Pastor Wu Yuzhuang oversees the Emerge team that takes care of the young people in City Harvest Church aged 13 to 25. He shares with City News the brighter side of this period of COVID-19 for his ministry and family.
Today (April 6) is Pastor Wu Yuzhuang’s birthday—happy birthday, Pastor!
Instead of the usual celebratory posts on Instagram, Pastor Zhuang shares an encouraging word about how God will make a way for believers when there seems to be no way, just as He did for the children of Israel when they found themselves facing the Red Sea with the Egyptian army behind them.
We talked to Pastor Zhuang about his views of this unusual season, a time when ministry and church life has had to transform itself in a matter of weeks.
Pastor what are your feelings about weekend services going online and members being unable to meet since early February? How are you keeping in touch with your Emerge teams and your zone?
When we first learned that we would not be having cell group meetings or church service, we told the Emerge leaders to continue to meet the members online through various platforms.
I’ve always wanted to visit all the cell groups in my zone but I have never been able to because I am personally leading two cell groups. As all the cell group meetings are conducted every Friday—including mine—it has not been possible for me to visit.
So, when the situation took us online, I had this idea of meeting each of the cell groups in my zone using the Zoom app. I took two weeks to cover all of them—I conducted four to five Zoom meetings every night for those two weeks.
What I couldn’t do for the last few years, I manage to do it in two weeks! The restriction of physically meeting became my opportunity for online meeting with all the cell groups.
Can you share what you are personally doing during this season of staying home?
I’ve been trying to get back to exercise again—I bought new tennis rackets to play tennis with my family these past two months. Also, I can now spend more time at home with my family, and I get to cook for the family with my wife [Pastor] Audrey [Ng]. I also listen to podcasts and read, and watch Netflix with my wife.
How do you personally keep your faith strong during this time of not being able to be physically in the house of God?
I have more time to pray and read the Word. Being restricted from meeting together pushes us, the church members, to connect even more, and to connect more electronically. We may face restrictions but we are not disconnected.
What do you miss most about being in the house of God?
I miss worshiping together in church. I miss hanging out with my members and leaders.
What are some of the rhema words, powerful reflections that you have received during these past weeks?
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV) says “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
God knows His thoughts and plans for our lives. Scripture doesn’t say “we know”. Often, we cannot figure out His plan. But while God’s character is consistent and predictable, His plans are not.
Case in point: When Jairus asked Jesus to heal his daughter, He went immediately. But when Mary and Martha begged Jesus to heal their brother Lazarus, Jesus waited 2 more days before he left and when he reached, Lazarus was already buried for 4 days.
While we may not know His plan for us, He knows what He is doing. We may not see it, we may not feel it, but He is working for us according to His plan. He may not work according to what we expect, or how we project, but He will surely come through for us.
How would you encourage our church members to experience God’s presence?
Read and pray more. Let this restriction be a preparation.
What is your prayer for our church members, particularly the youth?
I pray that the youth seek the Lord more. That they would be more hungry to seek after spiritual things. Spiritual material is readily available online. I pray that the youth will spend more time connecting with their family. I pray that they will focus on their studies and glorify the Lord.