Saturday, September 28, 2019

懷念韓百嘉牧師 - 影響我一生的良師


為什麼一個香港年輕人叫Jeremiah耶利米?

早在1985年,我還很年輕,蒙召全職事奉。經過兩所神學院的面試和拒絕後,中國浸信會神學院是我最後也是唯一的選擇。對他們來說,我也是那一年唯一的選擇,因為我是唯一一位被韓牧師(Dr. Harry Ambacher)和其他老師面試的學生。那時我沒有意識到我會在聖經翻譯事工中服務,並會改了英文名為Jeremiah “耶利米”。
韓牧師博士在中浸神學院教我幾門課程。 1986年的上學期,他教授“舊約先知書”。他一向使用他的至愛舊約先知書Isaiah作為例子來教授課程。那年他卻使用耶利米書。也許唯獨這年他破了慣例。在學習期間,我對這卷書和先知耶利米的一生印象很深刻。有一天,我乘坐渡輪到香港大會堂參加音樂會途中,有一種衝動或催逼要我用耶利米作為我的名字。之後,我開始使用耶利米作為我的英文名。儘管一些老師和學生認為這很有趣。我還記得老師傅秀刪姑娘笑著跟說我看起來不像耶利米。直到今天,ABWE萬國宣道浸信會的宣教士仍以英語叫我廣東話的名字“英成”,而不是Jeremiah
後來我越來越覺得自己不是傳道人、全職事奉神的材料。我沒有錯,小弟到今天仍然不是好材料,所以我每天都繼續依賴上帝。當年有一天,我去了韓牧師博士的辦公室並告訴他我要離開神學院。我還記得他告訴我他愛我。這是我生命中的第一次,我從一個人那裡聽說他愛我。他還說無論我之後要從商,還是做其他事,他都希望我完成學院的課程。但我告訴他我會去聽當晚的音樂會,然後第二天早上我會收拾行李離開。在前往大會堂的渡輪上,我懷著複雜和沉重的心情。在音樂廳入口處收到節目表時,我很驚訝香港管弦樂團將演奏耶利米交響曲。其中一段是希伯來語耶利米哀歌Lamentation 的獨唱。那時我學了一點希伯來文,我知道耶利米的意思是上帝建立、任命或放於高處。等不到演出結束。我已飲泣着離開。第二天早上,我告訴韓牧師有關的經歷,我相信上帝仍然希望我繼續學習。從那時起,我一直使用耶利米的名字,開始了回應耶利米的召命之旅。

致敬韓牧師博士- 神話語活生生的譯本

2017221 我在聖經翻譯從業員的網站,發了以下信息(原文為英文):
標題為:向韓百嘉博士致敬 以生命寫在我們心中的聖經譯本
“今天從我的中文聖經應用程序中,我發現我在過去的365天裡完成了66本書的閱讀。我為到我忘記了多年的好習慣而悔疚。當我在聖經學院時,Harry,我通常叫他韓老師,分享他每年閱讀不同版本的英文聖經的習慣,並嘗試在一年內完成閱讀。有一段時間我也曾每年閱讀中文聖經一次。作為聖經翻譯從業員,我們要檢視我們自己的讀經生活,我們花費多年時間翻譯為不同語言的聖經有多重視?我們是否言行一致的來翻譯每個人自己的生命譯本。Harry接受過SIL語言學、聖經翻譯的訓練。 20世紀60年代,他想翻譯把聖經翻譯為東巴基斯坦的語言,他沒有辦法取到簽證到那裡翻譯聖經,但是上帝的話通過Harry寫在我心裡。所以,這是對哈利的致敬。
今天,我重申我的承諾,熱愛上帝和回應那些用自己生命使上帝的話語惠及世界的人,每年至少讀完66卷聖經一次,。“
今天是我的屬靈生日或我重生的周年記念。在39年前的96日的同一天,我決定接受耶穌作為我的救世主。今天(201996日),在他的恩典中,我在過去的兩、三年間裡仍在每年閱讀整卷聖經只少一遍。

神的僕人和宣教士的榜樣

韓牧師和中浸其他宣教士老師並沒有刻意地鼓勵學生宣教,但他們生命的見證和敬虔氣質就是上帝僕人和宣教士的榜樣,這些老師深受學生們的欽佩。在宣教課上,韓牧師很多時間教授馬禮遜和戴德生的宣教歷史以及ABWE在香港和中國的宣教事蹟。在我唸神學的那些年間,相當高比例的學生成為宣教士,並在世界各地服侍。當然,我那一年收的學生比例最高(百分之百),還買一送一加上我日後畢業的太太李慧好。
韓牧師博士是一個很安靜,平常不太愛說話的人,但他的教導充滿熱誠,他的講道鏗鏘有力。他講道或者咆哮時,他偶爾會猛擊自己的胸膛。我仍然記得他在早會分享用希伯來語大喊的兩個詞: [Goel]'親屬/救贖者'和另一個[Hesed] '慈愛誠實:忠誠的善意/善意的忠誠'。是的,韓牧師博士通過善良和正直的服侍來演繹“他的救贖主至今仍然活著,祂的慈愛誠實永遠長存”。
他也是講故事和使用講道例子的大師。他在不同課堂上的許多故事仍深印在我們的腦海中。他的講道,特別是廣東話的講道,對於那些參與跨文化事工要學好語言的人來說,是很好的提醒。他的生平,他自己的故事和宣教課激勵我成為一名宣教士和聖經翻譯從業員。因為他的生命,他許多的學生們在本地和各地忠心服侍、作神話語的好管家。
慧好和我在1995年至2002年間在瓦努阿圖為Merei美里語言聖經翻譯和識字教育項目服務。20001121日,韓牧師,乘搭了多段航班從老遠的美國到南太平洋的瓦努阿圖,山圖島探望我們。並與我們一家到大灣的村子過了一個晚上。他吃了一種名為'Maji Maji'的簡單食物、[搗爛的山藥、芋頭包裹在葉子裡],作為他的感恩節的晚餐。

特別的69 落在地裡的麥子結出許多子粒來


這次相聚後,直到10年前我們才再次見面。在2008年底,我在下面的電子郵件中詢問我們是否會在200969日或之後再次見面。在我收到韓牧師的消息後,我告訴他我想在69日或之後與他一聚。

你好HA博士和帕特,
我的家人將於67日左右回到香港。你什麼時候從香港出發,我們想見你嗎?我想69日或之後的某個時間可以奏效。
順便說一句,過去幾年我一直參與尼泊爾,泰國和菲律賓的領袖培訓。我有機會在培訓中分享我生命中影響我最大的人。你是我生命影響我最大的人。我非常感謝上帝讓他的兒子來,也送你來亞洲。聖誕快樂。
願主恩眷,
英成

慧好和我在20096月再與遇韓牧師夫婦。之後,我有幸在美國幾次見到和訪問韓牧師博士。然而,今年69日之後,我們無法在地上再聚,因為當天我們敬愛的牧師,老師和朋友,韓牧師,已經息勞歸主與安息主懷了。
69日對我來說很特別,因為我出生在那一天。

我未將你造在腹中,我已曉得你; 你未出母胎,我已分別你為聖;我已派你作列國的先知。
耶利米書15

“我實實在在地告訴你們,一粒麥子不落在地裏死了,仍舊是一粒,若是死了,就結出許多子粒來
約翰福音12:24

這兩節經文今天對我來說很特別,因為韓牧師在他的課堂上教Jeremiah,我因此得名,,就像韓牧師和他世上的使命以落在土裡,在等後子粒的出生和成長,並代代傳承。正如約翰福音這節經文所述。
我過去住在香港以外的地方,回港的時間不多。然而,兩年前,我在和樂浸信會講道,經文為耶利米書11-10,韓牧師在香港開拓了四間堂會,和樂浸信會是韓牧師在1970年開拓的第一間堂會。 201998日這個主日,我會再到和樂浸信會講道,經文是路加福音921-27。今天才發覺約翰福音1223-26與這段路加福音經文合其他對觀福音的經文。
紀念韓牧師博士 - 他為基督傾倒生命
最近聽了關於為一女人為耶穌傾倒寶貴香膏的信息。當耶穌教導他的門徒時,“我實在告訴你們,普天之下,無論在甚麼地方傳這福音,也要述說這女人所行的,作個紀念。” (馬太福音26:13,馬可福音149
韓牧師確實是我生命中對我影響最深的人,也是傾注個人的生命來紀念和跟隨基督的真實例子。有些人認為人生只是一連串的巧合,對我來說人生是要我們忠心隨主的天意。願這篇文章不僅僅是為了紀念韓牧師,而是為了鼓勵那些韓牧師影響過和啟發的人來完成在天上的旨意--尚未完成的大使命。
---
2019年9月29日是韓牧師在香港的追思禮拜

Friday, September 6, 2019

In Memory of Rev. Doctor Harry Ambacher – the most influential person in my life


Why was a Hong Kong Chinese young man named Jeremiah?

Back in the year 1985 I was still quite young and was called to serve in full-time ministry. After interviews and rejections from at least two seminaries, the China Baptist Theological College was my last and only choice. For them, I was also the only choice of that year, since I was the only student being interviewed by Harry Ambacher, the president of CBTC, and other faculty members. At that time I didn't realize that I would serve in Bible Translation ministry and be called "Jeremiah".
Dr. Ambacher taught me several courses in CBTC. In Fall 1986 he was teaching me "Old Testament Prophets."  He used to teach the course using his favorite Old Testament Prophet book, Isaiah, as an example for the course. That year he was using the book of Jeremiah. That was the only time he taught with Jeremiah in his many years of teaching that course. In the course, I was very impressed by the book and the life of the prophet, Jeremiah. One day I was on the ferry to Hong Kong City Hall for a concert and there was a kind of urge or calling for me to use Jeremiah as my name. After that, I started using Jeremiah as my name. Even though some teachers and students thought it was funny. I still recalled Miss Sue Farley was smiling and told me that I didn't look like a Jeremiah. Until today the ABWE missionaries still call me "Ying Shing" in the English way, instead of Jeremiah.
Sometimes later I thought I was unqualified to be a preacher since I didn't know how to preach. I considered myself inadequate to be a preacher/minister.  I was not wrong, I still am not adequate, so I continue to rely on God daily. One day I went to Dr. Ambacher's office and told him that I wanted to quit. I still remembered that he told me that he loved me. That's the first time in my life, I heard from a person that he loved me. He asked me to finish the study no matter I would be a businessman or do something else. But I told him that I was going to a concert that evening, then I would pack and leave the next morning. I took the ferry to the concert at City Hall with a heavy heart. As I got the program at the entrance of the concert hall, I was astonished that the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra was going to play the Symphony of Jeremiah. The vocalist was singing Lamentation in Hebrew. I had studied a bit of Hebrew at that time, and I knew that the meaning of Jeremiah was God established, appointed, or put in a high place. I could not even wait until the end of the performance. I left while I was still weeping. Next morning, I told Dr. Ambacher about what happened, and I thought God still wanted me to continue my study. Since then I kept using the name Jeremiah and started the journey with the calling to be Jeremiah.

A Tribute to Dr. Ambacher –
a version of God’s Words in our Hearts

I posted the following message to my fellow Bible Translation practitioners with the title: A Tribute to Dr. Harry Ambacher -- Scriptural Engagement for Bible Translation consultants in "Modular Aggregation of Principles for Bible Translation" on Feb, 21st of 2017.
"Today from my Chinese Bible app., I found that I completed the reading of the 66 books once in the last 365 days. I had to confess that I forgot that practice for many years. When I was in Bible college in the 1980s, Harry, I used to call him Mr. Ambacher, shared about his habit of reading different versions of the English bible every year and try to finish the reading in one year. I had been practicing reading the Chinese Bible once every year for some years. As Bible Translation practitioners in what ways can we value the Book that we spend years to make available in different languages? In what ways can we translate a living version with our words and deeds that are consistent with His words. Harry got SIL training in the 1960s and wanted to translate the language in East-Pakistan, he had never translated the Bible in the languages there, but God's word was written in my heart through Harry. Thus, this is a tribute to Harry.
Today I renew my commitment to read the word at least once every year with love to God and those spending their lives making God's words vividly available."
Today is my spiritual birthday or the day of my being born again. Today (September 6th, 2019) by His grace, I am still reading the Bible once in the last couple of years.  On the same day September 6th of 39 years ago, I decide to receive Jesus as my savior.

A role model of Minister and Missionary

Dr. Ambacher and other missionary teachers of CBTC did not encourage the students explicitly to be a missionary but their life is the illustration of the role model of a servant of God and of a Godly temperament, which students would admire. Around those years of my studies, a rather high proportion of the students became missionaries and served in different parts of the world. In the mission class, Dr. Ambacher taught the mission history of Robert Morrison and Hudson Taylor, along with the story of ABWE's missionaries in Hong Kong and China.
Dr. Ambacher was a quiet person, but he taught with passion and preached fervently.  He was pounding his chest occasionally while he preached or rather roared. I still remember that He was shouting two terms in Hebrew which he shared in the chapels, [Goel] 'redeemer' and the other [Hesed] 'faithful kindness'. Yes, Dr. Ambacher has interpreted that "his redeemer is still alive being kind and faithful even today" through his kindness and integrity to his students and to those he has been serving.
He was also a master of storytelling and illustrations. Many of his own stories in different classes are still in our minds. His preaching, especially those in Cantonese, become great lessons for those involved in cross-cultural ministry. His life, his own stories, and mission class inspired me to be a missionary and a Bible Translation practitioner.  I am not the only one, as his life has inspired many of my fellow students to be commissioned to serve as missionaries.
Loretta and I were serving in Vanuatu for the Merei Language Bible Translation and Literacy project from 1995 to 2002. On November 21st, 2000, Dr. Ambacher flew a long way from the United States to visit us in Santo island of Vanuatu of the South Pacific. We then went to a village in Big Bay. He ate a simple dish called ‘Maji Maji' [some kind of starch wrapped within leaves], as his Thanksgiving Day dinner.

Special June 9th – Fall of the old wheat and birth of the new


After this trip, we were not able to meet again until 10 years later.  At the end of 2008, I asked in the following email about whether we would meet again on or after June 9th, 2009. After I had received Dr. Ambacher's news, I told him that I would like to meet him after June 9th.

Hi Dr. HA and Pat,
My family will be back from around 7th June to HK. When are you leaving from Hong Kong, we would like to see you? I think sometime on June 9th or after could work.
BTW, I have been involving in leadership training in Nepal, Thailand, and the Philippines in the last few years. I have the opportunities in the training to share the most influential person in my life. You are the most influential person in my life. I'm so thankful that God has sent his son to come and send you to Asia.Merry Christmas.
Blessings,
Ying Shing

Loretta and I made it and we met him and Mrs. Pat Ambacher on June of 2009.  After that, I had the privilege of meeting and visiting Dr. Ambacher a few times in the United States. However, we were not able to meet him on the earth after June 9 this year, as our beloved pastor, teacher, and friend, Dr. Ambacher, had gone to be with the Lord and rest in peace.
June 9 is special for me, as I was born on that day.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."  Jeremiah 1:5

"Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." John 12:24

These two verses are special for me today, because Dr. Ambacher taught Jeremiah in his class, hence my namesake, and in the future, just as Dr. Ambacher has gone to be with the Lord, he has fully sown the fields as in John 12.
I have been living outside Hong Kong and I did not return to preach often in Hong Kong. However, two years ago I was preaching the passage Jeremiah 1:1-10  at Wo Lok Baptist Church, the first church planted by Dr. Ambacher.  The coming Sunday, September 8th I am going to preach Luke 9:21-27.  which is a parallel passage to John 12:23-26.

In Memory of Dr Harry Ambacher – who pouring his life for Christ

Recently I came across the sermon/message about the woman of pouring out the valuable ointment for Jesus. As Jesus taught his disciple, "Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her." (Matthew 26:13, Mark 14.9)
Dr. Ambacher is indeed the most influential person in my life and is a true example of pouring out one's life to honor and follow Christ. Life seems to some people a series of coincidences, it is a providence for me. May this article serve more than to be in memory of him but to encourage those who Dr. Ambacher had influenced and inspired to accomplish the not yet finished Great Commission.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Hong Kong Indigitous Resume Today

There was an indigitous Hakathon about four years ago, i.e. 2014. Today there is a another new start. The one in 2014 was conducted in English and Mandarin. This year the Hack-Hong Kong indigitous is conducted in Cantonese. Quite likely the only Cantonese indigitous in indigtious's history. However, this is only one day event, while other cities may last longer. I tried to have one last year, end up as my solo inidigitous. I have been working on three projects, I may try to work a bit more in two projects: ABCD and GOSP4EL

https://indigitous.org/projects/abcd-chinese-dialects/

https://indigitous.org/projects/gosp4el-global-open-source-projects-evangelical-laities/

I consider writing this blog as part of the GOSP4EL.

I learned a few tools to connect people and help with projects:

Kingdom Builder Slack Group:
kbmm.slack.com

Trello.com for collaboration

Mentimeter.com for realtime voting

As usual, I am looking for freebie resources.


Thank you for all those who made this indigitous happen. I am glad that the younger generation is taking the lead. We are not perfect, we made mistake and that is the way we learned. Indigitous is about engaging the digital generation with digital means for outreaching the whole world with good news and be better stewards of technology. Please share your thought, share our vision and participate.



                                                                                          

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Vanuatu 2050 Chapter 1

Ling's Journal -- Aug 15, 2050


Aug 15, 2050  pleasantly sunny in Luganville, Santo


The weather and situation in Vanuatu is still very stable and I am very thankful for God's provision and protection. It is great to see the ni-Vanuatu and some diaspora Christians immigrants in the country have been transforming through the Scripture and have lived their life as Vanuatu's National Motto: "In God We Stand." Their faith and cultures conform with the Biblical value is the only way keep this nation survive in spite of the Neo-Imperial Global Union. I wish there can be new discovery of other hidden communities with diversified culture, before they will be unified the Global Union Force.  I haven't heard much from Hong Kong after 2047 and I don't know why I care, as I always told my parents that Hong Kong was their home place and not mine. BTW, no one believed that I was studying in English speaking school, with my Hong Kong Chi-English writing style. I don't even know where does this come from.
I am glad that the Carlson Institutes have made good use of ecological technology to keep this country running. I think the core value of altruism, sharing economy and open source community made a big difference in this country. I' enjoy the fellowship with the Carlsons and really admire Ben for their integration of their faith through and their career as researcher. Their testimony in marketplace have blessed the community immensely. I was almost admitted to the same college as Ben, when Dad and I visiting the Ben's parents and Grove City College decades ago.  Well I have to remember to get Joshua's diving gear fixed, as he is going to the beach with Ben's grandchildren this afternoon. I fear that I am getting old, and not able to keep track of the third generation of the community.  I will be the same age next month as my dad, when he disappeared in 2018. I am not giving up searching him. I just wanted him to know that He has been doing great as dad, and the ni-Vanuatu are so thankful for his teams, the development of Computer Aided Bible Translation and Digital Scriptural Engagement, which transforming the communities here.  As I am coming to my mid-life, I have been pondering along the same line of his last message:



Thursday, June 28, 2018

香港華福聚會后個人化勉導、門徒訓練的反思

我昨晚參加了CCCOWE舉辦關於華人教會的勉導/教練門徒的會議。

會議的幾個亮點:
1.對基督教教會進行門徒訓練的必要性是毫無疑問的。問題是如何實踐?
2.有效的門徒訓練不僅僅是訓練/計劃,而是通過在較小規模的個人/關係互動中展示榜樣和與導師/教練/顧問互動來更新信徒在教會內外的生活方式,符合聖經的價值觀并與現實生活接軌。沒有適合所有處境的必勝解決方案。
3.勉導/教練門徒實踐的結構和使命功能的方面必須在個人層面和堂會層面靈活處理和度身定制。

與會者提出的問題:
1.如何匹配和勉導和被勉導者?
2.有什麽過去的成功模式的經驗和先例可參考?
3.指導關係有什麼潛在的危機、缺陷, 如:濫用?
4.實施有效門徒訓練需要什麽資源,結構和策略?
5.如何應付改變和創新在教會領導和會眾中的阻力?

我的問題:
1.新酒,新皮袋? - 舊約和新約聖經中關於信仰實踐的家庭/個人參與以及培養門徒的有什麽是新酒?還是新的皮袋?我們如何在當今的環境下使如何符合現況?
2.全球性的國際差會/組織分享領導/培訓門徒的經驗如何回饋華人教會、當地機構?
3.如何在機構間和教會間的環境中分享、共用資源和外判教練/指導,並發揮協同作用?
4.我們如何培養實施健康有效的學科功能的能力?技術?技能?行政?

Mentoring/discipling Lifestyle-- a reflection of mentoring/coaching disciples of Chinese churches in GOSP4EL context


I attended an evening meeting about mentoring/coaching disciple in Chinese churches context held by CCCOWE last night.

A couple of highlights of the meeting:
1. There is no question about the necessity/mandate of discipling of the Christian churches. The question is how?
2. Effective discipling is not mere training/program but transforming of lifestyle within and beyond the church by showing example and connection of a mentors/coach/advisor in a smaller scale personal/relational interaction. There is no one fit all silver-bullet solution.
3. Structure and mission of the relational discipling components have to be flexible and customized at individual levels and the church levels.

Concerns raised by participants:
1. How to match the mentor and mentees?
2. What are the experience and precedences of successful models in the past?
3. What can be the potential pitfall about abuse/exploit of the mentoring relationship?
4. What can be the resources, structure, and strategy for implementing effective discipling?

My questions:
1. New wine, new skins -- is there anything new from the Old Testament and New Testament Biblical perspectives about family/personal engagement of religious practice and making the disciples? How can we make the model relevant in today's context?
2. How can global international mission/organization with precedences about leadership/mentoring program share/connect/coach the local Chinese churches?
3. How possible is to share resources and outsource coaching/mentoring discpleship in inter-agency and inter-church setting and bring the synergy?
4. How can we develop the competence to implement healthy and effective discipling functionality? technology? skill sets? administration?

Saturday, May 5, 2018

What is mother tongue?

What is my mother tongues? Recently I read the news about Hong Kong people's mother tongue. What is my mother tongue? First language? Second language? What does it mean mother tongue/1st language? Many Hong Kong Chinese moved away from the ancestral land. Mine is Teow Chew/Chao Zhou.
I don't speak Teow Chew, a branch of Minnan language group. I can understand some daily Teow Chew because of my parents used Teow Chew, when I was very young. I went to school and most of my peers are Cantonese speaking. Thus, I guessed my first language was Teow chew. I started learning Teow Chew recently. My Cantonese is definitely more fluent than my Teow Chew. I was using English textbooks in most of my education. Thus I consider I am more fluent in English for my work and study.


Ethnolinguistics is a branch of study about the relationship between an ethnic group and the languages(written and spoken). In the Chinese language/dialects context, spoken language can be quite different from the written. The writing styles of Cantonese speakers can be very different from other Chinese even though we are using the same writing scripts either in traditional characters or simplified characters. This is a slide in my presentation about "Engaging Chinese Diaspora for Bible Translation Ministry. One of my unresolved questions is "What does 'Chinese-ness' mean?" Who can and Who should define the term? Where is our ancestral land, I believe that all people were coming from the same boat. We are the diaspora of some kind, diversity with unity. What are the implications of this? How do you think?