A few while ago I had the great chance to have a talk with Adrian Khoe, a member in my church’s youth team and indeed something was different about him that had me making a list of questions!
I once chatted with him asking about his work at the church. I was kinda surprised when he mentioned he was working full time and that he was a graduate of Tarumanegara University, a name that’s quite prominent, enough to enable you to get a good decent job out there. Adrian was one of my student in the english class I taught few months back. He was very good in his language skills. A bit of a humorous character mixed with young energetic blood, your average view of a youth. But when I tried to talk about more serious topics, his way of thinking changes my entire view of this man. He was not naive as you think most youth would be. His concerns about narrow-minded churches and the need for us to see things globally was pretty alarming to me. That’s the point I knew that he was not like your average youth, I became interested and decided to take him down for an interview.
Adrian is chinese-Indonesian born in 1986, a graduate of Graphic Design Major from the University of Tarumanegara, Jakarta. He currently lives with his folks in Tanjung Duren Area, West Jakarta. I could say his best friend is his handphone plus earphones which he carries everywhere with him. Music is his life, I remember he quoted that once. I know today he’s got his ears plugged into Casting Crowns!
A surprise to me but also explains a lot about him is the fact that he came from a buddhist father and a christian mother. I personally know his father, we chat once in a while in our Tuesday prayer session and on Sundays. Didn’t expect Mr.Khoe Senior was once a buddhist. So there was this influence war in his childhood life to get him into one of the two faith. His mother struggled to get little Adrian into sunday school while his father tried to take him into the temple world. We didn’t discuss too much on this issue but the ending of the dispute was absolutely a miracle. Sometime between 1994-1995, Mr.Khoe Sr out of the blue agreed to come to church and later decided to give his life to Jesus Christ after more than ten years of faith disagreement! Adrian reckoned today that it must be a big struggle for his mother. And I can say, what his mother fought for didn’t just stop there……
(Might just take them (his parents) down for a separate interview session later on just to get this part in detail!)
The story never stops. It continued 7 years later for this young man, Khoe Jr. That was in 2001 in one youth service, where he, just like his father was , out of the blue, was found standing in front of the altar during an altar call session that ended with him giving his vow of life for Jesus Christ. What a vow to be made by a 15 year old boy! And apparently, it didn’t miss God’s attention.
Since that moment, nothing big happened. Adrian moved on, going to college, nothing was quite dominant about God in his life, he served at the church off course to feel good though it felt like a routine. Eight years went by filled with cravings for basketball activities and internet online games. Imaginations of a job in big offices or maybe his own business came oftenly in him. He dreamt every young man’s dream.
It wasn’t until Adrian ran into trouble, finding his college final thesis was falling apart and his fear of failing. When the situation was getting out of hand, he remembered Jesus. In desperation for help adrian prayed earnestly, probably more earnest than he ever did before in his life. In that moment, God reminded adrian what he had promised, that is a life of full commitment to the Lord. He had already forgotten it at that time. Greatly disturbed by the flashback revelation, he took 40 days of fasting to get a good real sense of. He was getting a sense that he’s going to surrender his personal dreams for something else, he needed to be sure about it. You would too right if suddenly you were to surrender everything for something that’s not really 100% clear at first glimpse? So adrian understood and surrendered. He said that it was during that moment of trouble He found his path once more and he submitted to his calling, giving up what he could’ve gotten with his bachelor degree to serve in full time ministry.
We all know working as a church worker is challenging. Financially and emotionally. The first one is usually the bigger issue. This ‘money’ issue has always been the case for everything that happened these days. I read in the Christianity Today that in the USA not a day went by without hearing stories of fraud or embezzlements done by pastors or churches, that’s aside than the more regular sex scandal stories. This issue can really force someone to stray away from their original path, that’s true love for God. It can really turn a godly man into a monster. That is also the challenge Adrian is facing. Would he turn into a monster or will he choose to love God still no matter what?
Questions such as “what if later you want to get married, can you provide for your family?” or “How are you going to afford your children’s education in the future?” came regularly for him and sometimes it’s hard to give a straight anwer.
He acknowledged that working full time for God is hard. He thinks about his future, how he will provide for his future wife and kids. How he can afford good education for his children. And it gets hard sometimes when friends asked about his current work. So how do you handle that Adrian? How on earth are you going to survive?
His answer to me was : FAITH.
Ok. faith. What faith?
He mentioned his faith comes from a scripture which God gave to him as an answer to his he prayer. He asked God about his future and God answered him :
“Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.
In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat
for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
This answers my interview. I want to know why he stayed. Why he kept going this road less travelled by young men. I want to know how honest he would be in answering my questions. Will he give me answers derived from doctrines? Or will he answer me with just empty flying self-confidence? Did he really ever encounter God personally? Why didn’t he turn away to pursue something else, a person of his age can at anytime choose to switch? Will he someday later? Switch?
I know now that he experienced God. He vowed. He was reminded. Stop. This is the point where, I think, most people run away. When God said “Surrender all and come follow me”. Whammmmm……suddenly the music stops and everyone pretending to look serious and saying “Hmmm sorry man I gotta go somewhere else.” and “Dude, I can’t come with you, I got this really nice girl I wanna be married to. Sorry dude.” and “I got this great career already, I worked my butt off for this. I can’t just let it go.” Everyone who wants to really follow Jesus WILL definitely see moments like this coming their way, the moment where they have to give all, ALL. Adrian, instead of running, he accepted it. He earnestly seeked it, prepare his heart for whatever answer that may come and with more than happy feeling God showed his face and answered.
To face the everyday challenge of his calling, he simply trusted the words that he got from God as his Personal-All-in-One insurance policy. he carries it in his ‘bag’ almost as if that is his ‘magic potion’, his ‘magic pocket’, ‘super peanut’, his never-ending supply of wealth and abundance that will keep him full in every season of life.
Adrian you are a man of God. Don’t worry about anything in life whether it’s financial, emotional or personal. Walk in HIS direction, keep evolving, changing yourself daily in becoming a person that God wants you to be, not a person that human or the world want you to be. Keep strong my friend!