Pastor Raymond Chow
在 1973-1975 年其間，我的二哥周修敏（現在已當了牧師許多年），當時是帶職事奉的珠寶商，每年來美國經商四次。每次都在我家住兩個星期，目的是要向我傳講耶穌，傳講福音。但我當時的人生觀是要賺大錢。因為他是二哥，非聽不可，內心卻一點興趣都沒有，所以多年來什麼也沒有聽進去。
1979 年我的生意失敗，公司被告三百萬美元法律訴訟，生意伙伴逃離美國，我自己一個人面對這一切法律上的問題。這時我感覺到自己的無能，無助和孤單。突然腦海中想起二哥對我講述過的耶穌，是一位大能的 神。在聖靈的感動下，我身不由己的跪下，向這位創造宇宙之神認罪悔改，並接受祂為我個人的救主。有一股我從來沒有經歷過的平安充滿了我的內心，我知道這位神已聽了我的禱告，這個晚上我＂重生＂了。
從 1981-2005 年，我在奧克拉河馬州（Oklahoma ）一直都是帶職事奉。感謝 神有機會參與開荒中國教會的事工，前後開始了三個教會，並且在第三個教會擔任牧師的職責，牧養教會五年。
2005 年為了生意的原因，搬到南加州。頭兩年在喜瑞都（Cerritos ）的羅省華人基督教會事奉。跟著的三年，神帶領我去了Gardena 的南灣中國基督徒禮拜堂作代理牧師，幫助該教會開始了主日學，週日查經，禱告會，探訪等事工，並且鼓勵教會聘請一位全職牧師。2011 年六月份，神帶領了一位全職牧師來牧養教會。
我又求問 神，有那一個教會沒有牧者，我可以幫忙事奉？2011 年九月份， 神奇妙的把我和 Teresa 帶領來到CBCOC 事奉。2013 年初，神不斷的感動我要全時間事奉主。在禱告中，神讓我看見在我過去的日子裡，我失去了全職事奉的福份。因為在三十年前神已經呼召我，要我全職事奉，但我揀選了我自己的方法－帶職事奉，現在 神再次呼召我，給我全職事奉的異象越來越強大，我仍然對自己說＂我已經 65 歲了，如何能在退休年齡來全職事奉主呢？
2013 年一月份，是教會的宣教主日。那天鄧牧師的兒子分享主日信息。他分享到 神如何用摩西所看到的，燃燒著的荊棘的異象來呼召他出來，在 Intrevarsity（校園福音事工） 機構全職事奉。在他分享的整個過程中，聖靈不斷的感動我，證實這是 神對我再次全職事奉的呼召。神既然呼召 80歲的摩西，神也可以呼召和使用 65 歲退休的我。九個月後，神用我意想不到的方法結束了我的生意。就在這個時候，伍牧師和鄧牧師來探訪我，我與他們分享了 神給我的異象和對我的呼召。伍牧師問我有沒有完成三十年前已經開始了，但只讀到一半的神學課程的意念？教會可以聘請我做實習事奉，並經濟上支持我完成神學院的碩士學位。十年前 神已經給了 CBCOC 植堂的異象。當教會知道我有植堂的經驗時，教會投票通過，要差派我，神學院畢業後，去加州 Eastvale 植堂！
我感謝 神，給我這個機會，好好地全時間事奉祂，也再次給我這第四次機會，在植堂的事工上有份。 榮耀歸主名。 阿門！
CONVERSION & CALL TO MINISTRY
Pastor Raymond Chow
From 1973 to 1975, my brother came to the US for business four times a year. Each time he stayed at my house for two weeks telling me about Jesus. At that time, my head was full of dreams of making money. I sat with him out of respect; but heard nothing he said.
In 1979 all my business ventures failed. Two lawsuits, totaling three million dollars, were filed against my company. My only business-partner left the United States. I had to face all the problems by myself. I exhausted all avenues of getting myself out of these hopeless situations and felt very lonely. At this desperate moment, some of the things about this almighty God, about Jesus that my brother told me before came to my mind. I got down on my knees and prayed to God for help and forgiveness. A sense of calmness swept over me. I felt peaceful. I knew the Lord heard & accepted my prayers. I was reborn that day.
From 1981 to 2005 I served as a bi-vocational in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I was fortunate enough to have a part in starting three Chinese churches there and pastored the last church for five years. Then I moved to Southern California for a new venture. I attended First Evangelical Church of Cerritos for two years. The following three years, I functioned as the interim Pastor for South Bay Chinese Christian Church in Gardena, California. I was instrumental in helping them start a Sunday School program, a weekly mid-week Bible study and prayer, and encouraged them to call a full time pastor who started on June 2011.
I started to attend CBCOC on September 2011. In the beginning of 2013 God laid on me the burden of serving Him full time and let me see that in the past I have missed the blessings of being in full time ministry. Thirty years ago, God already called me into full time ministry. Instead of submitting to God’s calling, I chose to do it my way and be a bi-vocational ministry worker instead. This conviction was getting stronger by the day. However, I am now 65 years old and will be retiring soon. How can I serve the Lord full time at this late age?
In late January 2013, on a Mission Sunday, my Pastor’s son, who works for Intervarsity, was the speaker. He first shared that God used the vision of the burning bush to call him into ministry. All thru his sharing, God convicts me that He is also using this burning bush experience to call me into fulltime ministry. God gave this vision to Moses when Moses was 80 years old. God is now giving me this same vision when I am nearing retirement age.
Nine months later, God orchestrated to close down my business. Pastor Eng & Pastor Teng came to visit me. I shared with them the vision God gave me back in January and my burden of going into fulltime ministry. Immediately, Pastor Eng asked if I would be interested in finishing my seminary studies that I started thirty years age. He offered me financial support to finish my MA in Biblical Studies at Truth Theological Seminary and an internship position with CBCOC.
Ten years ago, God gave CBCOC a vision to plant a new church. Since I had experience in planting churches before, CBCOC also called me as their Church Planter, target area in Eastvale, California, as soon as I finish my seminary studies.
I am grateful God gives me this second chance to serve Him fulltime and another chance to plant a new church. I am also very excited about this new venture in my late stage of life.