Last week Peter O. asked the wife and I to give a testimony this past Sunday about being led to join the King’s Cross Church plant. I was actually hoping to have the opportunity to do one last congregational prayer, but a testimony is on a totally different level. Nonetheless, we agreed as we knew it’d be good for the congregation to hear our story, provide good closure for ourselves as we prepare to leave Living Faith Community Church main-site, and acknowledge and give thanks to God for his provision and leadership in our lives.
I didn’t think it’d be too difficult to write such a testimony, especially since I already had posted a blog entry in June that I could use to help me remember and reference to. Well, it resulted into one long Saturday night as it turned into one big project with four drafts. I first chronicled our journey at Living Faith, but that was a huge tangent so I focused more on our experience in joining the King’s Cross launch team. I was on the right track, but it sounded very robotic and impersonal. On my third attempt, I finally got it right with what I really wanted to say as I just let everything out, but thankfully the wife tactfully edited it in the morning and added her personal touch with tidbits of grace here and there.
Before we went up, we decided that I would speak while she held CJ next to me because of the possibility of her crying. Now, when up on stage I’m more used to reading my prayer or scripture from a piece of paper as my security blanket, but the wife advised me to look up as much as possible and speak slowly with emotion. I did so and it seemed as if I was having a conversation with everyone. And because I didn’t insert any jokes or try to make light of the matter, I had everyone’s ears as the atmosphere was very somber with the congregation listening intently. I suppose that happens when one speaks the truth.
Near the end of our testimony, I was listing the groups of people we’d miss at Living Faith main-site and I think I was doing pretty well up to that point. Then I heard the wife sniffle and I turned to see her crying. I didn’t think I would, but that did it for me as the dam broke and my eyes watered up and my lips quivered. I tried to finish up, but it just got worse as I began to mumble through the words. So I took a step back and said that the last time I cried in public was during our wedding which got a good laugh and I was then able to conclude.
I didn’t think we’d get so emotional, but it was good for us as we were able to process and express the blessings we’ve experienced at Living Faith for the past eight years, what we’ve been going through with our decision to join King’s Cross Church, and to publicly acknowledge our commitment to the Lord’s plan in our family’s life.
I gave our testimony a second time around during King’s Cross Church’s first pre-launch service later that day and thankfully we didn’t cry, for the original is always better than the sequel (with the exception of Terminator 2 and Aliens).
[photos courtesy of Gloria C. and Eric S. Thank you]
Below is our testimony transcript…minus the tears.
Hello, my name is Matthew Suhu, this is my wife, Grace Suhu, and our 8.5 month old son, Caleb, and we put together something short detailing our journey in joining Living Faith Community Church’s King’s Cross congregation.
It all started in the fall of 2004 when by God’s grace we were led to Living Faith Community Church. One of the reasons we chose to stay is because of its commitment to the importance of experiencing the gospel in community groups. We found a home in Scott and Mary Lee’s community group which was composed mostly of young adults just like Grace and I. At the time, I was still adjusting to post-college life as I had finished my first year of teaching, and prior to Living Faith Community Church, I was attending another church, but I didn’t make an effort to seek out community and get involved. It was a very dark and miserable time for myself in which I was coming out of the worst year of my life. Grace had just graduated, so Scott and Mary’s community group was a huge blessing for us as it made our transition from college to young adult life much easier. We were welcomed, cared for, and were able to get plugged in and serve. This made an impression on us as the Lord used our experience and turned it into a desire to pass along such a loving and caring community to other young adults in need.
Fast forward to May of 2009, and as God would have it, we jumped at the opportunity to help spearhead the college community group. Within two years, many people in the group had graduated thus creating a need, and so Grace and I branched off to lead the newly formed young adult group in April of last year. This was truly an amazing time as within a few months our group had tripled in size. So in the fall, we multiplied into two groups, but Grace and I had to step away soon thereafter as our son was born in December.
Now, we knew things were gearing up for the Flushing young adult church plant, but we didn’t give much thought to it because we were focused on the baby. So when Peter Ong presented the church plant to us, it caught us off guard, for it was something that we weren’t considering at all. It just didn’t make sense for us to join because we had just become new parents which wouldn’t allow much flexibility for us to serve and engage young adults as we once were able to, and we would be missing out on the community of parents and families here at Living Faith. But we met with Pastor Ro and Peter who helped talk us through what this church plant was all about and what our options were and in what capacity we could support the church.
We struggled with a decision for months and actually said no to Peter because Caleb was a huge game changer. We just didn’t think we could be effective in ministry with a baby. To make a long and dramatic story short, we gave more thought and prayer to it and spoke to more people about it. As we made a decision to be part of the launch team, we were excited to be involved in something so huge and kingdom centered, but at the same time we were still scared and unsure as there were many unknowns. A part of us still feels conflicted for there are times where we questioned our decision. Can we really do this with Caleb? Must we really leave our friends? Are we doing the right thing? God will certainly be gloried whether we stay or go, for there’s kingdom work to be done both at both congregations. So what’s the answer?
This was the most difficult decision that Grace and I have had to make together in the 12 years that we’ve known each other. For us, choosing a church community is a very serious matter. But in the end, Grace and I are on board and committed to King’s Cross and the work that Christ has set forth for us. Our decision at its core is an act of faith. We’re not super Christians. We don’t know what’s going to happen, but we’re doing this because there’s a huge need to serve the young adult population and Flushing community and because God is calling and challenging us to join him. We want to see Christ glorified, and so we’ve asked the Lord to give us the faith to trust that he will equip us to love others.
[Living Faith main-site has been one of the greatest blessings for us in the past eight years. We’re very comfortable here and we’re going to miss all of you. Yes, Grace will miss the praise team, I will too. I’ll miss my deaconate team members. And we’ll both miss the Forest Hills young adult community group, Pastor Ro, and all of our friends here. We’re still coping, and probably will continue to do so for the months to come, but we’re all still one church with multiple congregations, so technically we’re not leaving and it’ll be exciting to have joint retreats, events, and meals together.]
First and foremost we’re committed to Christ in what he wants to do in our lives. We are already blessed by witnessing God’s faithfulness to the ministry and the launch team these past few months and encouraged by the hunger, commitment, and passion we see in the young adults. And just as we couldn’t see or fathom what became of our one small desire years ago, we’re open to and looking forward to seeing and taking part in God working and expanding his kingdom in ways we can’t possibly foresee now. Thank you.