We spent six days in Toronto. Gus was invited to be the guest speaker at Markham Chinese Alliance Church. We were very impressed with the design of the building especially the main sanctuary with delicate woodwork on the walls. We shared about our work in London as well as the declining church population in the UK. When we were preparing for the presentation, we came across very interesting figures considering the health of Christianity in UK. There is overall decline in church attendances. Although the percentage of 43% still considered themselves Christian, the percentage includes Roman Catholics and the church of England. Statistics by the Anglican church points out for every one Christian joining their church, 12 have left exited and 60% of all Christians are age 55 or older. The dominant religion in the city of London is Muslim, followed closely by Hindus, Sikhs, Jews, Buddhism, and other religions. Christians are considered in the category of “other religions”. People at Markham Church are surprised to know that UK and Europe has become one of the most secular parts of the world. One of the two videos that we played during the conference is “I am a missionary”( available on youtube), a moving account of the nature of being a missionary and their work. Pastor Gus looked extremely relaxed and happy since we do not have to involve in church politics. It was sheer joy to fellowship with the brothers and sisters there.
We spent the last two days in Toronto visiting with Mom and family members. We were in awe at the works of the Lord in my mother’s life. Annie’s mother is 94 years old and has moved to a long term care facility. She was baptised last year. Although none of my brother and sister are Christians, my Mom is blessed to be surrounded by a Christian caretaker who spends 4 days in a week with her. Mom is also helped by a Chinese Christian dining room attendant whenever she dines. As we prayed and talked to her about her faith, much opportunities arose for witnessing to the rest of the family. Although Mom still has her old proud nature, she has been transformed miraculously. Considering that she is used to making her rounds in restaurants, she now takes bland minced food without complains. She even does not ask for outside food to be brought in. Considering that she loves shopping before and spend money on tailor made shirts and outfits, she now has about 10 shirts and some pyjama pants in her closet. Also, she is confined to the premise of the care facility and she does not ask us to take her out. She is now excited to tell others in the care facility that Gus is a church pastor. She even told one of her caretakers to teach her how to say that Gus is a church pastor and she even wrote it down. God is amazing!!
We were also blessed with good Chinese food in Toronto. It was extremely nice to visit family too since we are living in different countries.