By Dana Barber, Communications and Member Care
A Story on Mississauga Grace Missionary Baptist Church
Have you ever thought you were going somewhere for a certain purpose, only to discover God had so much more in store for you? This is the experience of pastors Lily and Wei-Neng Hung and their journey from Taiwan to Canada for Wei- Neng’s PhD studies. This is also the story of Mississauga Grace Missionary Baptist Church and how they thought they needed to find an older, experienced, man to lead their church.
After finishing seminary and pastoring a church in Taiwan, it was time for Wei-Neng, Lily and their sons to travel to Canada for Wei-Neng to work on his PhD. They arrived in 2015 and by 2017 they were guest preaching and teaching for Mississauga Grace Missionary Baptist Church (MGMBC). A mentor from back home had told them about this young church and asked if they would try to help them. MGMBC had been without a pastor for 3 years when they collectively agreed that Lily should be hired to be their full-time pastor. Wei-Neng has also taken on pastoral responsibilities as well as a lay-leader. Together they serve with a passion for God’s word to be known.
The transition from wanting a certain ideal for a pastor to accepting who God had blessed them with, took time. Time well spent and with a beautiful outcome. They have more challenges that will take time to meet head on. This past year, MGMBC gave up renting the space where they were meeting. It was costly and the money can be spent on more effective kingdom building purposes. They are still looking for a space that will be a good fit and allow them to worship together on Sunday mornings, as soon as that is possible. Lily and Wei-Neng describe their need for young adult leaders who have a vision for the future. Every church has obstacles to climb.
Another challenge they are striving to overcome is described like this “even though we all speak the same language, there are different dialects. And people come from different parts of the world where they may have very conflicting ways of thinking. We are a small church, but this causes even smaller, tight, groups that do not always relate to one another.” Lily goes onto say, “I see God working at MGMBC because despite these divides, the people want to stay together and be a church. They still want to worship and study together. I am so grateful to be here.”
Many wonderful things are happening to assist this body of believers in overcoming their differences. Instead of focusing on political views or challenges, Lily and Wei-Neng encourage everyone to focus on the words of God. Lily, always working over-time, meets with every weekly study group. She feels God is calling her to be a bridge the connects groups that otherwise would not relate to one another. Her presence in each group allows them to share prayer needs and study in one accord. Lily is working to get to know other pastors in the CBOQ family, utilize resources available to them, and gather prayer support. Their love for MGMBC and all its community is evident in how they speak and in the hope they have for the future. Wei-Neng confidently told me “We believe this is God’s calling for Lily to pastor this church in this time.”
There is more work to be done. Will you join them in praying that God will bring young adult leaders to them? Pray He will provide an affordable, inspiring space for them to gather when the time is right. Pray that God continues to be the source of life for this church and all the leaders willing to pivot in obedience to God’s plans.
The greatest hope these faithful pastors have for MGMBC is this “That we will all see this is Christ’s church, not ours.”