Sunday, February 06, 2011

Rev. Carl Beach (貝家樂牧師)

Last Sunday, we went to the memorial service for Rev. Carl Beach.  He came to Hong Kong in the 1960s from the USA as a missionary.  He had no advanced degree, was not particularly eloquent, spoke very poor Cantonese and had little money.  But he had a powerful handshake, liked to give big bear-hugs, smiled all the time, and had boundless enthusiasm.  He went to the poorest housing estates (徙置區) in 橫頭磡,大窩口,屯門 . He established self-study rooms (自修室), roof-top schools (天台學校), and churches.  He negotiated with bureaucrats tirelessly.  He scavenged furniture, set chairs, and cleaned toilets, so that the students could study and believers could worship.  He built movable baptismal basins so that he could baptize people where they were.  He never gave up. 

He retired and returned to the USA after working 30+ years in Hong Kong.  He had been away from Hong Kong for more than 10 years when he passed away about a month ago in the USA, after struggling with Alzheimer's for several years.  Yet, at his memorial service, 300+ people packed the church.  Numerous people - headmasters, pastors, preachers, professionals, mechanics, ... - stood up and call him father, Christ-like.  I translated for him for several years at Sunday sermons.  At that time, I was impressed mostly by his enthusiasm.  At the memorial service, I was reminded of the depth and width  of his impact among the numerous people that he touched. 

I have the highest respect for Carl - and the God that motivated him.  I hope to see him again in heaven.  


No comments: