Park to be a co-author for an online blog for the Next Gener.Asian Church. I look collaborating with Mr. Park on some issues facing the Asian American church. I am still working on an essay for the Asian American church called “Exit Wounds…” I am hoping that it could be a good launching pad for my personal website so that we can start an online thinktank for New York based ministry and also to gain some national perspective. Pray for opportunities for community and for exchange of ideas and strategies and heart felt engagement.

In my last week’s sharing, I expressed a more intentional pursuit of discovering what God is doing here in Syracuse and I am thankful for your words of encouragement and also for the way God continues to unveil the work He is doing here. I went to

Intervarsity Graduate Christian Fellowship at Syracuse held a colloquim called “My Profession as My Mission” by Syracuse Professor J. David Richardson. He spoke with deep conviction and insight about how we are to use opportunities where we work as a field for spiritual harvest and testimony. I have posted his talksheet on the yahoogroup here. I was moved by his authencity in his passions and his shortcomings as a fellow follower of Christ. Truly blessed to also meet other grad students on campus who is working out their faith in Christ and their professional endeavors. I was happily surprised to see Kar-Lai visit the fellowship as well to offer some of her insights and thoughts.

I met with an amazing minister and visionary, Rufus Morris who heads up this ministry bridge through Street BUZZ TV. I was amazed by his heart for the youth in the community and his openness to hear and learn from others. It reminded me of the work that Jeremy Delrio does at Generation Xcel and Adam Durso’s Christ Tabernacle Youth Explosion Ministries. They are exploring media and music to enter into the lives of youth and their heart language. I am amazed and inspired. I hope to visit one of his afterschool programs and ministry in the near future.

I met with pastoral staff this week at Syracuse Alliance Church to discuss opportunities to serve with the church and I am on a journey of prayer and expectation for me to see how I can serve this community. Personally it has been a trying time since I feel that there is a great deal of holding back and just learning the culture here and to honor the existing structure of ministry. I am looking to serve and not to “innovate” but rather to humbly walk aside what God is doing here and to just be a faithful child to the “bride of Christ.” Pray for wisdom and for a deepening heart for the church and its people. Pray that I continue to balance ministries that I am involved in.

Speaking Engagements
I have prepared my talk for the Chinese Evangel Mission Church Queens Coffeehouse Outreach which is in two Saturdays. I will be attending a wedding in the morning of Lauren Chiang and Carleton Mak (I have the privelege of reading scripture for their wedding) and then off to the church. Here is the theme for the evening:”Above the Noise” Ever feel like being choked by the world, and its ways? Bombarded with so many different noises and couldn’t distinguish which voice to listen to? Do you ever wish to be free from the snares of the world so that you can hear the voice of the LORD clearly?

I have accepted the invitation to speak at the Mid-Hudson Chinese Christian Church on June 4th, 2006. Pray for a specific topic for me to preach on and that the preparation is faith filled.

I will be at my 6th Teen Eastern Chinese Bible Conference and I will be doing a workshop on “Vote for Pedro: An Insiders Look at our Identity in Christ” Yes, I have sold-out to the whole Napoleon Dynamite movement. The theme is on Hope…Pray that God wil move in my presentation and my engagement with the youth. Every year I have attended and serve, I am always amazed how God moves to heal and to inspire this generation of youth to become radical followers of Christ.

Hofstra Conference: I will be the main youth speaker for New York Summer Conference. I am preparing for my talk and my workshop for this upcoming conference in July, I am so excited to have this opportunity and reflecting on how God has brought me to so many experiences on this journey that allowed me to “persevere…” It has been filled with His grace and I am still amazed by this miracle of being where I am, despite some of the wilderness journeys I have undergone. Pray that God continue to humble me and to seek His face in what I should share and how to express the word of God in a narrative that is impactful and faithful.
Here is the theme of the conference:

“Persevering Faith”

“…These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” {Hebrews 11:39-40}

Friday, June 30th – Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

Thanks for your support and please continue to lift up these prayer items and also for you to support me financially:

Pastoral and Laity Ministries
48-19 196th Street, Fresh Meadows, New York 11365-1316
Please make the memo out to: Peter Ong/Laity Project

Reflecting collides with the Future… April 3, 2006

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Dear Friends and Family! It is good to have this weekly forum to share with you some of the things that are happening in life and in ministry! Thanks for all your words of encouragement and keep your prayers coming as I am learning more and more of God’s grace.

One thing that I have been meditating on is that “life is messy.” We live in such a state of chaos without apparent boundaries…we have broken relationships, broken churches and we live in such disarra. Even our intimacy with God becomes a sense of unfocused worship and devotion. But there is such a yearning for the body to develop a spiritual cadence that walks in faith and deeds. I yearn incarnational lives in the church that will bring such a beautiful collision of light in darkness. I am not afraid of “messy things” but rather, exhale and realize there is so much healing that Jesus can bring here…and may I be an instrument of that healing. No more “God is good…all the time…” but rather walk as if we really mean it…and not some bandwagon fraternity chant.

NYC Comes to “Cuse (well for at least three hours!)
The guys from Jesus Generation came up to Syracuse to lead worship for One Voice event at Korean Church of Syracuse. It was a blessing to see them again and to reminded of what God has done in my years serving the Asian American youth. It is amazing to see them here and to reflecting on how memory arrives in such sweet ways. These young men are growing into such anointed leaders for Christ and really felt their maturity and their gifting as they invited God into that sanctuary. Herman, Simon and their friend Yelena stayed the night and they came to Syracuse Alliance Church

Laity Project
I had a wonderful opportunity this week to do some planning for a September launch for the Pastoral and Laity Ministry Asian American laity project. I am pretty excited of some of the ideas that I am exploring to help equip the Asian American leadership. Pray that God will continue to build this ministry and that there is provision.

My prayer support letter is done! I am sending it out this week. It will give an update on all that I have been doing for the last 6 months and a look ahead in the next six months as have a goal of raising $20,000 for the ministry. I know that it seems impossible but I know that even though I am working remotely, I believe that God can use a lot of the gifts and I am really excited to see what will happen.

Jamie and I are in the midst of some planning for our future. It has been a lot of exploration of what her program at Maxwell School for Citizenship and Public Affairs will require for us as it might include going overseas for a semester or even a year. I am thankful for this opportunity for Jamie to have an opportunity for such solid training. May it help us in our future to meet the needs of the global community. Personally, I am both afraid of what this means but also excited because I am moved by our love for one another…and to trust that we have God’s best in mind for each of us.

Experiencing God
Jamie and I are continuing together to lead with a smallgroup study on “Experiencing God” by Henry Blackaby. I just had an honest time with my co-leader Dan and we were able to wrestle through some of our thoughts about church, ministry and the meaning of “authenticity…” I am learning through this process and I trust that God will continue to have His hand here.

I was invited to speak at the Mid-Hudson Chinese Church in May and June…getting ready to serve at Teen Eastern Chinese Bible Conference on Memorial Day weekend…and preparing for outreach coffeehouse at Chinese Evangel Mission Church Queens in two weeks, the theme will be “Above the Noise.” I am excited that I am speaking for the youth track at New York Summer Conference at Hofstra…I am preparing my talks and they are really convicting my heart. I am beginning to really pray for those who are coming. Pray for just a passion sobered by truth.

Each week, I drive on South Salina Street and this week my friend Simon mentioned “these houses looks like they turn into haunted houses at night…” I replied…”what? houses are haunted only at night? What happens during the day…” I realize that many of the homes on this street are “urban” and there is a lot of hurting here…I want to be part of rebuilding these houses not just the physical dwelling but the spiritual home…yet, how does a Chinese American man be able to engage with these people who are predominately African American? The church wants to move in a direction that will impact this community…but they are mostly middle to older aged Caucasians…so, I pray with an earnest desire because I know God loves all of us, to be united in some movement towards a deeper understanding of God through loving one another…but I don’t know how…where do I begin?…I want to visit a black church and see how God is moving there…I want to see college student church and how they are impacting the Syracuse community…I want to see the International Fellowship Church to see what impact these fellowships are making in the lives of these future global ambassadors…there is so much to see…so please pray for Jamie and I to discover more.

I have an opportunity to be part of ministry here in Syracuse but after some thoughts, I am more unsure of what God is leading me…I am partly confused, partly lost, and perhaps I am dont’ know how to find a place for me to serve…I would be happy to just sweep the floors at this point…I wanted direction and not sure if what is in store for me…I believe that we are not called to a need but to a vision…

I met with the Associate pastor this week and I appreciated his heart and his integrity…and to just listen to his heart…I think that is enough for now…Pray for eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to surrender.

This has been a great week, special thanks to those of you who wrote. Especially to those in NYC who continue to remind me that God is working in ‘Cuse. Even through some tough talks this week, I am persevering and discovering more and more…He is so good.

If you wish to support the ministry please send your support to:

Pastoral and Laity Ministries
48-19 196th Street, Fresh Meadows, New York 11365-1316
Please make the memo out to: Peter Ong/Laity Project