The Messengers of Life Pastor Ming-Kin Hui organized an evangelistic event with the theme “Seeing God’s Grace through Suffering” in Shenzhen Bo-An Church at the end of last year. China’s “Father of Chinese McDonald's”, James Yuan-He Chu gave his life testimony, which provided a desperately needed message to the Chinese crowd.
Growing up in a poor family, Hui worked as a teacher at a private elementary school upon graduating from high school. Yet he desired to acquire higher education. In order to achieve his goal, he once asked and prayed very earnestly, but his prayers were not fulfilled then. One day, as he listened to a Christian hymn, the lyrics deeply motivated and renewed him, allowing him to regain strength to stand up. Through his desire for education, he worked part-time and studied on his own, and eventually completed four years of undergraduate degree and six years of theological education.
In 1976, Hui was ordained as a pastor. Then, in 1986, he became the principle of a school. In contrast to his past sufferings, he now has a blessed family, in which his children all have very good lives. However, he humbly acknowledged that he is just an average person, and these things that he has accomplished are all God’s “amazing grace.” Today, he has resigned his job as a principle, but will continue to pastor after 36 years since ordination.
James Yuan-He Chu, director of Messenger of Life ministry and common known as the father of “Chinese McDonald's”, shared his testimony to the crowds in Shenzhen, located on the border with Hong Kong SAR across the Sham Chun River and Sha Tau Kok River. In his testimony, he explained that pessimists only focus on the half emptiness of a half cup of water instead of the half-full portion, and on the black dot on the piece of paper but ignore the rest. Like this, he said that people tend to think that life is full of sufferings and challenges, but it is only a small portion of our lives.
Chu opened the first McDonald's in China in 1990 and was appointed the vice president of China’s McDonald's. During his time of management, more than 800 branches opened. In 2004, McDonald headquarters in the United States appointed him to be the “leader of the Beijing Olympic McDonald’s team.”
“I felt unbelievably satisfied to be able to sit in the same area with China’s highest leadership,” he reminisced.
Chu’s career sailed smoothly – drove high-end cars, had an affair, and lived a hedonistic life. Before him was a wide and broad road. He even planned to publish a book titled “McDonald in China” and open an international consulting agency to further advance his career.
Unfortunately, Chu had a seizure and was coughing up blood when he returned to Hong Kong for rest. Hospital examination showed that he has a serious form of brain tumor, which required brain surgery. After the surgery, it was found to be facial nerve paralysis resulting from tumours, so the tumour couldn’t be removed.
After returning home from the hospital, he couldn’t stop crying, didn’t want to meet anyone, and was sweating all day. He also began hearing voices telling him that he is useless. As a result, he fell into depression and even prepared a will in order to end his life.
During this period of difficult time, Chu’s wife showed him a Bible verse, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” Chu said that this verse is a very accurate portrayal of his situation then. In face of death, there is nothing that he can take away. Through this experience of being in life’s deep valleys, God came and found him.
From the bottom of his heart, Chu is very grateful towards his wife, who saved his physical life by sending him to hospital and his spiritual life by sharing God’s word with him.
During the outreach event at Bo-An church, Chu said that three days ago he received an examination of the tumour that has been in him since 2005, which was 7 years ago. The result showed that the tumour has neither grown or shrank. He joked saying that the tumour has grown to just about right size!
“If each morning that I wake up, the first thing that I do is touch his tumour and say that it has grown, then the condition of my tumour would have worsen because of my worries, which would probably lead to my demise. Now, the first thing that I do each morning after waking up is give thanks to God.
“For each day that I live, I would give thanks for that day,” said Chu.
“Many people are worried and anxious over life especially during the end of the year, when many factory workers would request that their boss open the factory for them to work overtime on Saturday. They want to be able to bring stuff home to their father and mother, and provide for their families. Besides their hard labor, these workers would feel especially lonely, but can only meet with family once a year during the New Year. Because of worries, their lives become heavily burdened, and it seems that all that they do are filled with worries.”
Then, should we choose worrying or entrusting everything to God? Chu said, “I choose to entrust for I know who holds my future.”
[Editor's note: Angie Hung contributed to the report.]