“Jonathan, can you load up your gear in Mom’s car? Henry, load your amp and bass in my car!” A typical Sunday morning in the Sim household. But it isn’t a mad dash to make it to church on time as much as it is an eagerness to be at our church—New Hope Foursquare Church in Los Angeles, pastored by Robert Suh.
As we arrive, Candy, my wife, goes straight to the first service because she’s volunteering in the children’s ministry. Jonathan, in the 7th grade, is the lead guitarist in the youth praise band and is eager to get to practice. Henry, a 5th grader, struggles to carry his bass and amp but does so with a sense of confidence. I, John, am blessed to be a part of the youth leadership. I also lead the 10th grade boys in small-group discussions on Sundays. But life wasn’t always like this.
I was my younger sister’s caretaker for six months as she was in her final stages of her battle with breast cancer. There were many nights of silent prayers and many nights of screaming, tear-filled prayers for the life of my sister. But in the end, her physical life was cut short at 29 on Sept. 13, 2000.
Her illness and death had taken its toll on the entire family. Candy and the boys had to endure living in one bedroom in my sister’s house. Candy didn’t have to say anything, but I knew she was ready to move on.
For me, the anger toward God seemed justified, so I chose to remain resentful. I excused myself from every opportunity to hear the Word of God. But by the grace of God, Candy and I were pricked in our hearts and decided to attend New Hope 2-1/2 years ago.
It didn’t take much time before then-pastor Jesse Lee’s point blank, uncensored messages hit home for both Candy and me. After a couple of months, Candy gave her life to Christ. As for me, it wasn’t until I came to the true understanding of God’s love and mercy that I realized His love for my sister and regained the zeal for God I had lost after my sisters’ death.
We have been blessed with the pastors at New Hope. We’ve also befriended several other active families who share our love for Christ, His church and His family.
Through the grace of God, our family is now a family in Christ, a family that worships together, a family that has been made whole by the love and power of our Lord Jesus Christ.