I have enclosed my testimony in order that you may know what God can do, and has done, with one who is least among His children. If you have been wondering about your own faith journey with God, or if you have been struggling with what God is up to in your life-whether God even cares about you-be encouraged. If God can do so much with one of His least, how much more will He do with YOU? Be obedient and keep on trusting God! God is good. He'll prove it in good time. (Galatians 6:9)
I was born on June 1, 1963 in Nanjing, China. My family moved to Hong Kong when I was only three weeks old, and remained there until 1973 when we moved to Singapore. While in Singapore, I came to know the Lord through the ministries of Youth for Christ club. When an opportunity arose for part of my family to come to the United States of America, I returned to Hong Kong in 1981 and, thereafter, came to the U.S.A. in March of 1982 along with my mother, brother, and sister.
Life in these United States was difficult, challenging, and rewarding. Due to complexities associated with the transfer of credits between differing national school systems, I didn't graduate from High School until I was almost 20 years old.
After a couple of years of floundering around and wondering what I could do with myself, I came upon an opportunity where I could obtain a college degree while, at the same time, fulfill a life-long dream to fly planes. I can still vividly remember that day, on January 1, 1986, when I drove in my little black Nissan pick-up truck, from Houston, Texas for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Daytona Beach was a beautiful place with many distractions for a college student like myself. However, by the grace of God, He put me in the care of a church-First Baptist Church-the first Sunday after I arrived (believe me, it wasn't my plan)! My experience on that first Sunday made a tremendous impact upon my life. While I had drifted slowly away from God in years past, I found myself praying the prodigal son's prayer on that fateful Sunday: "Lord, I'm coming home!"
In the days and years following, God made life-altering changes within my life. My involvements in church eventually took greater precedence over my involvements in school. By my fifth year in college, I was sensing a strong calling into full-time ministry. The calling eventually overcame my desires to fly professionally. During the early part of 1991, I decided to break the news to my family. I was particularly fearful of breaking the news to my mother because of the financial investment she had put into my education and those expensive flight trainings. And when I did share my thoughts and feelings with her, she became furious and, perhaps, hurt. "After all," she said, "you can always serve God as a pilot." True! But it wasn't what I had sensed.
The next few months at college seemed like a "blur." I could focus on little else except the intense emotional reaction of my family regarding my shifting desires for professional ministry. Then a crucial event happened. I failed one of my flight courses. I was devastated.
It was the week before Spring Break. My fiancée, Linda, and I had planned on coming to Ohio during my Spring Break to visit with her family. As I drove back to my apartment with an "F" on my flight evaluation, I asked God, "why?" I can still vividly remember what followed:
I seemed to hear God asking in a gentle voice, "Luke, do you love Me?"
At first I wasn't sure, but I replied, "Y-yes, Lord, I do."
"If you love Me, would you give up your flight career for Me?"
At that moment, it would be embarrassing, but it wouldn't be too difficult.
"Yes . . . Lord, I would give up my flying career for You."
"Would you give up your dream house for Me?"
"Yes . . . Lord, I would give up my dream house for You."
"Would you give up your family for Me?"
With increasing hesitation, I said, "Y-yes . . . Lord, I will give up my family for you."
"Would you give up Linda for Me?"
"Alright Lord, if that's what you want, I will give up Linda for you . . ."
A sense of stillness came over me and, then, a word entered my mind-rest.
A few days later, Linda and I were in Lancaster, Ohio visiting with her family. I was given the basement to myself. And, in the quietness and solitude of the basement, I was impressed to study the letter of Paul to the Philippians. And God's word came to me through that Letter:
First a word of consolation: "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Phil. 1:6)
Then, the clarion call: "But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the Gospel." (Phil. 1:12)
That was it! Those were words for me! God had been in control all along. The purpose of my life, the events of my life, have been to further the Gospel. I believe, then, that there was no denying God's call in my life. My course was set!
But there was still one problem. What about my dear mother? I had been afraid to raise the topic again to my mother since that initial experience. Months had past until. . . . I knew in my mind that Mother's Day would be coming in May.
We had been through a lot as a new family in a strange yet wonderful land; so, Mother's Day has come to hold special, and meaningful, significance for all of us. As the day approached, my prayers grew more earnest. On Mother's Day, I laid on my apartment floor praying that somehow God would work in my mother's heart. With her Mother's Day gift (belated) on one side and the telephone on the other, I agonized. Then the telephone rang. It was my mother on the other end of the line! After a few polite pleasantries, she said, "If you are serving God, it has to be a good thing, right?" "Yes, Mom, it is a good thing." And so, on that day, she gave me her unshaken love and blessing to change the direction of my life. A sense of grateful relief swept over my being. With renewed focus and fervor, I completed my bachelor's degree and flight training and obtained my commercial pilot's license in the Fall of 1991.
On August 3, 1991, I married my God-bestowed life-partner-Linda. And, six years after I went to Florida to pursue a career in aviation, my wife and I left Florida for Louisiana to begin a new chapter in our lives. And nine years later, through many more trials and tears, and joys and happiness, I graduated with a Ph.D. in Psychology and Counseling from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
In September 2001, ten-and-a-half years after those fateful moments on the road back from a failed flight evaluation and in the basement of my in-laws, Linda and I began yet another new chapter. This time we find ourselves in Cedarville, Ohio. We are immensely grateful to God for our journey to this beautiful Cedarville University. We look forward to many years of furthering His Gospel personally as well as through the lives of many Gospel carriers.
- Luke Ming-Shui Tse
"Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!" Psalm 119:2