THE EXTRAORDINARY REVEREND FRANCIS CHAN

K.C. LAU,  B.S.,M.A.,D.M.D.

Translated by the author

In 1967, Hong Kong was embroiled in a huge riot.  Rebels planted homemade bombs everywhere.  People lived in fear and many moved overseas.

My  god-sister, Wan-bing Mui (梅韻冰)was a Bible woman of the Hong Kong Baptist Church, Caine Road, and her husband, Rev. Pak-sum Chan(陳柏森)served as a minister at the Leighton Road Baptist Church.  In the same year that they immigrated to San Francisco with their two young children, I  was preparing to come to the USA for college.  But two weeks before I arrived in the States,  my  god-sister died of excessive  bleeding during the birth of her third child at the Tung Wah Hospital (東華醫院) in San Francisco Chinatown.  Their oldest daughter (Grace 恩梅)was only three years old and  their son (Paul 恩平)was  only two.  In memory of his wife’s death in San Francisco, Rev. Chan named his  new-born son Francis (藩in Chinese) after the city of his birth.  The baby was brought back to Hong Kong to be raised by his  Buddhist grandmother for the next several years.  In the meantime, Rev. Chan  married Amy Law (羅笑容)and they had a daughter Gloria.  Unfortunately in 1976, Mrs. Amy Chan was killed in an automobile accident and the children lost another kind mother.  Rev. Chan then married Josephine Leung (梁克閲)who raised their four children lovingly with Godly influence. Then in 1979, when Francis was only twelve years old, his father died of cancer.

My god-sister escaped to Hong Kong by herself from mainland China in 1950.  She had no relatives in Hong Kong and came to know my older brothers and sisters in the church youth fellowship.  My mother took good care of her and she called my mom “God-mother”.  My mother encouraged her to enter the Canton Bible School (廣州聖經學院) in Hong Kong (now the Evangel Seminary 播道神學院) from which she later graduated.  After the death of my god-sister, our two families moved several times and thus lost contact, but I had not forgotten the four orphans.  From time to time, I thought about where they were and how they were doing.  Were they going to church? Did they have their own families?  For more than thirty years, I tried to locate them.  Finally, in 2005, I found and met with the older son, Rev. Paul Chan (陳恩平牧師)and gave him more than twenty old photographs of their birth mother. The brothers were very thankful and appreciative.

Rev. Paul Chan graduated from Golden Gate Baptist Seminary in California and is now the pastor of the English congregation of the Chinese Grace Baptist Church in San Francisco.  Rev. Francis Chan (陳恩藩牧師)was a graduate of Master’s College (B.A.) and Master’s Seminary (M.Div.) in Los Angeles. Their two sisters have their own engineering business. The step-mother deserves much credit for the education and accomplishments of the four children.

On 2/15/2009, Rev. Francis Chan was invited to preach on the Sunday worship program of the Hour of Power broadcast televised from the famous Crystal Cathedral in Los Angeles. He was the first pastor of Chinese descent to appear on the Hour of Power in its nearly half century of broadcasting.  His sermon was entitled “Living in the Light of Eternity”.

For the first 6 years after entering the ministry,  Rev. Francis Chan served as a youth minister.  Then  in 1994, in the city of Simi Valley, California where the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is located, he founded Cornerstone Community Church.  He served for 16 years and the church grew to more than  4,000 members.  In 2004, he established Eternity Bible College and served as Chancellor.  He also serves on the board of directors of the Children’s Hunger Fund and the World  Impact organizations.

Rev. Chan is the author of three bestselling books: Crazy Love (2008); Forgotten God (2009) and Erasing Hell (2011), and three children’s religious books.  One and half million copies of Crazy Love have been sold and 80% of the royalty was donated to charitable organizations.

In 2010, after serving Cornerstone Community Church as senior pastor for 16 years, Rev. Chan felt led by God to another field of ministry to bring the Gospel to the under-privileged of society.  He moved to San Francisco with his family to work in the inner city ministering to the poor, the homeless and the drug addicts. He and his oldest daughter set an example  by  serving hot food and distributing clothing to the needy, and also by cutting their hair and washing their feet.  He also plans to establish the Radius International School in September to train laymen to reach the unreached with the Good News.

Last year, his 16 year old daughter Rachel, influenced by her father, went alone on a short-term mission with a relief organization to Thailand for a month.  She is gifted in music and sings while accompanying herself on the piano.  She issued her first music CD “Go” earlier this year.

Surfing is the favorite sport of Rev. Francis Chan who now resides in San Francisco with his wife and five children.  He is an eloquent speaker with a thunderous voice.  He interprets Biblical principles with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and has become one of the most popular preachers in America.  He travels almost weekly outside the city to witness for Christ and his ministry has taken him across the United States  and the globe, including Uganda, Peru, San Salvaldor, Mexico, Spain, England, Japan,  Korea, Thailand, etc. and thousands flock to his meetings.  He was invited to speak  to 20,000 young people and students attending the Passion Conference revival meeting;  the annual Campus Crusade For Christ training conference for 8,000 coworkers in Colorado;  the South Dakota 2011 Labor Day outdoor Light of Life music festival where 100,000 attended;  the Southern Baptist annual conference with its 15,000 delegates, etc.  His future speaking engagements  include the 2013 commencement of the well-known Christian university Wheaton College.  The sermons of Rev. Francis Chan, in addition to carrying the timely mandate of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Great Commandments (Matthew 22:37-40), have a sense of urgency.  This urgency  was built into him from his upbringing and attending many funerals in church and in his family.  He has seen the brevity of life and experienced disappointments and loss.  He realizes “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).  He emphasizes that we have to trust our Heavenly Father, place our life focus on eternity and live our life for that purpose.

The extraordinary ministry of Rev. Francis Chan in serving and loving God and humanity  was something that his deceased parents would not have dreamed of.  Surely, God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours, and his parents in Heaven should be filled with joy and contentment.

One thought on “THE EXTRAORDINARY REVEREND FRANCIS CHAN

  1. I have read your article. I also have been touched by God to leave regular ministry and help the poor, minister to the poor of my community. I am seeking God on how to actually get started. I will pray for your endeavors as I seek Jesus Christ about His specific leading for me. Godspeed

    In His Service,

    John Siverls

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