Lord’s Wisdom Lord’s Love
by Helsinki Congregation of SCCC
On April 1, 2010, The Chinese Evangelical Congregation in Finland (CECF) eventually joined SCCC and became its sixth congregation: The Helsinki Evangelical Congregation. The road walked over by the Christians in Helsinki has attested the God’s declaration in Isaiah 55:8, 9
The history of Chinese immigration in Finland is shorter than the one in other Nordic countries, it starting in mid-80s of 20th century. As Chinese immigrants increasing, the two main denominations of Protestant in Finland, Lutheran and Pentecostal, started to evangelize among Chinese immigrants. Few years later, naturally, the Chinese baptized in Finland either belonged to Lutheran or to Pentecostal. During their spiritual growth, the Chinese Christians craved to have own congregation so that they can listen to preaches and form in fellowship with native language. In June of 1994, Chinese from the two denominations decided to establish an interdenominational Chinese Fellowship.
Between 1994 and 2001, the Fellowship got great support from Chinese overseas churches, institutions and Finnish local congregations, among them was SCCC. With the help from Finnish Lutheran Ev. Church and Contra Costa Gospel Church in California, Pastor Agnes Liang stayed two years in Helsinki and established CECF in the Easter of 2002. During her 2-years of pasturing, the congregation grew up well.
However, in the autumn of 2005, without approval from the Board, the incumbent pastor then tried to write off CECF by annexing it to a local Lutheran congregation. Many of members did not agree the annex. On January 1, 2006, CECF’s worship was separated in two different places. On May 14, 2006, as the annexed part adopting another name, the Chinese congregation formally split.
The connection between SCCC and CECF was constant in the past. As early as in 1995, a mission team from SCCC visited us, since then, we have been sending people to SCCC’s summer camps; the leader of the Fellowship personally knew Pastor Anthony Shum in 1999; and no sooner had our worship separated than SCCC sent missionaries coming. However, an unbelievable thing happened. Although from 1994 to 2007, the main leader was the same person, nevertheless, when CECF met hardship caused by without a pastor, nobody in the leadership thought of seeking pastoral help from SCCC. Now from retrospect, we further understand that our Lord has His time, that His thoughts and His way are truly much higher than ours, that we have indeed experienced His wisdom and His love.
In that time we had two young Christians in love, one in Helsinki and another in Stockholm. The Lord made their ‘international date’ as a bridge between CECF and Stockholm Congregation. As early as in April of 2007, their Mandarin Fellowship visited us. In October of 2009, the two congregations held joint worship in Helsinki and had Holy Communion side by side. The Lord put a vision in the heart of Pastor Shum and he came to Helsinki in almost every midsummer, so that naturally, the pastor and the sheep knew each other more and more. The Lord used our Youth Fellowship as a kind of vanguard to let us witness SCCC’s pastoral function. The Lord allowed all kinds of problems emerging, longer time without a pastor, more problems were there. The Lord chastened the leadership when they imprudently invited guest pastor.
For four years the Lord prepared us, with mercy and wisdom, with chastening and grace, and finally, the time was ripe, the whole CECF smoothly joined SCCC. Praise the Lord!
Under the pasturing from SCCC, Helsinki Congregation strengthened. However, we need a pastor who can live in Helsinki. Think back the road we have walked over, we are confident that the Lord shall offer a good pastor to us. What need us to do is to keep our hearts with all diligence and to keep constant watching and praying. We’ll keep faith to wait for Lord’s time.