On December 5, 2010, OMF General Director Patrick Fung visited Chinese Presbyterian Church of Sydney, where he explicated a chapter from Nehemiah in the Old Testament.
With the Sunday Service message titled “Becoming My Vision”, Fung pointed out four major points: a broken heart, a repenting heart, a patient heart, and a contributing heart.
A Broken Heart
Nehemiah’s reconstruction projects did not begin with great strategies, but with a broken and sorrowful heart after hearing that the walls of Jerusalem has been destroyed and God’s glory defiled, he said.
Fung then shared the testimony of how James Hudson Taylor founded OMF International (formerly the China Inland Mission and Overseas Missionary Fellowship) in 1865. Taylor’s ministry began when he heard that every day countless souls are dying without ever heard of the gospel. He wept bitterly besides the ocean in England, and afterwards he opened a bank account under the name of China Inland Mission and with a deposit of ten British pounds.
Since 1865, OMF International has grown to a team of 500 people in the last 140 years, which all began from that broken heart for China and for the glory of God.
A Repenting Heart
Before God, Nehemiah did not look at other people’s sins, the sins of the Israelites, but he started repenting of his own sins and his own family sins.
Prior to going to Pakistan for missions, Fung said he had participated in a medical service and mission training, caring for the leprosy patients, in northern part of Thailand. At one occasion, a kind-hearted patient had mistaken him as a patient as well, so he opened up a space in front for him to cut in line. At that time, Fung confessed that he didn’t have a grateful heart, but, instead, the thought that he had was that “I am not a patient like you!”.
Afterwards, the voice of the Holy Spirit urged him to repent, letting him see how great of a sinner he was.
“After returning home that day, I’ve knelt before God and said, ‘Lord, I am a sinner, please forgive me!’”, he reminisced.
A Patient Heart
As Nehemiah does God’s work, he is patient and waits for God to open up the way. It was after four months did he receive from the king the permission to fulfill his hopes.
Fung exhorted the workers of God’s ministry to let go of being impatient and trying to open up a way through one’s own efforts, but wait quietly for God to open up a way.
A Contributing Heart
Nehemiah didn’t depend upon his own strength to do his ministry, but he shared his vision with the Israelites, allowing the reconstruction of Jerusalem walls a ministry that every Israelite can contribute.
“God’s kingdom does not belong only to church leaders, but to every members of the congregation, which requires everyone’s participation. In God’s kingdom, you have to ask yourself a question: what is my role?” challenged Fung.
Chinese Presbyterian Church of Sydney is Fung’s home church, where he was baptized 30 years ago. He and his wife were then commissioned to go to Pakistan to preach the gospel to the Muslims. Following that, he was named the OMF International General Director.
[Editor's note: reporter Dan Li contributed to this report.]