Former Executive Director Pastor Peter Chou
On a Monday in 1990, brother Yeu-Ming Tsuei, invited me to audition for the “Good Shepherd” program at FEBC. I didn’t expect this was the start of nearly ten years of my volunteering at FEBC. I could not remember the exact date, but I know it’s a Monday, because it’s a more relaxed day for pastors after preaching on Sunday. It was just like yesterday.
Working in the recording studio let me learn to preach to just one person – not an easy task! Later on, when I was managing the East Coast recording studio of FEBC-CM, I saw a large photo of tens of thousands of people. I realized it was for the benefit of volunteers recording the messages. There is a Chinese idiom, “ten thousand people come out from everywhere, emptying every alleyway,” I am not speaking to people, I am speaking to an empty alley. Preaching is very interactive, to overcome the challenge of no interaction with the audience, I practiced preaching with my eyes closed; because we pray with eyes closed. When you close your eyes, you can imagine preaching to thousands, tens of thousands, or even tens of millions!
I fell in love with this volunteer work at FEBC; when I preached to thousands of brothers and sisters I have never met, I can see them when I close my eyes; they are in my heart! Going to the FEBC recording studio on Mondays became my most favorite relaxation.
One day, must have been a Monday; Rev. John B. Lin waited for me to finish the recording session and asked me to have lunch with him. He told me during lunch that he will be retiring soon and would like me to take over his duties. He noted that I interacted well with co-workers, and had been praying for me for a long time. He hoped that I would give it careful consideration. My immediate response was that I have never done any fundraising work. I am afraid that I am not up to the job. Actually, it was mainly because several colleagues and I had just started the “For All Saints Team Ministries (FASTM)”. We were trying to recruit co-workers with the vision of “For all saints.” How can I change course now? Honestly, however, in my heart I really liked this volunteer broadcasting work. I felt like a fish in the water. So I asked Rev. Lin to continue to pray!
In the end, Rev. Lin came up with a compromise: he asked me be his part-time deputy. I can continue to work at FASTM. The wonderful thing is that the board of directors of the FATSM actually agreed! In the beginning of 2000, I put down the FATSM ministry, and officially took over as director of FEBC-CM. I never expected volunteering for FEBC turned out to be full-time! God’s leading is often unexpected!
After leaving FEBC for more than ten years and visited many places, I found myself returning as a volunteer again. Time passes, but I am back to where I started, and FEBC is still my favorite job. I recall after I preached for the first time many years ago, someone handed me an envelope, I snickered to myself, I just did what I love to do best, preaching the gospel, and someone even paid me! So this is the life of faith!
Now, the Lord blessed me even more abundantly. I can truly ask people not to pay for the gospel; (1 Corinthians 9:18) isn’t this the ideal of volunteering? Let me remain in my volunteering work for the rest of my life!
From left: Rev. & Mrs. John B. Lin, Rev. & Mrs. Peter Chou (2000)