Story 24: Bernard Lee

Updated: 2 days ago


(SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE)

Bernard from Sunday Worship Service was only 17 years old when he joined COR. “Back in 1980 when I was in SAJC, Canon James Wong was looking for an organist, and he found out that I could play the organ....so he told me I had to play for COR....and COR has been my home church ever since.”


Bernard fondly recalls youth camps, “I attended my first youth camp in Dalvey Estate in Dec 1981. It was the first time I attended a camp where the fellowship was warm and there was so much care and affection for one another. e It was the first time I saw the true meaning of fellowship and understood what Christian communion and community was. I witnessed how servant leadership was lived out by the leaders in the camp.”


Nineteen years later, he was diagnosed with kidney failure and after four years of enduring peritoneal dialysis, he received a transplant with a kidney donated by his wife, Joanne.


Throughout his long and painful journey of illness, God has never given up on Bernard and surrounded him with friends who have remained his cheerleaders through the years.

“Inban Caldwell was always a great brother and friend; always an inspiration with his abundant energy and enthusiasm in serving the people around him. His passion for the lost, and in reaching out to them in the most practical ways through meeting their needs have always been an example for me to follow. Every time I get to spend with him, I leave challenged, refreshed and energised. In him, I see the servant Christ that Jesus calls us to be.

Canon John Benson brought me into the Parochial Church Council (PCC) back in the late 90’s with the purpose of engaging more young people in the PCC. He personally mentored me in areas of church governance and also in matters of God's Word.

There are so many people in COR who have had an impact on me, but I would like to specially mention John Suan.

John Suan gave me a close up view of what faith and pastoral care looked like. Talk is cheap, and he was exceptional in those days where he would walk the talk and modelled what living faith was. He showed me first hand what obedience and self sacrifice looked like. He lived it out in the way he sacrificed in coming to Singapore straight after his graduation instead of staying on in the US to work. I vividly remember him sharing how, through faith, he heard God’s call for him to come to Singapore as a missionary after his graduation from Oral Roberts University, USA.

The organisation that sent him here ran out of funding in less than a year while he was in Singapore, but he believed that this was where God had called him to be. Through his perseverance and much financial hardship, I saw how he remained steadfast to that vision and after a season of trials, the Lord opened doors for him and he started a career in healthcare management.

I remember after going through a very difficult kidney transplant operation, I woke up to see my wife Joanne and John Suan surrounding me on the hospital bed. I was in a lot of discomfort and he would come in the evenings and massage my feet to help with the circulation. That image of him massaging my feet when I was too weak to move will always stay etched in my mind.

Both Canon John Benson and John Suan walked with me through one of the most difficult periods of my life; when everything went wrong after my kidney transplant in 2003. Together with my wife Joanne, they never gave up hope and stood by me.”

Bernard treasures the friendships he has forged in COR over the past forty years and along with his wife, Joanne and ten year-old daughter, Alexis, he looks forward to COR becoming a church that will have the courage to find the unique calling that God has set for it.

“I hope we will not look at what other churches are doing and try to emulate their "formula". That we will not be constrained by history, and assume that what made our church successful in the past will make us successful in the future.

I hope that as a church, we will always hold steadfast to the values and principles defined in the Word of God, yet we will have the courage to break the mould in the way we manifest these values and principles in our daily lives, in our fellowship, in our evangelism and in our worship.

We need to understand that society is changing, and will continue to change. The way we live, the way we communicate, the way we interact is different compared to the last decade. Work life, family life, recreation and leisure has changed. These fundamental changes have resulted in new aspirations, new opportunities, new fears, new stresses, new pressures spanning across all age groups. This will affect the way we engage within the church, as well as the way we reach out to the community. We need to adapt and change without compromising the biblical values and principles that we must live by.

The word ‘resurrection’ gives hope to all believers, and in a world where isolation and individualism drives loneliness, we, as Chapel of the Resurrection, need to be the refuge that gives hope to society.

My personal wish for COR is that it will be able to conceptualise and build a new way, a new model for society for the next decade; where from the children's ministry all the way to the silver ministries, we have a body of Christ that manifests hope, Christ’s love, His fellowship that society can see, identify, be inspired by, and come to COR to find hope, comfort, peace, and most of all, eternal life.”

李绍基加入复活堂的 ‘Sunday Worship Service’ 时只有十七岁。


“在1980年,当我还在圣公会初级学院就读时,黄锐觉牧政正在为复活堂找一个风琴手。在他得知我会弹奏风琴后,便找上了我,并鼓励我以弹奏风琴参与复活堂敬拜的服事。从此,复活堂就成了我的母会。”


提到每年的青年营怎样改变他对教会的看法和他与教会的关系时,绍基是兴致勃勃的。“我第一次参加的青年营是在1981年的12月份,地点位于Dalvey Estate。 那是我在青年营里首次感受到信徒之间的团契是何等的温馨。这是我第一次体会到基督徒团契的真正意义,也明白了何谓基督徒之间的相交和群体生活。我亲眼见证了在青年营的领袖是如何活出仆人领袖的样式,服侍众人。”


十九年后,绍基被诊断患上了肾衰竭。经过了四年艰辛的洗肾疗程后,因着他太太,Joanne,的捐献,他接受了肾脏移植手术。在他长期患病的痛苦中,神从未离弃过绍基,反而让朋友常陪伴在他的身边,多年以来一直鼓励着他。


在复活堂里,有许多弟兄姐妹曾经影响并帮助了我属灵生命的成长。其中,我想特别提到John Suan弟兄。


John Suan 弟兄的生命让我更深一层地认识到什么是信心和牧养。他能够身体力行,活出真理与对上帝充满信心的生命,让我看到什么是顺服和自我牺牲。大学毕业之后,因着神的呼召,他毅然放弃了在美国工作的机会,直接来到新加坡。我记得很清楚,他告诉我他是怎样凭着信心,听到神的呼召,叫他毕业后来新加坡做宣教士。


然而,不到一年的时间,差遣他来新加坡宣教的机构竟出现经费耗尽的状况。尽管如此,他仍相信新加坡是神呼召他来的地方。在经济缺乏的情况下,他一直忍耐坚持着,让我看到他怎样持守从神而来的异象。经过一连串的试炼,主为他开启了一扇门,让他在保健管理行业发展。


我记得在我完成了非常复杂的肾脏移植手术后,醒过来的第一刻,除了我太太Joanne,亦欣然看到John Suan弟兄在我的病床前。手术后,我感受到无数的疼痛与不适。John Suan弟兄总在黄昏的时候来帮我做脚部按摩,以促进血液循环。在我体弱无力,不能行动时,他为我按摩的那一幕,永远烙印在我脑海里。


在2003年,当我的肾脏移植手术出现问题时,John Suan 弟兄陪我走过生命中最艰难的一个阶段。他们同我的太太,Joanne,一直没有放弃希望,一直陪伴在我身边支持我。”


如今,绍基非常珍惜过去四十年在复活堂与弟兄姐妹所建立的友谊。他和他的太太Joanne,及十岁大的女儿, Alexis,共同期盼复活堂能成为一个有勇气不断寻求上帝的旨意与特殊命定的教会。


“我希望作为一个基督的教会,我们能一直持守圣经里所教导的价值观与原则。在日常生活中,彼此间的交流,传讲福音和敬拜时,我们能有勇气突破现有的模式,继续活出真道与属神的价值观。”


“我们必须明白社会一直不断地在改变。工作和家庭生活,以及教育和休闲也都改变了,带给了各个年龄层的人新的期望,新的机会,同时也造成了新的恐惧,压迫感及压力。这些种种的改变也将影响到我们的教会生活与运作,以及我们如何去接触外面的社区。我们必须适应并在坚守圣经里的价值观和原则的同时,做出适当的改变。”


我个人对复活堂的期望是,复活堂能为社会的未来几十年,构建出新的方针与模式。我们作为基督的肢体,从儿童事工到乐龄事工,都能给予希望和彰显出基督的爱。会友们在基督的团契里,彼此切实相爱。这一切社会都看到和认同,深受感动与启发,并且来到复活堂寻找希望,安慰,平安及最重要的永生。”


This article first appeared in Issue 19, April 2019 CHORUS Magazine.

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