In the finale to our Pastor Appreciation Month series, we honour City Harvest Church’s founders, Pastor Kong Hee and his wife Sun, through the honest answers of two leaders who have spent much time with each of them.
Pastors are spiritual leaders who teach us to grow closer to the Lord, but they are also human beings with strengths, weaknesses and special habits. In this ultimate instalment of City News’ month-long series celebrating the pastors of CHC, we invited individuals know Pastor Kong and Pastor Sun better than many, to share some interesting things about them.
Rayvin Hsu has been working closely with Pastor Kong for the past decade, creating slides for Pastor’s sermons, and travelling with him around the world to tend to the visual communications aspect. Kua Siew Yan has known Pastor Sun for nearly 30 years—she joined CHC’s staff as Sun’s personal assistant and today, they have a friendship that has been through thick, thin and everything in between.
PASTOR KONG HEE, AS DESCRIBED BY RAYVIN HSU
1. My first memory of my Pastor…was when I first saw Pastor Kong on stage during the first Easter service CHC held at the Jurong West building. I remember the hall was super packed with people and this man came onto the stage. He had such a commanding presence and was able to preach to thousands of people in the hall. I came from a small church in Indonesia, so I was very impressed. I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to work with him 10 years after that first encounter, helping him prepare slides for his preaching. It has been my privilege to see him in action, serving God and serving people.
2. Something people never expect of my Pastor is… he is very low maintenance. He loves street food and does not need to eat in restaurants all the time. He’s happy just eating kwe tiau, gado-gado, satay, lumpia and other local food wherever we go.
3. One thing my Pastor always says is…“Win already!” He says that when he’s impressed by something. Many times, Pastor Kong will have new ideas about how to add certain elements, such as animation, to the slides. He’ll tell me his idea and I’ll do my best to come up with something. There have been times when I wasn’t sure if what I did was what Pastor had in mind. But he’s always so encouraging. At first glance, he’ll say, “Wah, win already”, which means he’s impressed by what I have done. That really encourages me a lot.
4. One thing I will never say to my Pastor is “It cannot be done, Pastor!” Instead, I will try to the best of my ability to meet his expectations—that challenges me. To me, Pastor is a creative person who constantly comes up with different ways of presenting his sermon. When he tells me what he wants to do, I take it as a challenge to come up with new ways to execute them. I always feel a sense of achievement when I achieve it.
5. I will always be grateful to my Pastor for… his steady faith and trust in God, especially when he was going through the hardest and most difficult period of his life. It’s not easy to hold on to the promises of God when you see the ministry you’ve built affected, but Pastor chose to seek God and rebuilt his life and the church. His life exemplifies what faithfulness is. Sometimes when I feel tired serving in the ministry, I look to him as my role model and remind myself to be faithful and to keep believing in God.
6. If my Pastor was a food, he would be… bakmie! He loves carbs and Indonesian food, and bakmie is one of his favourite foods. Like the simple bowl of noodles, Pastor Kong is packed with energy. He’s like a Duracell battery—I call him “the sermon-churning machine”, especially on the mission field. Meeting with Pastor is also like eating a bowl of bakmie—he strengthens and encourages you to serve God.
Having said that, there are also times when pastor is really tired and just want to rest after a long day. Pastor Kong works really hard to serve God and to build up CHC, as well as the churches in THN. I would like to take this chance to thank and appreciate him and all the pastors in CHC for serving God and serving people relentlessly.
PASTOR SUN HO, AS DESCRIBED BY KUA SIEW YAN
1. I will always be grateful to my Pastor for… trusting and allowing me to serve so closely with her despite the many shortcomings in my life.
2. My Pastor is a secret fan of …. Smiski!! Also any other unique and cute little figurines because looking at them makes her happy!
3. My Pastor’s kryptonite (greatest weakness) is … that she cannot go into a shop that sells containers of any sort for creating an organised home/office etc—she will buy them all if she can!
4. Something people never expect of my Pastor is … she can finish an entire docu-series or a book within a very short time! Once she starts, she needs to know the end almost immediately!
5. My Pastor would scream if … I accidentally zipped her skin during the quick costume changes for her evangelistic concerts (during the Crossover Project)! I was her dresser and she often ended up with bruises and cuts after each performance.
6. A near-death or extremely dangerous experience my Pastor had: In the ’90s, I accompanied her to India for a mission trip with a renowned evangelist. Pastor Kong and Sun were sitting on the stage when a riot suddenly broke out. We heard that someone set a car on fire to try to stop the meeting and the crowd was going wild … In that chaotic moment, the team and I were separated from Pastor and Sun. The rest of us were “smuggled” out of the venue in a bus back to the hotel and we didn’t know if they were safe till some time later.
7. The most sacrificial thing my Pastor has done… is to always avail herself to love, to encourage, to pray. I wish that I could grant her the superpower of teleporting herself to her favourite places in the world, so that she take whatever breaks she needs, whenever she needs.