In a suburb of Sydney, there lived an old brother who is now 98 years of age. A few years ago he told the Lord that he felt as though he had been cast aside. He had taken care of a community church in that area for some 45 years. Mr. Chun has the testimony that, like king David, “he served the Lord in his own generation”. He served God and men. But now he felt alone and without a service. So he told the Lord.
Soon afterwards a strange thing happened. Opposite his house is a church – St Mary’s Antiochian Othodox Church. [Apparently Eastern Othodoxy has four “divisions”. This one must have its headquarters in Antioch.] It houses a large crucifix that began to “weep”. The news of this began to spread and the faithful began to come to see it and pay their respects – pay their money, light candles, kiss the feet of the crucifix, etc. They arrived in their cars. But, as often happens, the husbands were not always as religious as their wives. These would sometimes wait outside their parked cars while the wives went into the church. To escape the heat, they sought the shelter of Mr. Chun’s large Illawarra Flame tree that cast its shade across the footpath. Then they sat on his fence. He saw their plight, so he brought out chairs for their comfort. Then he brought out gospel tracts and spoke to them about the Lord, where there was an ear for the word.
He next built a table for the tracts, and painted a sign, indicating that they were free for the taking, and that the set-up was “non-denominational”. The stream of cars kept arriving as the news of the weeping crucifix spread. The tracts kept being taken.
Then they came in busloads. The buses had to park outside his house! He put 150 New Testaments on the table. They went like hot cakes. Sometimes the priest who organised the bus trip was upset that the passengers were late boarding and had to be coaxed back onto the bus. They were busy collecting and reading the new-found tracts and talking to Mr. Chun.
Then they came by chartered jet from South America! This involved a string of buses. As fast as he put out tracts, they went.
The news of the “miracle” reached the press, to the embarrassment of the church headquarters in Sydney. The “tears” were analysed and found to be olive oil. [I can imagine that the metal casting was porous. Many castings have unseen tiny holes - a bit like Swiss cheese. In this way, olive oil could seep out slowly.] The flow of people dried up and things have returned to normal. Since then, the tree that provided the shade was hit by a storm and has been removed.
It is best to let the Lord count the converts, but suffice to say that a few returned to Mr. Chun to tell him they had been blessed. He is very deaf, so he may not have all the details – at least he did not recount them. God’s ways in Providence are amazing. Neither the press, nor the priests, nor the pilgrims had any idea that the whole thing was allowed of God because of the prayer of a brother who desired to continue to serve. At a time in his life when he could not go out to them, the congregation was brought to his front gate! And whether few or many were blessed, the great point is that a testimony was rendered.
That is our service. The results are the Lord’s matter. May many be brought to Christ as a result of our brother’s service.
He died 23 July 2007, within a few weeks of turning 99. "With Christ which is very much better."
MM Updated 24/07/2007