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A Wok With Jesus: Saving Souls in Chinese Kitchens July 31, 2006

Posted by peterong in Chinese American, Immigrant Church.

“My friend Erika sent this to me…As I read this, my eyes were welling up with tears…because often times, we don’t really see these people as people of any worth outside of serving us our meals…and yet, here they are, on the margins. This was part of a ministry that I was involved in in my days at Chinese Christian Herald Crusades in NYC. Esther Louie is an amazing woman with vision and compassion for these “forgotten” Chinese Americans. Please read this article….it is an important one to remember the next time you are out getting Chinese…”

Thousands of Chinese kitchen workers live on the margins. A former restaurant owner tends to a subculture most Americans never see.

By John M. Glionna
Times Staff Writer

June 14, 2006

MILPITAS, Calif. — The dining room lights are dimmed at the A&J Restaurant, a tiny strip-mall eatery where a handful of Chinese kitchen workers relax at tables during the lull between the lunch and dinner rush.

The customers gone, the owner away running errands, the place is as quiet as a chapel. The only noise is the hum of the cooler chilling the green bottles of Tsingtao beer and slabs of brown tofu.

It’s time to pray with Esther Lou.

She breezes in saleswoman-friendly, a onetime Chinese restaurant owner turned religious crusader who knows her way around a professional kitchen and the exhausting lives endured by legions of low-paid food workers.

Pulling up a chair, she zeroes in on chef De Bin Hong, a thin man in a dirty white shirt and pants, a gold chain around his neck. She asks about his health and family. Then it’s down to business: How is he coping with his gambling addiction?

Over time, Hong says, he has lost enough money “to buy two Mercedes.” He has left work to gamble all night, returning just in time for the next day’s shift.

In a flash, Lou’s Bible is out, her glasses discarded onto the Formica table. Along with volunteer Li Xun, she lays her hand on Hong’s shoulder. The three clamp their eyes shut.

“Please, God,” Lou whispers, “when the urge to gamble comes again to this poor man, protect him from himself.” (more…)

Drive By June 30, 2006

Posted by peterong in Uncategorized.
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Hey folks….I am in New York City and have enjoyed a blessed time with friends, ministry partners and family. Thank you for your continued support and prayers. I will be speaking at The New York Summer Conference at Hofstra for the youth track and both a bit overwhelmed and excited that I will be given the privilege to engage with these conferees. As I prepared I am learning a great deal about the responsibility of shepherding, the seriousness of the role of sharing God’s word and also remembering to pray. One of these days, I just stopped my prep to pray (I thought it would be for a few minutes…and then it went into hours of of personal worship). It has been such a restoring week for me.

Here are the prayers for conference (it is on their website as well)

  • Pray for our speakers, that God would prepare their hearts, refresh them and continue to bless them in their ministry
  • Pray for our staff, that they would not be discouraged, that there will be committed servants who step up to take on larger roles at the conference (e.g. registration, youth variety night team)
  • Variety Night Team: Pray for commitment from team, creativity that is rooted in God’s Word; clarity fo God’s message in their skits; for God to raise up mature youth that are ready to serve in this area.
  • Worship Teams: God would lead us to the right people to lead us and teach us how to worship God in a way that pleases Him and glorifies Him
  • For God to provide the right people to take on the larger roles in this conference to replace those who are moving on.
  • For each person participating in the conference to take on financial responsibility for this conference; that each would give from the heart what they are able.
  • For protection from the enemy, especially for the leaders and speakers.
  • That the conference would run smoothly and we would all be blessed by God.

I will update you on all the wonderful times I had in NYC after the conference but if you can remember Jamie and I in prayer as we are spending time with family.

Here is a brief and ongoing list of prayer:

* Funding: Provision and encouragement as I am still raising support for the Asian American Laity Project, if you would like to learn more you can go to the PaLM website.
* Part-time work: When I get back to Syracuse I will be looking for another part-time position and possibly assisting with Intervarsity at Cornell.
* Home: Jamie and I are enjoying married life but discovering more and more that our devotions and worship are individually healthy but corporately need work…so your prayers and counsel would be greatly appreciated.

That is all for now…

Return Policy January 10, 2006

Posted by peterong in Uncategorized.
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Hi folks,

Happy New Year! I am back from my trip to Hong Kong and thank you for your prayers and support. It was a good time for Jamie and I to spend time with the parents and to get some great food. The weather was beautiful (around 60 degrees everyday) and had wonderful opportunities to explore.

We arrived this past Friday and had our “meet the Ong’s” party in Chelsea…we had over 35 people who came out for some pizza, buffalo wings, pasta and tons of snacks. We had an impromptu time of sharing about our lives in Syracuse and marriage (it felt like a marriage/dating workshop).

It was a blessing to have a time of prayer and we capped it off with ice cream. The time was a reminder of God’s provision of fellowship and I was able to share brieflyabout the vision for the ministry and their partnership.

Prayer Requests:

Logistics: We are back in Syracuse this afternoon and Jamie is taking an intensive five-day course this week and we are reorienting ourselves from the holidays to the work and ministry ahead of us. We have a lot of odds and ends of upkeep here. Including our budget and schedules.

Provision: I will be focusing on developing a new prayer support letter. Pray that God will speak through me in this letter and that there will be continued support from those who are moved to support. I am going to focus more of my time on fund development and also look for other sources of support.

Vision: I am focusing on developing the vision for the Academy and will move ahead in Spring for the launch and will use the summer as a time of developing a core meeting in the Fall. Pray for a clear vision and continued perseverance.

Ministry: I am going to decide this week if I will speak at the New York Summer Conference and preparing for my talk for the Grace Christian Fellowship at Cornell for their winter retreat, I will be speaking on “The Great Unknown: The Challenge and Hope of Faith” Still praying about TECBC and wanting to serve with the committee instead of being their speaker. Praying t through this. There will be a leadership meeting this Saturday at Syracuse Alliance Church and I have been invited to attend. I am still working out the details of a mentoring program for outreach and inreach for the church.

I am still in the midst of developing the website for Chinese Christian Herald Crusades but not sure if they will have the finances to support this project. Pray that God will provide the resources to develop this for this instrumental ministry.

Personal Items: I am planning on taking a course at Syracuse this semester and thinking about a literature course or a language course. Pray that God will use it to build up my mind and my heart for the campus students. Jamie and I are celebrating a renewed vigor in our marriage that has brought a new territory of intimacy and pray that God continue to guide our devotion time and our united life towards His glory.

Please remember my sister and her family in your prayers as she is going through some very difficult decisions about custody. It has been a trying time for my parents and myself as we feel so helpless.

Pray for our friends who are engaged and they are joining this wonderful covenant of marriage. May they continue to seek to bring their lives in sweet surrender to God and to each other.

Thank again for your support and I look forward to hearing from you.